Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    An assistant to a rector or a vicar.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In ecclesiastical law. Properly, an incumbent who has the cure of seals, but now generally restricted to signify the spiritual assistant of a rector or vicar in his cure. An officiating temporary minister in the English church, who represents the proper incumbent; being regularly employed either to serve in hls absence or as his assistant, as the case may be. 1 Bl. Comm. 393 ; 3 Steph. Comm. 88; Brande.
    —Perpetual curacy. The office of & curate in a parish where there is no spiritual rector or vicar, but where a clerk (curate) is appointed to officiate there hr the impropriator. 2 Burn, Ecc. Law, 55. The church or benefice filled by a curate under these circumstances is also so called.