The Sacrament of Holy Orders is when a member of the Church is ordained, or accepts the responsibilities of a spiritual leader in the church. To become ordained, you must be baptized Catholic men (CCC, 1577-1579). ‘Ordination’ gives a person a sacred power to serve the people of God in the name and authority of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
There are three different kinds of ordination: bishop, priest and deacon.
A priest shares in the ministry of the bishop. The main roles of the priest are preaching, celebrating the sacraments and leadership for building up the community of the church.
A deacon is ordained to serve the church through ministry of word, worship, pastoral care and charity. A deacon may baptize, preach, officiate at marriages and funerals but cannot preside at Eucharist or give absolution. Before someone is ordained a priest, he is first ordained to the order of deacon. There are also what are called ‘permanent’ deacons who have been ordained and function as deacons who will not be ordained to the priesthood.