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Cheirotonia

Cheirotonia or Chirotonia (Greek: χειροτονία) etymologically means "hand-stretching." It acquired a few different meanings, which survive as technical terms:

  • Christian laying on of hands, by which the authority of the Holy Spirit is considered passed between individuals, sometimes used in a secular sense to mean hand-picked succession
  • ordination, the official investment by a religious group with authority as a leader of some sort, whether sacerdotal, ministerial, or other
  • suffrage in the general sense, from assenting by a theoretical raising the hand, which was in fact implemented by a number of methods not involving hand-raising