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Author Topic: Female Sub-Deacons and Readers  (Read 25973 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #270 on: December 16, 2013, 11:08:20 AM »

i would probably find it distracting, esp. if they had some cute subdeacons/readers... Kiss

I'm sure there have been plenty of handsome priests over the centuries who were quite capable of distracting the ladies ....  Roll Eyes

Not if they were appropriately veiled! Smiley

good call...i might be able to focus in that case...that is if i didn't think most women are more attractive in veils... :doh:

I have found that the Slavic tradition deals with this nicely.  Women should always attend services with less fabric committed to their skirts than to their veils.

Really?  My bishop has said that in one parish he visits, some of the Russian women are wearing very short skirts and very revealing tops (but, of course, are wearing a scarf on their head).  He said he would much rather that they skip the head covering and cover the rest of themselves.

Can they still commune though?  A hieromonk I know will not give communion until some of the more revealing ladies cover themselves, even if it means going to the end of the line.   Uncovered heads not as big a deal as uncovered cleavage.

I've observed that what might constitute 'very short skirts and very revealing tops' to a monk , might (I mean might as I am not generalizing) not merit the slightest notice from the rest of us.
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« Reply #271 on: December 16, 2013, 11:27:27 AM »

i would probably find it distracting, esp. if they had some cute subdeacons/readers... Kiss

I'm sure there have been plenty of handsome priests over the centuries who were quite capable of distracting the ladies ....  Roll Eyes

Not if they were appropriately veiled! Smiley

good call...i might be able to focus in that case...that is if i didn't think most women are more attractive in veils... :doh:

I have found that the Slavic tradition deals with this nicely.  Women should always attend services with less fabric committed to their skirts than to their veils.

Really?  My bishop has said that in one parish he visits, some of the Russian women are wearing very short skirts and very revealing tops (but, of course, are wearing a scarf on their head).  He said he would much rather that they skip the head covering and cover the rest of themselves.

Can they still commune though?  A hieromonk I know will not give communion until some of the more revealing ladies cover themselves, even if it means going to the end of the line.   Uncovered heads not as big a deal as uncovered cleavage.

I've observed that what might constitute 'very short skirts and very revealing tops' to a monk , might (I mean might as I am not generalizing) not merit the slightest notice from the rest of us.


True.  What you may think is revealing and what I think is revealing are probably very different.
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« Reply #272 on: December 19, 2013, 02:22:39 AM »

having a non tonsured reader read while there is a tonsured reader present is wrong. So does that mean susie can start chanting the litany of peace or can john sing the dismissal blessing too?
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« Reply #273 on: December 19, 2013, 02:29:28 AM »

having a non tonsured reader read while there is a tonsured reader present is wrong. So does that mean susie can start chanting the litany of peace or can john sing the dismissal blessing too?

I agree with what you're trying to say, but this assumes that there are tonsured readers there in the first place. Many (most?) parishes have readers who have served for years or decades, yet have never been tonsured.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 02:30:21 AM by LBK » Logged
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« Reply #274 on: December 19, 2013, 11:12:41 AM »

having a non tonsured reader read while there is a tonsured reader present is wrong. So does that mean susie can start chanting the litany of peace or can john sing the dismissal blessing too?

I agree with what you're trying to say, but this assumes that there are tonsured readers there in the first place. Many (most?) parishes have readers who have served for years or decades, yet have never been tonsured.

All my altar servers and readers have been tonsured. When a boy is old enough for him to serve in the Altar, I have him tonsured a candle bearer the next time the Bishop comes to visit the parish.  Obviously only males are tonsured. However, I do allow non tonsured men and women to read the Epistle as it allowed in our Archdiocese.

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« Reply #275 on: December 19, 2013, 11:33:58 AM »

having a non tonsured reader read while there is a tonsured reader present is wrong. So does that mean susie can start chanting the litany of peace or can john sing the dismissal blessing too?

I agree with what you're trying to say, but this assumes that there are tonsured readers there in the first place. Many (most?) parishes have readers who have served for years or decades, yet have never been tonsured.

All my altar servers and readers have been tonsured. When a boy is old enough for him to serve in the Altar, I have him tonsured a candle bearer the next time the Bishop comes to visit the parish.  Obviously only males are tonsured. However, I do allow non tonsured men and women to read the Epistle as it allowed in our Archdiocese.

