Well, at one time, there were women deacons. Not saying there should be more than that, but I think it may have been included in the duties of the woman deacon to carry a candle sometimes.
If St. Paul could accept it in his time, and his letters say that he did, why not people today?
Deaconesses were widows or nuns, right? And people got baptized naked also, too. There was a need to have a deaconess assist in the baptism of other women, as well as assist the women who were sick.
Okay. But they were there. Doing something, which was simple and helpful. The Church did not die out because of them.
I don't know how much is known about the duties of deaconesses in St Paul's day. And while we know some things about the role of deaconesses in later centuries (such as those things Hecma brought up), I don't know if we can conclusively say that was it. I lean in that direction, but the idea of a deaconess holding a candle doesn't bother me.
What does bother me is the implication that if deaconesses could assist in women's baptisms and other women's ministries, holding a candle or reading the epistle is no big deal. Each of the major and minor orders has a distinct ministry within the Church, whether or not that's exclusively liturgical. Ideally, you don't perform a ministry for which you weren't called and set apart, because you don't have the grace to do so.
A deacon is only ordained as such after being ordained to the orders of reader and subdeacon; even if he properly exercises only one role, he has the grace of the other roles, so he could perform their functions if necessary. Is a deaconess only ordained after being ordained as reader and subdeacon? If so, then I have no problem with it. But if she's not ordained for those tasks before her ordination as deaconess (and I've never even once heard that they received minor orders), I think it's a stretch to say that she can perform such tasks by virtue of being a deaconess.
Among my friends are at least two female readers in the Armenian Church, and know of at least one woman in the GOA who is an ordained chanter (I saw her walk into Vespers with a rasson and high heels, it was quite a sight!). So I'm not against women performing those tasks, but I don't like the idea of allowing people who are not set apart for certain tasks to do those things anyway. And actually I think it's patronising to allow women to read the Epistle at Liturgy or perform other similar functions but not ordain them to that ministry because only men can be ordained to those. Have the guts to limit those functions to ordained men, or have the guts to tonsure women.