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Question: Does your parish have a deacon?
Yes - 29 (55.8%)
No - 23 (44.2%)
Total Voters: 52

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Author Topic: Does your parish have a deacon or deacons  (Read 3080 times) Average Rating: 0
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scamandrius
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« on: April 05, 2008, 10:31:10 PM »

Hey, everyone,

Our parish's deacon is more or less retired and is only around until he heals from recent surgery and then he's going out to live near his family in another state.  I believe that his lack of presence behind the altar puts a lot more pressure on our priest to get things done.  I've asked why the deanery can't simply assign us another one and our priest tells us that there is a big shortage of deacons.  So, how many parishes here have a deacon or deacons serving their parish?  Just curious.  I'd also like to see if the numbers are similar to the various jurisdictions.
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 10:41:25 PM »

Our parish does not have a deacon, but the one nearby in Ash Grove has one.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2008, 10:49:26 PM »

Yup, the parish I attend has a Deacon.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2008, 11:21:23 PM »

I voted yes, but there should be an option for "sometimes." There's a deacon who lives about an hour and a half away from our parish and (I think) splits his Sundays between us and somewhere else, so he comes every other week or every three weeks.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2008, 11:47:09 PM »

At seminary right now we have around a dozen deacons.  The problem is, pretty soon they're all gona be priests.  However there are several "permanent deacon" programs out there.  So the options are apleanty. 
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2008, 12:03:52 AM »

Here is the run-down on the Antiochian bay area churchs:

My parish, St. Stephen's, has two deacons and one sub-deacon. We are a small parish of 90 families (non-Arab for the most part).

Church of the Redeemer has no deacons or sub-deacons. They have 200 families. It is an ethnic Arab church.

St. John in Orinda has two deacons. For the longest time they didn't have any but after Fr. Kevin Scherer was with them for a few years he mentored a couple of the men into the diaconate. They have 100 or so families (ethnic Arab). Both deacons are of Arab heritage.

I believe St. Nicholas in SF (very ethnic Arab with between 250-300 families) does not have any deacons but lately there seem to be quite a few men in our diocese being drafted into the diaconate. I don't know if it is happening because Bishop Joseph is encouraging it or if it is happening for some other reason.
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2008, 12:08:23 AM »

I voted yes, but there should be an option for "sometimes." There's a deacon who lives about an hour and a half away from our parish and (I think) splits his Sundays between us and somewhere else, so he comes every other week or every three weeks.

Wynd,

I didn't put this option simply because I'm interested in seeing how many parishes actually have deacons full time.  OUr deacon is full time but because of his health, can't always make it. 
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2008, 12:13:32 AM »

There are three decons at my parish.
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2008, 12:24:23 AM »

We have one Deacon who was ordained last December. He is the first clergy to come from our parish in the 90+ years it has existed. Our priest is quite delighted to have the help.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2008, 06:32:56 AM »

The only place i've seen a deacon was were the metropolitan or bishop are officiating at a hierarchal liturgy at the serbian church.....or in a monastery  if the bishop resides there......stanislav
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2008, 04:02:43 PM »

We used to have 2 deacons, but one has moved away.  Our other deacon is preparing to move out of state.  So, we currently have one deacon.
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2008, 04:03:49 PM »

We do have a deacon.  I live in Billings, MT and he grew up in Wyoming, and wanted to live closeby so he can visit family.  He is a college professor (he teaches Business), and teaches at Montana State University, Billings campus.  He moved from a church in Canton, Ohio.  I know Fr. loves having a deacon, so that he's not having to do the entire service himself.  Our deacon also teaches the adult Church school class.
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2008, 04:14:12 PM »

Our church has 250+ families, and no deacon. Usually only 1-2 altar boys each Sunday, as well. We do have one elderly gentleman (90+) who has been in the altar for many years helping the priest, so he does a lot of the smaller things a deacon would do. When Holy Week rolls around, though, and the priest has to go through 15 or so services that week with almost no help, you can see him starting to drag by midnight Saturday. Aside from my chanting and a few other readers, there's not much else.
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2008, 08:33:18 PM »

We have a wonderful Hierodeacon, who provides awesome contribution to our parish. It is well deserved if his ordination to the priesthood will come soon. Also, we have a Subdeacon and a Reader, who are also really great guys and successfully strive to make a positive impact. They both study at the seminaries, both married, so hopefully, their ordinations may be excepted soon.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2008, 09:04:51 PM »

We have two - I'm not sure how many "families" (I always hate using this number, as how do we define a family - single me is a "family"?), but around 150 for an average Sunday attendance w/ more like 300+ on Pascha.

What I have heard is that the GOA generally looks at deacons as a stepping stone to the priesthood, which would discourage potential career deacon candidates IMO.  I have no source for my hearsay.
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2008, 09:18:28 PM »

What I have heard is that the GOA generally looks at deacons as a stepping stone to the priesthood, which would discourage potential career deacon candidates IMO.  I have no source for my hearsay.

That would, however, line up with both the Latin and Anglican traditions, which have long relegated the diaconate as a marker on the road to the priesthood.  It seems to have only been in the past few years that they've set about reviving a vocational diaconate in earnest.  I know the OCA also has a similar program in place, but it seems as if there's still a mindset in general that views deacons as just being priests-in-training.
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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2008, 02:38:04 AM »

That would, however, line up with both the Latin and Anglican traditions, which have long relegated the diaconate as a marker on the road to the priesthood.  It seems to have only been in the past few years that they've set about reviving a vocational diaconate in earnest.  I know the OCA also has a similar program in place, but it seems as if there's still a mindset in general that views deacons as just being priests-in-training.