Fr. John W. Morris

This also occurs with us (male and female epistle readers).  The men go into the altar to kiss the epistle and the priests hand during the trisagion while women do this outside the royal doors.  
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« Reply #276 on: December 19, 2013, 11:44:47 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQh7Ar8WreQ
another one female reader. wonder if tonsured

She did it beautifully. I would imagine that her mother and father would be proud of her.

I have been thinking of the various ministries of the Church that our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can do. It is clear that the priestly functions are reserved to men. However, I believe that any other ministry can be done by women, starting with the office of deacon. Yes, I am aware that in many churches that office is just a temporary step toward priesthood, but it does not have to be so. In addition, I am also aware of a very real fear than many Orthodox have of any change, particularly in the role of women, both sacramental and service-related. Thus, I think that the introduction of female deacons, readers, etc. should be a gradual process, lest we alarm those who fear an outcome that is akin to what has happened among the heterodox, such as the Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans and others. (I do not think that females should be sub-deacons as the latter's function is to assist the bishop).

I base my argument on orthopraxis. It is undeniably true that we did have deaconesses at one time and that in some (perhaps many) churches today females serve in the choir, chant and even read from the Holy Bible. The latter practice I have only experienced during Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy and when the Prologue of Saint John is proclaimed in many languages during the Paschal Divine Liturgy. It seems to me that these two "exceptions" to the rule show that the principle behind their practice is sound.
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« Reply #277 on: December 19, 2013, 11:54:32 AM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQh7Ar8WreQ
another one female reader. wonder if tonsured

She did it beautifully. I would imagine that her mother and father would be proud of her.

I have been thinking of the various ministries of the Church that our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can do. It is clear that the priestly functions are reserved to men. However, I believe that any other ministry can be done by women, starting with the office of deacon. Yes, I am aware that in many churches that office is just a temporary step toward priesthood, but it does not have to be so. In addition, I am also aware of a very real fear than many Orthodox have of any change, particularly in the role of women, both sacramental and service-related. Thus, I think that the introduction of female deacons, readers, etc. should be a gradual process, lest we alarm those who fear an outcome that is akin to what has happened among the heterodox, such as the Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans and others. (I do not think that females should be sub-deacons as the latter's function is to assist the bishop).

I base my argument on orthopraxis. It is undeniably true that we did have deaconesses at one time and that in some (perhaps many) churches today females serve in the choir, chant and even read from the Holy Bible. The latter practice I have only experienced during Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy and when the Prologue of Saint John is proclaimed in many languages during the Paschal Divine Liturgy. It seems to me that these two "exceptions" to the rule show that the principle behind their practice is sound.


Actually the Church has never officially abolished the office of Deaconess. I believe that there are Deaconesses in some women's monasteries in Greece. However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women. They also had to be celibate and over 40.
However, in a larger parish that can afford it, having a Deaconess to visit the sick, counsel, teach and help in pastorial duties would certainly be a good idea.
I felt the need to give the girls something to do so that they will not feel left out when their brothers became Altar Boys. I put the girls in charge of ringing the bells.

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« Reply #278 on: December 19, 2013, 12:22:20 PM »

I'm celibate and I'm 40. Yay!  laugh

I'm not actually thinking of becoming a deacon, even if I could. However, I do sometimes wonder what happened to the office, since the Church did allow women deacons in the past.

Quote from: frjohnmorris
Actually the Church has never officially abolished the office of Deaconess. I believe that there are Deaconesses in some women's monasteries in Greece. However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women. They also had to be celibate and over 40.
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« Reply #279 on: December 19, 2013, 01:03:00 PM »

All my altar servers and readers have been tonsured. When a boy is old enough for him to serve in the Altar, I have him tonsured a candle bearer the next time the Bishop comes to visit the parish. 

No one here has ever heard of tonsuring altar servers.

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.
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« Reply #280 on: December 19, 2013, 01:46:03 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 
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« Reply #281 on: December 19, 2013, 02:09:22 PM »

All my altar servers and readers have been tonsured. When a boy is old enough for him to serve in the Altar, I have him tonsured a candle bearer the next time the Bishop comes to visit the parish. 

No one here has ever heard of tonsuring altar servers.

The Greeks in America do it too, tonsuring altar servers as readers. I don't particularly care for it, since many of them are not very good at reading.
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« Reply #282 on: December 19, 2013, 02:34:34 PM »

I'm celibate and I'm 40. Yay!  laugh

I'm not actually thinking of becoming a deacon, even if I could. However, I do sometimes wonder what happened to the office, since the Church did allow women deacons in the past.


