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CURATE, eccl. law. One who represents the incumbent of a church, person, or20 vicar, and takes care of the church, and performs divine service in his stead.

References in classic literature ?
On arriving at the Rue des Prouvaires, the curate pointed toward the square before the church.
In the meantime they were advancing toward the square, and the moment the coadjutor and the curate put their feet on the first church step the mendicant arose and proffered his brush.
They did so, and the curate questioned the peasant at great length as to how he had found Don Quixote.
At his right hand was placed the superior of the Jesuits, and on his left the curate of Montdidier.
Monsieur the Principal of Amiens, Monsieur the Curate of Montdidier, and I are arguing certain theological questions in which we have been much interested; I shall be delighted to have your opinion.
Well, I hear the curate is always prowling about the house.
Uncle William used to tell Philip that when he was a curate his wife had known twelve songs by heart, which she could sing at a moment's notice whenever she was asked.
Casaubon had not been without foresight on this head, the curate being able to answer all Dorothea's questions about the villagers and the other parishioners.
I was well pleased to observe that the new curate resembled him, as far as I could see, in none of these particulars.
Monsieur," said the curate, "I have lost no time in coming in person to thank you for the magnificent gift with which you have adorned my poor church.
God will reward those who honor him," said Monsieur Gaudron, preparing, with the curate, to take leave.
When the curate saw it he stood still with surprise.