Religion Past and Present

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(414 words)

[German Version]

The term ordo was borrowed from Roman law and civil administration and acquired various ecclesial, liturgical meanings within Christianity. Already in Tertullian (De exhortatione castitatis, 7) ordo refers to clergy, distinguishing them from laity (plebs). In subsequent centuries ordo is used for denoting different categories of the ordained (e.g. ordo episcoporum). Later ordo is employed to designate various Christian rituals, ritual segments or ritual arrangements. The term thus appears through canon 4 of the Council of Braga (563) referring to Matins (Litur…

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Foley, Edward B., “Ordo/Ordines”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 09 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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