One of our deacons moved a few years ago with his family to the cheaper pastures of the Sacramento foothills and now attend a GOA parish (the closest one).  (Yes, he has been canonically transferred for a couple of years now.)  I'm wondering if people are whispering in his ear to become a priest.  I know nothing though of how things are going, as I rarely see him.
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2008, 03:15:49 AM »

What I have heard is that the GOA generally looks at deacons as a stepping stone to the priesthood, which would discourage potential career deacon candidates IMO.  I have no source for my hearsay.

In the West, at least, there is a Metropolis level program for training people to be non-transitional deacons.  One of the parishes here has one, and there is perpetual talk of some of the other parishes in town having people ordained to be deacons.  Thinking about it, the GOA is the only jurisdiction in town to have deacons who are not on their way to becoming priests. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2008, 12:39:10 AM »

I've yet to set foot in a Greek Orthodox church that had a Deacon who wasn't on his way to becoming a priest.

As one G.O. priest explained, the Greek Orthodox Church does not ordain Deacons (who aren't on their way to becoming priests) because they would view that Deacon as just another man who ought to be a priest, but isn't.

I can't say whether that's true. If it is, then it's a pity.
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2008, 08:00:37 AM »

I agree, Eugenio. I do see many GOA parishes with two priests (not 'cathedrals' either) instead of priest - deacon. And I see similar in ACROD of late with Met. Nicholas quickly making new priests from his deaconate (but also new deacons as well.)
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2011, 10:55:37 PM »

My parish that I historically went to ,and that I am a member of ,yes. The parish I go to now, no. I heard and saw that there was a shortage of deacons. The diaconal ministry is critical. I have felt a general calling to the diaconate, and this has confirmed it.
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2011, 11:08:33 PM »

My present parish has two deacons. I've never asked if they intend to be priests, my guess would be one would while the other would not.

My last parish had a deacon for short little while, although he never came down after the services and he eventually just stopped coming, when I asked someone on Parish council what happened to him he had no idea.
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2011, 11:13:21 PM »

At the Antiochian parish I attended there was usually a deacon. For many years my wife's (adoptive) god parent served as deacon, and after he left another deacon came eventually. Neither man struck me as being on their way to the priesthood, but rather both seemed like middle-aged men who were content in their role. The parish usually had about 125-175 parishioners per week, 90%+ of whom commune.
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« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2011, 11:57:39 PM »

We have one deacon in our parish. We sent him off to seminary many years ago, and he returned home after graduation and ordination to serve our parish as a deacon. It doesn't appear to me that he has any plans of pursuing the priesthood any time soon. 40 years old with a wife and three young children.
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2011, 01:07:13 AM »

We are a mission parish (about 4 years old) and as of yet, we do not have a deacon.  I am so used to not having one, when we do have one it'll be kind of weird.   Wink
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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2011, 04:04:02 AM »

Our church has 250+ families, and no deacon. Usually only 1-2 altar boys each Sunday, as well. We do have one elderly gentleman (90+) who has been in the altar for many years helping the priest, so he does a lot of the smaller things a deacon would do. When Holy Week rolls around, though, and the priest has to go through 15 or so services that week with almost no help, you can see him starting to drag by midnight Saturday. Aside from my chanting and a few other readers, there's not much else.

Define "so he does a lot of the smaller things a deacon would do."
You must be an ordained subdeacon to;
touch the holy vessels and utensils
touch the altar
intone litanies (usually in the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and the Antiochians only)
Cense the church (Antiochians only I believe)

Enter through the Royal doors at the specified times a subdeaon can...
Enter the Royal Doors at the specified times
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2011, 04:08:12 AM »

continued... so what can he do that a deacon usually does.... the man in your parish that isn't clergy.
I described some of the roles of the ordained, yes ordained subdeacon.  Tonsured Readers who are blessed to wear the orarion can not perform the functions I just wrote out below.
So the ability to perform more tasks on the altar and in the church increases with each step of the priest hood. 
Deacons can of course do a lot more than a subdeacon... and yes the Carpatho-Russians allow subdeacons to distribute Holy Communion, I forgot that task in the above post.
Deacons do things subdeacons can't.
Readers read specified parts of the liturgy/intone/chant/cantor.
So if the man at your church that does things a deacon can do, what can those things be because to even be able to be close to doing some of the tasks a deacon can do a man must be an ordained subdeacon.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2011, 12:36:26 PM »

My parish has none, but another parish in my town (in my same jurisdiction) has three, and another has one or two. One would think the bishop would even things out, because my priest has a hard time doing it all himself. But at least sometimes they share deacons with us for Liturgy.
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2011, 12:43:42 PM »

The Mission I attend has none (the Parish the Mission is under has 3 Deacons) and my homeparish has one Deacon.
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2011, 02:00:06 AM »

Is there anyplace (or any parish) where deacons assume responsibilities beyond those that are liturgical?

Do any do counseling? Or distribute presanctified gifts to the sick? How common is it for deacons to do things like this?
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2011, 03:25:28 AM »

Our parish currently has a deacon, and this is a first in the 100+ year history of the parish. It is unclear as to whether or not he will eventually become a priest. A local OCA parish has a deacon, who has never intended to be ordained to any position higher than deacon. Although he enjoys serving at the altar, he does not desire to be a full time priest.
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2011, 05:07:37 AM »

Home parish of around 3000 people and no deacon. There has never been a deacon there. Only the cathedral and a few larger monasteries have them.
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2011, 08:08:06 AM »

We have one, but most GOA parishes I've visited don't have one.
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2011, 09:36:31 AM »

My parish is the cathedral of the (Greek) archdiocese and we also do not have one.

I like the way the deacon sorta links the nave and the sanctuary during the liturgy.
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2011, 09:54:46 AM »

I like that too, Akimori!
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