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Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
An inferior minister, who anciently attended at the altar, prepared the sacred vessels, delivered them to the deacons in time of divine service, attended the doors of the church during communion service, went on the bishop's embassies with his letters, or messages, to foreign churches, and was invested with the first of the holy orders. They were so subordinate to the superior rules of the church, that, by a canon of the council of Laodicea, they were forbidden to sit in the presence of a deacon without his leave.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Sub Deacon'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/s/sub-deacon.html. 1802.