If we take Acts of the Apostles, chapter six, as a starting point for the diaconate, as the ordination ritual does, then the ministry of the word is the very thing that the Seven are commissioned to do on behalf of the Church. The Greek widows are neglected in the daily diakonia, there is no mention of food or funds in any Greek text of the Acts of the Apostles. Food or funds is a 19th and 20th century insertion by translators.
Diakonia in Acts of the Apostles is used to indicate a ministry, specifically the apostolic ministry of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Most often in Acts diakonia is paired with the qualifier toulogou (the word). We can see from Acts 7-9 that is precisely the ministry the Seven. In the accounts of the ministry of Stephen and Philip they proclaim the Gospel to Greek speaking people. The section concludes with a summary; "And the Word of God continued to spread" indicating that tyheir ministry was sucessful. That is, they undertook a ministry of the word.
The ministry of the word can take a number of forms in diaconal ministry
A deacon will preach at any liturgy at which he presides, for example at weddings and baptism.
A deacon may preach in celebrations of the Eucharist with the permission of the presider.
A deacon may express this ministry through adult education programs, school religious education programs, catechesis in sacramental formation sessions, as catechesis for RCIA candidates and post baptism mystagogia and in many other settings.
In this section there are a number of articles that explore aspects of the ministry of the word. We hope you find them thought provoking and useful.
The resources section includes some resources for preaching and understanding the Scriptures that you may want to follow up.
Snapshot of the Year of Grace (502 KB) - This document prepared by Mike Humphrys of the Faith and Life Vicariate in Brisbane has a useful comparison chart of the Year of Grace and Year of Faith. Some activities will be unique to Brisbane. Thanks to Mike for the document.