The triple apse of an Orthodox church. The Altar is in the larger central apse, the Prothesis in the apse to the right, and the Diaconicon in the one to the left.

The Diaconicon (Greek: Διακονικόν, diakonikon; Slavonic: diakonik) is, in the Eastern Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, the name given to a chamber on the south side of the central apse of the church, where the vestments, books, etc, that are used in the Divine Services of the church are kept (the sacred vessels are kept in the Prothesis, which is on the north side of the sanctuary).

The Diaconicon contains the thalassidion (piscina), a sink that drains into an honorable place where liquids such as the water used to wash holy things may be poured, and where the clergy may wash their hands before serving the Divine Liturgy. The Diaconicon will usually have cabinets or drawers where the vestments and church hangings (antependia) may be safely stored. Here will also be kept the reserved charcoal, and a place for heating the zeon, (boiling water that is poured into the chalice before Communion. Towels and other necessary items will be kept here also.

Only bishops or priests may sit in the sanctuary; however, deacons and altar servers may sit in the Diaconicon when they are not needed for the service. Because the Diaconicon is located behind the Iconostasis it is considered to be a holy place, and only those who have a specific liturgical duty to perform should go in, and any regulations pertaining to entry into the sanctuary apply here as well.

During the reign of Justin II (565 - 574), owing to a change in the liturgy, the Diaconicon and Prothesis came to be located in separate apses at the east end of the Sanctuary. Before that time there was only one apse.

In the churches in central Syria of slightly earlier date, the diaconicon is rectangular, the side apses at Kalat-Seman having been added at a later date.

It can also refer to the liturgical book specifying the functions of the deacon.[1]

See also


  1. ^  "Diaconicum". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. 

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DIACONICON — Locus in circuitu Ecclesiae, conservandis vasis dominicis et ornamentis Ecclesiae deputatus. Alias Secretarium, item Sacrarium. Consil. Laodicen. circa A. C. 368. Can. 21. vide Spelman. Glossar. Archoeol. Item liber Ecclesiasticus apud Graecos,… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • diaconicon — /duy euh kon i kon , keuhn/, n., pl. diaconica / keuh/. a sacristy in an Eastern or early Christian church, usually on the south side of the bema. [1720 30; < LGk diakonikón ( > LL diaconicum), neut. of diakonikós of a DEACON; see IC] * * * …   Universalium

  • diaconicon — sacristy for sacred vessels in Orthodox churches Ecclesiastical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • diaconicon — di·a·con·i·con …   English syllables

  • diaconicon — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prothesis (altar) — The Prothesis is the place in the sanctuary [Traditionally, in Orthodox churches, the entire sanctuary is referred to as the Altar , the altar table itself being called the Holy Table or the Throne . This traditional terminology will be used… …   Wikipedia

  • Piscina — A piscina or sacrarium is a shallow basin placed near the altar of a church, used for washing the communion vessels. They are often made of stone and fitted with a drain, and are in some cases used to dispose of materials used in the sacraments.… …   Wikipedia

  • Koca Mustafa Pasha Mosque — Koca Mustafa Paşa Camii The mosque seen from northeast Basic information Location Istanbul, Turkey Geographic coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Catedral de Cefalú — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Catedral de Cefalú Tipo Catedral Ubicación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Byzantine architecture — The Pammakaristos Church in Constantinople. Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD… …   Wikipedia