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« Reply #283 on: December 19, 2013, 02:45:26 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQh7Ar8WreQ
another one female reader. wonder if tonsured

She did it beautifully. I would imagine that her mother and father would be proud of her.

I have been thinking of the various ministries of the Church that our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can do. It is clear that the priestly functions are reserved to men. However, I believe that any other ministry can be done by women, starting with the office of deacon. Yes, I am aware that in many churches that office is just a temporary step toward priesthood, but it does not have to be so. In addition, I am also aware of a very real fear than many Orthodox have of any change, particularly in the role of women, both sacramental and service-related. Thus, I think that the introduction of female deacons, readers, etc. should be a gradual process, lest we alarm those who fear an outcome that is akin to what has happened among the heterodox, such as the Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans and others. (I do not think that females should be sub-deacons as the latter's function is to assist the bishop).

I base my argument on orthopraxis. It is undeniably true that we did have deaconesses at one time and that in some (perhaps many) churches today females serve in the choir, chant and even read from the Holy Bible. The latter practice I have only experienced during Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy and when the Prologue of Saint John is proclaimed in many languages during the Paschal Divine Liturgy. It seems to me that these two "exceptions" to the rule show that the principle behind their practice is sound.


Actually the Church has never officially abolished the office of Deaconess. I believe that there are Deaconesses in some women's monasteries in Greece. However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women. They also had to be celibate and over 40.

Fr. John W. Morris

True enough. On the other hand, I have a feeling that we are somehow restricting the liturgical functions to the clergy only. If I remember my Schmemann correctly, the laity also has a liturgical function--that is, most prayers are completed by the "amen" or assent of the laity. Besides, the very word "liturgy" denotes the worship actions of the entire laos and not only a small fraction of it. In any case:

- since the deacon typically represents the entire laos, "Let us...",
- the choir in response also represents the laos, "Lord have mercy," etc.,
- every Orthodox is part of the Royal Priesthood,
- and there is no difference between clergy and laity, men and women, or children and adults before the Holy Chalice

Therefore, the current arrangements are by and large amenable to change, as long as the change is done in good order and it does not scandalize the faithful.
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« Reply #284 on: December 19, 2013, 02:52:47 PM »

.... a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women. They also had to be celibate and over 40.

I agree that her function was quite different and for the most part as you describe it, Father.  In terms of simply looking at the diaconate itself as an order, however, from what I know of the question I would lean towards affirming that the diaconate is one.  By this I mean that there are not two separate orders of diaconal service, one for men and one for women, but rather one order of deacon in which its male and female members have differing functions.  (From what you wrote, I am not sure if you did or did not affirm this, I am simply saying that this is my opinion.)
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« Reply #285 on: December 19, 2013, 02:58:49 PM »

On the other hand, I have a feeling that we are somehow restricting the liturgical functions to the clergy only. If I remember my Schmemann correctly, the laity also has a liturgical function--that is, most prayers are completed by the "amen" or assent of the laity. Besides, the very word "liturgy" denotes the worship actions of the entire laos and not only a small fraction of it. In any case:

- since the deacon typically represents the entire laos, "Let us...",
- the choir in response also represents the laos, "Lord have mercy," etc.,
- every Orthodox is part of the Royal Priesthood,
- and there is no difference between clergy and laity, men and women, or children and adults before the Holy Chalice

Therefore, the current arrangements are by and large amenable to change, as long as the change is done in good order and it does not scandalize the faithful.

I'm not sure I understand your argument, Carl.  I agree more or less with your premises, but don't see how you got to your conclusion.  

For example, I think it's silly to talk about (re)instituting the female diaconate when, in large parts of the Orthodox world, choirs and chanters have usurped the liturgical role of the laity, rendering them a congregation of mute, "spiritual" participants.  For the average Orthodox, a liturgical function is something that requires you not to be one of those mute, "spiritual" worshipers, but to actually "do something".  If the people were taught how essential their liturgical role is precisely as laity, that they "concelebrate" with the clergy in offering and consuming the sacrifice on behalf of all creation, would there be as much talk about how liturgical roles are limited to clergy or men, how we need to involve more women and young people, etc.?  

