Bajoran Religious Order
The Bajoran Religious Order is the official name for those who have been ordained for their life's work to be in study of and service for The Prophets.
The head of the Bajoran Religious Order is known as the Kai. The current Kai of Bajor is Lishan Noryl.
Hierarchy of Orders
A hierarchy divides the Bajoran Religious Order into four major groups with each representing a different level, or rank, for the various clerics of the Bajoran faith.
Fellowship of Acolytes
Those pursuing formal religious studies often begin their work in the temples and shrines of Bajor as an acolyte. They are not formally part of the religious order, but they are regarded as a "preparatory member". In this role, they are tasked with performing many of the ceremonial duties of these places of worship, and they also assist fully appointed clergy in their duties. Any student pursuing scholarly religious studies is marked as an acolyte of the Bajoran faith, acknowledging his or her wish to attain admittance into the clergyhood. It is typical for an acolyte, in addition to his or her studies, to participate in the processional and recessional at various ceremonies, presenting various religious symbols and artifacts. They also light candles and maintain watch over religious sanctuaries.
Their vestment is most commonly a simple robe of dark green, and they typically only wear this garment when participating in a religious service or ceremony.
Order of Prylar
The most common religious rank within the Bajoran Religious Order is Prylar. A Prylar has completed formal studies of the Prophets and is dually authorized by the Vedek Assembly to perform various religious ceremonies, including marriages and funerals. They conduct standard religious services and may be assigned as the custodian of a small religious temple on or off Bajor. For instance, a Prylar has often been appointed as the caretaker of the temple aboard Deep Space 9. They are also the monks of the Bajoran faith, and many may live and work at various monasteries throughout Bajor.
The vestment of a prylar is often a red robe. It may contain religious symbols or markings, and it may be form-fitting or large and flowing. Prylars generally wear their vestment at any time they are in public or in a religious sanctuary.
Connection of Ranjen
Those members of the ordained clergy receiving certain appointments may be elevated to the rank of Ranjen. A Ranjen is considered to be a 'higher order religious offical', though they are not considered to be the leaders of the Bajoran faith like the Vedeks. It is common for a Prylar receiving an appointment to the Kai's staff to be elevated to the Connection of Ranjen. Others who are elevated to this rank are specialists who serve as advisors to various members of the Vedek Assembly, those who have special positions within the Religious Order, and those who are considered specialists on certain topics of great interest.
The vestment for the Ranjen is a dark blue. It is typically form-fitting and is hemmed and trimmed in a lighter shade of the color used for the majority of the robe. Ranjen generally wear their robes at all times.
Council of Vedeks
The Council of Vedeks, which is the name of this particular communion of clergy of the Bajoran Religious Order, consists of the religious leaders of the Bajoran faith, the Vedeks. It is not to be confused with the Vedek Assembly, the presiding order of the Bajoran religion. A Vedek may be appointed to preside over a specific area of Bajor, may serve in a religious office, or may be the caretaker of a large religious shrine, temple, or monastery. Vedeks, though strictly religious officials, have great political influence.
Members of the Council of Vedeks could be elected to membership in the Vedek Assembly, the governing body of the Bajoran faith.
The vestment for a Vedek is a purple, long and flowing though moderately form-fitting. It is generally trimmed in fabric of a moderately dark brown with large, open cuffs. The robe is designed to wrap around the wearer's body and is connected with a band cincture of varying colors, though many choose to match the cincture with the trim color. Others choose special band cinctures to represent special religious days or initiatives. Vedeks generally wear their vestment at all times.
Kai of Bajor
Technically part of the Council of Vedeks, the Kai is the head of the Vedek Assembly and considered the "Vedek of Bajor". He or she is the spiritual leader of all Bajorans. The Kai is elected by peers in the Vedek Assembly to the position, and he or she is appointed for a life term.
The vestment of the Kai is a robe similar in design to that of a Vedek, though its colors are entirely different. The Kai's robe is made of a yellow fabric, similar to dijon mustard in color, that has threaded within it symbols of the Bajoran faith in a brown color. A slightly off-white garment is worn underneath the robe, visible near the neck where the robe wraps around the wearer's body. The robe is held together with a band cinture of the same yellow color fastened with the symbol of the Bajor faith, and the Kai also wears a mitre.