The most visible aspect of the Deacon's Ministry is his presence at Sunday or at weekday Mass, when he assists the presiding priest or the bishop at the altar. Less visible is the deacon's liturgical participation in funeral vigils, committal services, and baptism outside of Mass, weddings outside of Mass, and Communion services in the absence of a priest.
The deacon's call to teach starts with the proclamation of the gospel at Mass and extends to the periodic call to preach the homily. Many deacons serve their parishes by teaching adult faith formation, Scripture classes, or preparing individuals and couples for the sacraments of marriage and baptism. The most significant way for deacons to teach, is by example as they live out their spiritual call in their community and work life.
The third area of ministry is the call to serve. Each ordained permanent deacon must find areas in the community to serve the poor or marginalized population that lives among us. For some deacons this means regular visits to the jails and prisons, for others it is ministry in the hospitals and nursing homes, working in the soup kitchens, food pantries, and thrift stores. The areas of service are as varied as the personalities of the deacons who are performing them.