There are things we can do here and now to improve and enhance popular participation in the Liturgy.  But if even that is an uphill struggle, why talk about bringing back a female diaconate and making it something it never was when it was more common?  This approach to problem-solving seems widespread among our Churches, even if it hasn't really accomplished much.      
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« Reply #286 on: December 19, 2013, 03:06:33 PM »

On the other hand, I have a feeling that we are somehow restricting the liturgical functions to the clergy only. If I remember my Schmemann correctly, the laity also has a liturgical function--that is, most prayers are completed by the "amen" or assent of the laity. Besides, the very word "liturgy" denotes the worship actions of the entire laos and not only a small fraction of it. In any case:

- since the deacon typically represents the entire laos, "Let us...",
- the choir in response also represents the laos, "Lord have mercy," etc.,
- every Orthodox is part of the Royal Priesthood,
- and there is no difference between clergy and laity, men and women, or children and adults before the Holy Chalice

Therefore, the current arrangements are by and large amenable to change, as long as the change is done in good order and it does not scandalize the faithful.

I'm not sure I understand your argument, Carl.  I agree more or less with your premises, but don't see how you got to your conclusion.  

For example, I think it's silly to talk about (re)instituting the female diaconate when, in large parts of the Orthodox world, choirs and chanters have usurped the liturgical role of the laity, rendering them a congregation of mute, "spiritual" participants.  For the average Orthodox, a liturgical function is something that requires you not to be one of those mute, "spiritual" worshipers, but to actually "do something".  If the people were taught how essential their liturgical role is precisely as laity, that they "concelebrate" with the clergy in offering and consuming the sacrifice on behalf of all creation, would there be as much talk about how liturgical roles are limited to clergy or men, how we need to involve more women and young people, etc.?  

There are things we can do here and now to improve and enhance popular participation in the Liturgy.  But if even that is an uphill struggle, why talk about bringing back a female diaconate and making it something it never was when it was more common?  This approach to problem-solving seems widespread among our Churches, even if it hasn't really accomplished much.      

As I said before, "Mor is right..."

I agree with you on the prerequisites for such a change. I was arguing the theoretical justification for involving women in the common work of the Church, not only in the various ministries that can be performed anywhere but also in those that are performed during our Divine Services. If we could agree on the basics, then perhaps we can figure out a road map to get there, all in good order of course--meaning led by our pastors and arch-pastors.
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« Reply #287 on: December 19, 2013, 03:15:12 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQh7Ar8WreQ
another one female reader. wonder if tonsured

She did it beautifully. I would imagine that her mother and father would be proud of her.

I have been thinking of the various ministries of the Church that our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can do. It is clear that the priestly functions are reserved to men. However, I believe that any other ministry can be done by women, starting with the office of deacon. Yes, I am aware that in many churches that office is just a temporary step toward priesthood, but it does not have to be so. In addition, I am also aware of a very real fear than many Orthodox have of any change, particularly in the role of women, both sacramental and service-related. Thus, I think that the introduction of female deacons, readers, etc. should be a gradual process, lest we alarm those who fear an outcome that is akin to what has happened among the heterodox, such as the Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans and others. (I do not think that females should be sub-deacons as the latter's function is to assist the bishop).

I base my argument on orthopraxis. It is undeniably true that we did have deaconesses at one time and that in some (perhaps many) churches today females serve in the choir, chant and even read from the Holy Bible. The latter practice I have only experienced during Holy Saturday Vesperal Liturgy and when the Prologue of Saint John is proclaimed in many languages during the Paschal Divine Liturgy. It seems to me that these two "exceptions" to the rule show that the principle behind their practice is sound.

I know that in many parishes, the "cookie dough is out of the tube", and that women have been reading in church for generations.  I know that many women are in fact principle readers in some of the aforementioned parishes.   And I agree that when a capable man is not present, a woman should read.  And yes, I know that some have said that St. Paul, in his admonitions against women speaking  in church is not against them chanting, but rather against them taking over the whole proceedings. (I don't think I agree with this critique of Paul.) And yes, I know that many Orthodox bishops are giving their blessing and encouragement to women to read in church.  I am not against women having roles in the world, either.  My best supervisors at work (and probably, come to think of it, the worst too) have been women.  

