Moderated Forums => Oriental Orthodox Discussion => Topic started by: Apu on July 11, 2013, 04:51:52 AM

Title: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: Apu on July 11, 2013, 04:51:52 AM
On Sunday afternoon, June 9, 2013, the Chicago chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society presented a program on a segment of Armenian Church history at the Armenian All Saints Church and Community Center’s Shahnazarian Hall in Glenview, Ill. After welcoming words by the chapter’s chairman, Haroutiun Mikaelian, Ani Vartanian introduced the participants in the program, followed by the presentation of crosses from the Eastern Prelacy to the female members of the choir who had served the church in that capacity for 25 years. Lusine Torian recited the poem “The Armenian Church” by Vahan Tekeyan, followed by Lousin K. Tokmakjian’s piano rendition of “Nor Dzaghig,” a sharagan (or psalm). Following the day’s event, refreshments were served.

Armenian nun-deacons, New Julfa (Fr. A. Oghlukian photo)

The speaker of the day, Knarik O. Meneshian, presented a lecture and slideshow titled “The Armenian Deaconess and Her Forgotten Role in the Armenian Apostolic Church.” After Meneshian thanked the Chicago Chapter of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society for inviting her to present her lecture, and greeted the guests, she began her talk with the following introductory remarks:


(Article shortened to comply with forum rules against quoting entire news articles.   :)  Salpy)


Can anybody explain this?
Title: Re: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: geovar on July 11, 2013, 06:09:48 AM
 What is there to explain ? . Deaconess has been a part of the Church to help in the Church . It is a tradition that has faded, but the wrong is to equate it to female Ordination as priest.

Thank You and in prayer.
Title: Re: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: Salpy on July 11, 2013, 10:34:50 AM
Ordaining nuns as deaconesses is something the Armenian Church has been doing since time immemorial.  This picture, which was in the article, is probably the best known picture of an Armenian nun/deaconess:


I think the picture was taken in the late 1800's.
Title: Re: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: Mor Ephrem on July 11, 2013, 10:47:46 AM
A few years ago, I recall seeing photos from the Armenian parish in Kolkata.  The Indian Orthodox Metropolitan of that city visited the church and attended the Badarak.  There was at least one deaconess, and I thought she censed at one point.  I cheered.  I'm not as certain about the bishop.  ;)
Title: Re: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: Apu on July 11, 2013, 12:31:42 PM
I am sorry , I was in a hurry and didnot give the specifics.
I will try and list out these questions.
1.Can anybody give me the history of this ?
2.Is it there in the Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean churches ?I have heard that it was as a non Sacramental position of deaconesses in my own church Syriac Orthodox church.The head of the convent , a sister can enter the sanctuary and give the Holy elements to faithful provided they are females or children.There was an instance in India , when the Syriac Orthodox Antiochean delegate St Osthathios Sleebo gave this position to 5 women.
3.Also I have heard that there is an extinct position called " Kashishto" in the Syriac Orthodox church ( literally female gender of Kashisho (ordained priest who celebrates the Holy Mysteries)Can anybody give me more information on this?
4.Is this position still there in any of the OO churches ?
5.What are their functions ? Is it  Sacramental or not?

Apu Jose
Title: Re: Oriental Orthodox and ordination of women.
Post by: Salpy on July 11, 2013, 12:43:35 PM
With regard to the Armenian Church, the article you linked pretty much gives a very detailed history of the practice.

My understanding is that for the most part deaconesses existed to make it possible for a convent to function with as few men as possible having to visit.  There have been times historically, though, when nun deaconesses functioned in parish churches or cathedrals.  I don't know what the reasoning was behind that, but I don't think that was historically the norm.  There are a few Armenian nun deaconesses in existence today, and I think they do participate in liturgies in regular churches.  Again, I am not sure of the reasoning behind it, except that there is probably less of a taboo now surrounding women functioning in that role.  Also, there were times during the twentieth century when I think there was a shortage of male deacons in certain areas. 

This is the sort of thing vasnTearn would know more about.   :)