Author Topic: Deacons in the Armenian Church  (Read 4109 times)

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Offline Orthodox11

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Deacons in the Armenian Church
« on: January 17, 2009, 11:24:10 AM »
Salpy, would you be able to explain the different vestments worn by the deacons and lower orders?

Are the vestments of sub-deacons and readers generally the same as deacons, but with the orarion placed differently? Or is the deacon the only one to wear an orarion? Are the altar-servants holding the candles and fans ordained/tonsured for that role (if yes, what as?) or are they unordained?

Thanks

Offline Salpy

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Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2009, 12:24:48 PM »
I think only full deacons wear the orarion ("oorar" in Armenian.)  It goes over the left shoulder.  Otherwise, full deacons and sub-deacons wear the same kind of robe.  I know there are some things that only full deacons can do, that sub-deacons can't, but I'm not too sure of exactly what.  I know that only full deacons can carry the chalice during the great entrance.  I'm not sure about the fans.  I know I've seen sub-deacons with the incense.  Also, sub-deacons will hold the candles as the Gospel is read.  I think only a full deacon reads the Gospel.  I'm not really sure of everything though.  There is a sort of ordination for the sub-deacons that is different from the full deacons.  They get their hair cut.  A little broom is also put into their hands, as one of their jobs in the old days was to sweep the church.

Offline Orthodox11

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Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2009, 02:13:16 PM »
Also, sub-deacons will hold the candles as the Gospel is read.

I'm assuming the young boys that often hold the candles during the Liturgy aren't sub-deacons (for which one should be at least 20 years of age). Are these unordained, or are they tonsured as Singers, Readers, or Tape-bearers? The office of Tape-bearer is no longer in use in the Roman/Eastern Orthodox Church (it has been incorporated into the prayers for the ordination of a Reader, which is why most altar-servants are tonsured as Readers), nor is it found among the Copts afaik, so I was wondering whether the Armenian Church had retained or abandoned this office.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 02:16:26 PM by Orthodox11 »

Offline Salpy

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Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2009, 02:36:24 PM »
http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/stepanos.html

The articles on the above page could probably tell you more than I can.  I think what you are talking about are acolytes, but I'm not sure.  I really don't know the difference.  The website above belongs to Ghazar, who used to post here, and who I think is a sub-deacon.  Maybe you can e-mail him and ask him.  I'll try to get a hold of him to see if I can get more information. 

Offline Salpy

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2009, 02:40:28 PM »
This topic was split off from the Oriental Orthodox Music thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,9840.msg284843.html#msg284843

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 04:55:17 PM »
http://www.geocities.com/derghazar/stepanos.html

Exactly what I was looking for, thank you!  ;D

If I understood the article on the minor orders correctly, a person is ordained to all the four minor orders (Doorkeeper, Reader, Exorcist, and Tape-bearer) at once, whereupon you become an Acolyte (Arpanyag) or Clerk (Tubeer). This is similar to the current Byzantine practice of combining the orders of Reader and Tape-bearer, although Exorcist and Doorkeeper are separate (unused) orders in Byzantine usage.

There is also a similarity with the Coptic tradition in that a Tubeer may perform certain duties of the Deacon, such as reading the Gospel, in his absence. In the Byzantine Church, these duties of the Deacon would be performed by a Priest.

As for vestments, both Deacons and Subdeacons wear the orarion. "In the Byzantine Church subdeacons arrange their stoles very differently than that of full deacons.  In the Armenian Church there is very little (if any) difference in the vestments of a subdeacon and a full deacon." This is because the Armenian Church, like the Latin, but unlike the other Eastern Churches, views the Subdeaconate as one of the major orders of the clergy, although his responsibilities are pretty much the same as those of Byzantine subdeacons (except that he may read the Holy Gospel).
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 04:56:56 PM by Orthodox11 »

Offline Ghazar

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2009, 06:44:59 PM »
Dear Brethren in Christ,

Our sister Salpy dug me up from the depths to try and answer some questions.  She is correct that I am a sub-deacon in the Armenian Orthodox Church of the Eastern Diocese.  Sub-Deacons are ordained by the Bishop and wear orarions just as full Deacons do.  In fact we do everything a full deacon does in our Church except to solemnly bring the gifts in during the great entrance.  The diaconate in our Church has developed to be viewed as two tiered.  The first level of the diaconate is that of sub-deacons and the second is that of full deacon.  Both are called "deacon" by clergy and pius laity alike.  Most everything that Orthodox11 wrote sounds correct, except that referring to our duties as I just explained.  I can only add that the liturgical duties of a deacon are quite extensive compared to that of Roman (Byzantine) Deacons (not to mention that of Latin Church Deacons).  Yet sadly, our pastoral duties are much less compared to them.  This is now under reform.

I hope this was helpful.  Let me know if there is anything else I can be of help with.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 06:47:50 PM by Ghazar »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2009, 10:35:01 PM »
A small correction: The term should be Taper-bearer, not Tape-bearer. They carry candles, not ribbons or sticky tape.   :police::laugh:
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Offline Ian Lazarus

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2009, 08:30:15 AM »
Tape Bearer?  Man, I gotta see an Armenian Liturgy!  I would think that the job would be given to an older boy, one who will not make a spider web of the alter area or get the alter vesels permanently glued in place.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2009, 09:15:51 AM »
Tape Bearer?  Man, I gotta see an Armenian Liturgy!  I would think that the job would be given to an older boy, one who will not make a spider web of the alter area or get the alter vesels permanently glued in place.

Hang on, why not let the little squirts have a shot? Ooooh, that'd be fun to watch!  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
« Last Edit: January 18, 2009, 09:16:14 AM by LBK »
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2009, 10:58:52 AM »
A small correction: The term should be Taper-bearer, not Tape-bearer. They carry candles, not ribbons or sticky tape.   :police::laugh:

 :-[ right you are. I'll have to double check next time I hear a new term without seeing it written down :police:

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2009, 05:43:01 PM »
I have actually seen someone ordained to be a taper-bearer in the Byzantine Rite, about a month ago actually. I was surprised because I had never seen it done before. His job in the church though has been to light candles for a long time, so it made sense to give him the blessing to cover his job. I think this is good.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2009, 06:07:02 PM »
I have actually seen someone ordained to be a taper-bearer in the Byzantine Rite, about a month ago actually.

Bless Father,

Does the original rite of ordination for tapeR-bearer still exist, or was it a more modern composition? Do you have access to the prayers used at the ordination?

Also, pretty much every EO Church I have attended has had churchwardens doing things like opening/closing the doors, selling candles, passing round the collection plates, etc. They seem to be fulfilling the traditional role of the Doorkeepers, so why is this minor order no longer in use?

Offline Anastasios

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Re: Deacons in the Armenian Church
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2009, 07:04:19 PM »
God bless you.

The bishop pulled out the standard Greek Great Evchologion (Book of Needs) so I assume it is an office in existence that is just not used much. I don't have access to this book though so can someone confirm?
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