Well, in spite of all of this, I just find it very wrong for a woman to proclaim the word of God in the assembly when a capable man is available, at least when it comes to reading the epistle at liturgy or certain other readings.  It just strikes me as very wrong.  Yes, I think that women and girls have to feel enfranchised and part of the community.  I would like to hear more comments from women in this discussion about what they think would be appropriate or how they feel about the whole thing.

Interestingly, the Jerusalem Church seems to have had very specific and prominent roles for women to play at Pascha in terms of inaugurating the feast, representing the myrhh-bearing women etc.
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« Reply #288 on: December 19, 2013, 03:15:41 PM »

I was arguing the theoretical justification for involving women in the common work of the Church, not only in the various ministries that can be performed anywhere but also in those that are performed during our Divine Services.

We basically agree.  Smiley

This issue needs to be considered in greater depth.  While it is true that our Church has had a "female diaconate" (and I tend to agree with Pravoslavbob that the diaconate is one, even if its functions differ based on sex), there has never been AFAIK a "female subdiaconate", "female lectorate", etc.  Actually, in one sense it's easier to resurrect female diaconate than it is to institute female subdiaconate because the latter has no precedent in history, even though it is "lower" in the hierarchy.  It's not just about what certain men or certain women can do, but why and how.  
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« Reply #289 on: December 19, 2013, 04:17:23 PM »

All my altar servers and readers have been tonsured. When a boy is old enough for him to serve in the Altar, I have him tonsured a candle bearer the next time the Bishop comes to visit the parish. 

No one here has ever heard of tonsuring altar servers.

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

The order of candle bearer is the first of the minor orders. I know that the Greeks also tonsure Altar Servers as Acolyte, candle or taper bearers.
There have been numerous studies of the office of deaconess in the ancient Church. Try Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry by Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald. Every scholarly study of this subject agrees that the primary function of a deaconess was ministry to women and that they never played the same liturgical role that male deacons play.

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« Reply #290 on: December 19, 2013, 04:19:52 PM »

I'm celibate and I'm 40. Yay!  laugh

I'm not actually thinking of becoming a deacon, even if I could. However, I do sometimes wonder what happened to the office, since the Church did allow women deacons in the past.


Adults aren't baptized in the buff anymore.

Ah, okay.
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« Reply #291 on: December 19, 2013, 04:59:55 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?
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« Reply #292 on: December 19, 2013, 05:20:57 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

What Father John Morris said was not an assumption. As he is a priest and a historian, he should be accorded the assumption of having stated facts. Thus, it is up you, Michal, to state why you do not believe in what Fr Morris said instead of arguing needlessly as you are now doing..
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« Reply #293 on: December 19, 2013, 05:37:22 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

Argumentative, aren't we?  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #294 on: December 19, 2013, 05:50:55 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

Well, anyone who has read anything approaching serious literature on the subject will know that Fr John is correct.  Perhaps Polish scholarship has concluded otherwise, but I, for one, have no way of knowing that.  I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you wouldn't just throw useless comments out there for no reason.  Smiley
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« Reply #295 on: December 19, 2013, 05:56:55 PM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim?  

Proof there are no proofs?

What Father John Morris said was not an assumption. As he is a priest and a historian, he should be accorded the assumption of having stated facts. Thus, it is up you, Michal, to state why you do not believe in what Fr Morris said instead of arguing needlessly as you are now doing..

From what I've read (essay by PhD in theology and seminary professor) there are only rite of ordination and some disciplinary canons left.

From analogy to the rite of ordaining of males deacons and mentioning of engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian the author concluded (and I tend to agree) there is not impossible female deacons had had liturgical functions.

I tend to trust him more than y'all.
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« Reply #296 on: December 19, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »

From what I've read (essay by PhD in theology and seminary professor) there are only rite of ordination and some disciplinary canons left.

From analogy to the rite of ordaining of males deacons and mentioning of engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian the author concluded (and I tend to agree) there is not impossible female deacons had had liturgical functions.

I tend to trust him more than y'all.

Comparing the rite of ordination of deaconesses to the rite of ordination of deacons, there is very little difference.  All that proves is that the diaconate is one, as Pravoslavbob already stated. 

I don't know what "engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian" is supposed to mean, so perhaps you can explain that. 

"There is (sic) not impossible female deacons had had (sic) liturgical functions" is not nearly the same thing as "Female deacons had liturgical functions" unless you have an agenda or cannot comprehend nuance.   
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« Reply #297 on: December 19, 2013, 06:11:47 PM »

I am not going to argue his arguments since I am not a liturgist. I only trust him more than some random guys from the computer.

