Clergy are not inherently higher or better than the laity in the Church, who are also ordained to a specific ministry as the royal priesthood of Christ. The ministry of the clergy is a more intense and potentially spiritually dangerous role, since its business is the ministry of the holy mysteries and the responsibility of the teaching of the people of God. God will hold clergy accountable for the responsibility He gave them.
There are two basic categories of clergy in the Church—minor orders and major orders. The minor orders currently in use in the Church are reader, cantor (chanter) and subdeacon. The major orders which are from apostolic times and remain permanent within the Church are deacon, presbyter (priest/elder) and bishop. The bishops are all sacramentally equal, working together in council to work through tough questions for the Church.
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Adapted from St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.