priest


priest
priestless, adj.priestlike, adj., adv.
/preest/, n.
1. a person whose office it is to perform religious rites, and esp. to make sacrificial offerings.
2. (in Christian use)
a. a person ordained to the sacerdotal or pastoral office; a member of the clergy; minister.
b. (in hierarchical churches) a member of the clergy of the order next below that of bishop, authorized to carry out the Christian ministry.
3. a minister of any religion.
v.t.
4. to ordain as a priest.
[bef. 900; ME prest(e), priest, OE preost, ult. < LL presbyter PRESBYTER]

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      (from Greek presbyteros: “elder”), in some Christian churches, an officer or minister who is intermediate between a bishop and a deacon.

      A priesthood developed gradually in the early Christian church as first bishops and then elders, or “presbyters,” began to exercise certain priestly functions, mainly in connection with celebration of the Eucharist. By the end of the 2nd century, the church's bishops were called priests (Latin: sacerdos). Although the priestly office was vested primarily in the bishop, a presbyter shared in his priestly functions and, in his absence, could exercise certain of them as his delegate. With the spread of Christianity and the establishment of parish churches, the presbyter, or parish priest, adopted more of the bishop's functions and became the principal celebrant of the Eucharist. In this capacity, as well as by hearing confession and granting absolution, the priest eventually assumed the role of the church's chief representative of God to the people. The development of eucharistic theology resulted in a further emphasis of the priest's supernatural powers and qualities.

      During the 16th-century Protestant Reformation, the Reformers rejected the Roman Catholic doctrine of the sacrifice of the mass and the conception of the priesthood that went with it. The priesthood of all (priesthood of all believers) Christians was emphasized. Consequently, ministers were substituted for priests in Protestant churches. The Church of England (England, Church of) Reformers retained the title priest in The Book of Common Prayer, in order to distinguish priests, who can celebrate Holy Communion, from deacons, who are not entitled to do so. Ministers were generally called clergymen until the 19th century, when the Roman Catholic heritage of the Church of England was emphasized and priest again became the common term.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Priest — • The minister of Divine worship and sacrifice Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Priest     Priest     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Priest — Priest, n. [OE. prest, preost, AS. pre[ o]st, fr. L. presbyter, Gr. ? elder, older, n., an elder, compar. of ? an old man, the first syllable of which is probably akin to L. pristinus. Cf. {Pristine}, {Presbyter}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Christian… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • priest|ly — «PREEST lee», adjective, li|er, li|est. 1. of or having to do with a priest: »the priestly office. SYNONYM(S): sacerdotal. 2. like a priest; suitable for a priest: »priestly sobriety …   Useful english dictionary

  • Priest — Priest, v. t. To ordain as priest. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • priest — In its Christian context a priest is an ordained minister of the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church, or of the Anglican Church (above a deacon and below a bishop), authorized to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments. Women who… …   Modern English usage

  • Priest —    PRIEST, an isle, in the parish of Lochbroom, county of Ross and Cromarty. This isle, called also Elan Achlearish, derives its name of Priest from its having been once inhabited, it is said, by a Popish clergyman, who used to shift his quarters …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • priest — W3 [pri:st] n [: Old English; Origin: preost, from Late Latin presbyter, from Greek presbyteros older man, priest , from presbys old man ] 1.) someone who is specially trained to perform religious duties and ceremonies in the Christian church 2.) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • priest — [ prist ] noun count ** 1. ) someone whose job is to lead worship and perform other duties and ceremonies in some Christian churches: a Roman Catholic priest He led the campaign for women to become Anglican priests. 2. ) a man who performs… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • priest — O.E. preost, shortened from the older Germanic form represented by O.S., O.H.G. prestar, O.Fris. prestere, from V.L. *prester priest, from L.L. presbyter presbyter, elder, from Gk. presbyteros (see PRESBYTERIAN (Cf. Presbyterian)). In O.T. sense …   Etymology dictionary

  • Priest — Priest, Alexis Graf von St. P., Sohn des Grafen Armand von St. P., eines französischen Emigranten u. Gouverneurs von Kherson unter Kaiser Alexander, geb. 1805 in Petersburg, kehrte mit seinem Vater nach der Restauration zurück u. widmete sich der …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Priest —   [priːst], Christopher, englischer Schriftsteller, * Manchester 14. 7. 1943; geprägt von der Tradition der Sciencefiction; schreibt v. a. Romane, die den Bezug zu diesem Genre spielerisch reflektieren, z. B. »The space machine« (1976; deutsch… …   Universal-Lexikon


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