You can get inside it by yourselves: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=pl&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.liturgia.cerkiew.pl%2Ftexty.php%3Fid%3D114%26id_n%3D40
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« Reply #298 on: December 19, 2013, 06:21:28 PM »

...since I am not a liturgist.

Thank you.
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« Reply #299 on: December 19, 2013, 06:24:54 PM »

I only trust him more than some random guys from the computer.

Then why should anyone trust anything you say here? You're just "some random guy", after all.  police
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« Reply #300 on: December 19, 2013, 06:44:20 PM »


I always find it painful to read documents via Google Translate, but I made it through this article: thanks for the link, it was an interesting read. 

If Google's English is a reasonable rendition of the original Polish article, then I can say I found nothing in the article that would argue against anything claimed by Fr John, others, and myself; I'm not sure, therefore, where you got your opinions.  Perhaps it got lost in translation.     
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« Reply #301 on: December 19, 2013, 06:48:23 PM »

Quote
The prayers of ordination (gr. cheirotonia) Deaconess noteworthy use of Greek terms leitourgein, taksei leitourgon, occurring also in the prayers ordained deacon. This can be concluded that the Deaconess actively participated in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In Greek these words refer only to activities related to the service of God [43] , but you can not determine what features liturgical Deaconess meet before the fifth century. Diakonos it was a person in the service of the table. In this sense, Christian deacons (and deaconesses-?) Acted as the service at the Eucharistic table.

this part
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« Reply #302 on: December 19, 2013, 07:05:54 PM »

Quote
The prayers of ordination (gr. cheirotonia) Deaconess noteworthy use of Greek terms leitourgein, taksei leitourgon, occurring also in the prayers ordained deacon. This can be concluded that the Deaconess actively participated in the sacrament of the Eucharist. In Greek these words refer only to activities related to the service of God [43] , but you can not determine what features liturgical Deaconess meet before the fifth century. Diakonos it was a person in the service of the table. In this sense, Christian deacons (and deaconesses-?) Acted as the service at the Eucharistic table.

this part

Yeah, I read that, but it is so vague as to be useless.   

What does it mean to say that deaconesses "actively participated in the sacrament of the Eucharist"?  "Serving in the same exact way as male deacons" is not by any means the only possibility, let alone the most likely.  The same goes for "Christian deacons (and deaconesses-?) Acted (sic) as the service (sic) at the Eucharistic table".  We know that deaconesses, like deacons, would bring Communion to the sick and homebound, but that's still not censer swinging, intoning of litanies, etc., and it does not always follow that "greater" functions imply "lesser" functions. 

It was a good article, but I don't think it says what you think it says, especially when read against all the other serious scholarship that's available.       
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« Reply #303 on: December 20, 2013, 12:58:19 AM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

What Father John Morris said was not an assumption. As he is a priest and a historian, he should be accorded the assumption of having stated facts. Thus, it is up you, Michal, to state why you do not believe in what Fr Morris said instead of arguing needlessly as you are now doing..

From what I've read (essay by PhD in theology and seminary professor) there are only rite of ordination and some disciplinary canons left.

From analogy to the rite of ordaining of males deacons and mentioning of engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian the author concluded (and I tend to agree) there is not impossible female deacons had had liturgical functions.

I tend to trust him more than y'all.

There is a debate among historians about whether or not deaconesses were ordained "cheirotonia" in major orders or blessed "cheirothesia" in a minor order.
You want proof. Here is your proof. Canon XLIV of the Council of Laodicia 343-381 stated, "Women may not go to the altar." That would eliminate the possibility that deaconesses played the same liturgical role as a Deacon, who does go to the altar. During the Liturgy, a Deaconess looked after the women. Their main ministry was to women. Canon XV of Chalcedon, the 4th Ecumenical Council in 451 ruled that a woman must be at least 40 before she became a Deaconess and implied that she must be celibate.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #304 on: December 20, 2013, 01:05:13 AM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

What Father John Morris said was not an assumption. As he is a priest and a historian, he should be accorded the assumption of having stated facts. Thus, it is up you, Michal, to state why you do not believe in what Fr Morris said instead of arguing needlessly as you are now doing..

From what I've read (essay by PhD in theology and seminary professor) there are only rite of ordination and some disciplinary canons left.

From analogy to the rite of ordaining of males deacons and mentioning of engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian the author concluded (and I tend to agree) there is not impossible female deacons had had liturgical functions.

I tend to trust him more than y'all.

There is a debate among historians about whether or not deaconesses were ordained "cheirotonia" in major orders or blessed "cheirothesia" in a minor order.
You want proof. Here is your proof. Canon XLIV of the Council of Laodicia 343-381 stated, "Women may not go to the altar." That would eliminate the possibility that deaconesses played the same liturgical role as a Deacon, who does go to the altar. During the Liturgy, a Deaconess looked after the women. Their main ministry was to women. Canon XV of Chalcedon, the 4th Ecumenical Council in 451 ruled that a woman must be at least 40 before she became a Deaconess and implied that she must be celibate.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father, Bless!

I had read somewhere(although I can't recall where at the moment) that deaconesses were communed at the altar like deacons. I was just wondering as a historian what your take on that is?
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« Reply #305 on: December 20, 2013, 01:54:57 AM »

However, a Deaconess was not a simply a female deacon, but had a completely different and non-liturgical function in ministering to women.

And this is an assumption without any proofs.

Do you have proof for that claim? 

Proof there are no proofs?

What Father John Morris said was not an assumption. As he is a priest and a historian, he should be accorded the assumption of having stated facts. Thus, it is up you, Michal, to state why you do not believe in what Fr Morris said instead of arguing needlessly as you are now doing..

From what I've read (essay by PhD in theology and seminary professor) there are only rite of ordination and some disciplinary canons left.

From analogy to the rite of ordaining of males deacons and mentioning of engagement of newly-ordained into leitourgian the author concluded (and I tend to agree) there is not impossible female deacons had had liturgical functions.

I tend to trust him more than y'all.

There is a debate among historians about whether or not deaconesses were ordained "cheirotonia" in major orders or blessed "cheirothesia" in a minor order.
You want proof. Here is your proof. Canon XLIV of the Council of Laodicia 343-381 stated, "Women may not go to the altar." That would eliminate the possibility that deaconesses played the same liturgical role as a Deacon, who does go to the altar. During the Liturgy, a Deaconess looked after the women. Their main ministry was to women. Canon XV of Chalcedon, the 4th Ecumenical Council in 451 ruled that a woman must be at least 40 before she became a Deaconess and implied that she must be celibate.

Fr. John W. Morris

Father, Bless!

I had read somewhere(although I can't recall where at the moment) that deaconesses were communed at the altar like deacons. I was just wondering as a historian what your take on that is?

I would yield to Presbyteria Dr. Fitzgerald on this whole subject. She is the recognized expert on this subject. She does argue that deaconesses were communed at the Altar, but that seems to contradict canons like canon XLIV of Laodicia.
It is not correct that the Orthodox Church abolished the order of Deaconesses. St. Nektarios ordained at least one Deaconess. I understand that there are Deaconesses in monasteries in Greece.
It is also not correct that women do not have a ministry. The woman choir director in my parish is as important as I am because without a choir or chanter, I cannot serve.
Women also serve on Parish Councils and as delegates to the convention of the Archdiocese. So they are not excluded from positions of leadership in the Orthodox Church.
Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #306 on: December 20, 2013, 02:18:32 AM »

Quote
It is also not correct that women do not have a ministry. The woman choir director in my parish is as important as I am because without a choir or chanter, I cannot serve.

Women also serve on Parish Councils and as delegates to the convention of the Archdiocese. So they are not excluded from positions of leadership in the Orthodox Church.

Indeed. If it weren't for the work and diligence of the Marthas, the place would collapse in a screaming heap. These redoubtable women are the glue and backbone of every parish.
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« Reply #307 on: December 20, 2013, 02:26:23 AM »

Quote
It is also not correct that women do not have a ministry. The woman choir director in my parish is as important as I am because without a choir or chanter, I cannot serve.

Women also serve on Parish Councils and as delegates to the convention of the Archdiocese. So they are not excluded from positions of leadership in the Orthodox Church.

Indeed. If it weren't for the work and diligence of the Marthas, the place would collapse in a screaming heap. These redoubtable women are the glue and backbone of every parish.

Amen

Fr.  John W. Morris
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« Reply #308 on: December 20, 2013, 03:02:44 AM »

You want proof. Here is your proof. Canon XLIV of the Council of Laodicia 343-381 stated, "Women may not go to the altar." That would eliminate the possibility that deaconesses played the same liturgical role as a Deacon, who does go to the altar. During the Liturgy, a Deaconess looked after the women. Their main ministry was to women. Canon XV of Chalcedon, the 4th Ecumenical Council in 451 ruled that a woman must be at least 40 before she became a Deaconess and implied that she must be celibate.

You undermined this argument in your very next post...
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« Reply #309 on: December 20, 2013, 03:01:16 PM »

You want proof. Here is your proof. Canon XLIV of the Council of Laodicia 343-381 stated, "Women may not go to the altar." That would eliminate the possibility that deaconesses played the same liturgical role as a Deacon, who does go to the altar. During the Liturgy, a Deaconess looked after the women. Their main ministry was to women. Canon XV of Chalcedon, the 4th Ecumenical Council in 451 ruled that a woman must be at least 40 before she became a Deaconess and implied that she must be celibate.

You undermined this argument in your very next post...

If you read the whole post, I recognized that there is canonical problem with Presbyteria FitzGerals's arguments. However, there is no doubt that deaconesses never played the same liturgical role as a male deacon. We need to be very careful with this. If the Church does increase the number of deaconesses, we have to do it in a way that it will not be used as a platform for a movement to ordain women to the priesthood.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #310 on: December 20, 2013, 03:48:24 PM »

i would probably find it distracting, esp. if they had some cute subdeacons/readers... Kiss

I'm sure there have been plenty of handsome priests over the centuries who were quite capable of distracting the ladies ....  Roll Eyes

Not if they were appropriately veiled! Smiley

good call...i might be able to focus in that case...that is if i didn't think most women are more attractive in veils... :doh:

I have found that the Slavic tradition deals with this nicely.  Women should always attend services with less fabric committed to their skirts than to their veils.

Really?  My bishop has said that in one parish he visits, some of the Russian women are wearing very short skirts and very revealing tops (but, of course, are wearing a scarf on their head).  He said he would much rather that they skip the head covering and cover the rest of themselves.

Can they still commune though?  A hieromonk I know will not give communion until some of the more revealing ladies cover themselves, even if it means going to the end of the line.   Uncovered heads not as big a deal as uncovered cleavage.

I've observed that what might constitute 'very short skirts and very revealing tops' to a monk , might (I mean might as I am not generalizing) not merit the slightest notice from the rest of us.


And how have you observed this? Are you familiar with many monks? Do you discuss these things? Do the monks make commentary?
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« Reply #311 on: December 20, 2013, 11:25:18 PM »

Comic relief anyone?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un8Unv_ZrjU

For reference's sake:

1.  "Staring at a TV":  it's become quite popular to project the words said in liturgy on screens in Coptic Churches
2.  The Bridge--"But every song is like...":  she's naming common Coptic liturgical hymn titles
3.  "Deacons":  colloquially used really for chanters, readers, and subdeacons, which are presently a "male-only" phenomenon in the Coptic Church
4.  The Refrain--"You can call me Ibrahim...":  a famous Coptic chanter, an official Papal chanter, that all other chanters use as reference to learn the hymns from (Ibrahim Ayad)
5.  "Lafafas":  those are the handkerchiefs used to cover one's mouth while eating the Body of Christ
6.  "Taraneem":  spiritual songs
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« Reply #312 on: December 20, 2013, 11:37:45 PM »

God was having a good day when he made Copts!
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« Reply #313 on: December 21, 2013, 01:21:06 PM »

However, there is no doubt that deaconesses never played the same liturgical role as a male deacon.

Not really.
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« Reply #314 on: December 21, 2013, 02:11:59 PM »

Comic relief anyone?

Funny and clever!  She makes a great point about (some of) the boys not appreciating what they have, where they are, or what they're supposed to be doing when they're serving before the altar.  Talking, sneaking a peek at their phones, drifting off, whatever.  I was always taught that tonias were strictly liturgical garments, so I'm not sure if I'm cool with the guys wearing them for youtube vids, but her point is well taken.

God was having a good day when he made Copts!

Indeed!  And Armenians...









http://www.armenianweekly.com/2013/07/06/a-nearly-forgotten-history-women-deacons-in-the-armenian-church/

This last sites not Armenian, but interesting...

http://www.angelfire.com/pa/deaconess/
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