This is the ordination rite for Deaconesses compiled from at least
seven manuscripts by Jacob Goar in 1647. Goar says he found them in the Royal
Library (in France?), and in the collections of Barberini, Grotta-Ferrata, St.
Mark in Florence, Tillianus, Allatianus and Coresianus. These included, no
doubt, the Nicolai and George
Varus manuscripts, but others too. The Greek text has been published,
with a Latin translation by Jacob Goar, in Euchologion sive Rituale
Graecorum, Paris 1647; pp. 262-264; with notes on pp. 264-267.
||Prayer at the Ordination
(cheirotonia) of a deaconess
|All major orders are conferred in the sanctuary, in
front of the altar.
||After the sacred offertory, when the doors of the
sanctuary have been opened, before the Deacon starts the litany All
Saints, the woman who is to ordained Deacon is presented to the Bishop.
|This was a public declaration that the person was
elected to the diaconate. See full text in the
Vatican gr 1872 manuscript.
||He proclaims the Divine Grace
|The imposition of the hand is the matter
of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
||And while she bows her head, the Bishop imposes his
hand on her forehead , makes the sign of the cross on it three times, and prays
|This is the ordination prayer, the form
of the sacrament, consisting mainly in the invocation of the Holy
||Holy and Omnipotent Lord, through the birth of
your Only Son our God from a Virgin according to the flesh, you have sanctified
woman. You grant not only to men, but also to women the grace and coming of the
Holy Spirit. Please also now, Lord, look on this your maid servant and dedicate
her to the task of your diaconate, and pour out into her the abundant giving of
your Holy Spirit.
Preserve her while she performs her ministry
(leitourgia) according to what is pleasing to you, in the orthodox faith
and irreproachable conduct.
For to you is due all glory, honour and
worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and always and in all ages.
|Prayers for the new woman deacon is included in the
||When [people] have responded: Amen, one of
the Deacons prays as follows:
Let us pray the Lord in peace.
heavenly peace and the welfare of the whole universe, let us pray the Lord.
For peace in the whole world, let us pray the Lord.
For our Archbishop
so-and-so, for his priesthood, help, perseverance, peace, wellbeing, health and
the works of his hands, let us pray the Lord.
For so-and-so the Deaconess,
who has just been ordained, and for her salvation, let us pray the Lord.
That the most merciful Lord may give her a sincere and faultless diaconate, let
us pray the Lord.
For our most devout and beloved-by-God Emperor so-and-so,
let us pray the Lord.
That we may be liberated.
Reeceive . . . Save . .
|Again the imposition of the hand is
||And while the Deacon prays the intercession, the
Bishop, still holding his hand imposed on the head of the woman that was
ordained, prays in this manner:
|This is the second ordination prayer. All
ordinations to major Holy Orders have two ordination prayers.
||Lord, Master, you do not reject women who
dedicate themselves to you to serve your holy precincts with sacred counsel as
should be done, but admit them to the order of ministers
Grant the gift of your Holy Spirit also to this
your maid servant who wants to dedicate herself to you and perform the grace of
the diaconate, as you have granted this grace to your hand maid Phoebe, whom
you had elected to the work of the ministry [leitourgia].
also, Lord, that she may persevere without guilt in your holy temple, that she
may be careful in her behaviour, especially in her modesty.
And make your
maid servant perfect , so that, when she will stand before the judgement seat
of your Christ, she may receive the worthy reward for her good behaviour,
through the mercy and humanity of your Only Son, to whom and-so-on.
|Vesting the minister with the appropriate vestment
is public affirmation of her new status as deacon.
||After the response Amen, the Bishop puts
the stole of the diaconate round her neck, under her [woman's] scarf, arranging
the two extremities of the stole towards the front. The Deacon who stands in
the ambo then says: Remembering all the saints, and-so-on.
|Making the woman deacon hold the chalice again
confirms her as a fully ordained deacon, even though she does not normally
||When [at the time of communion] the newly ordained has
taken part of the sacred body and precious blood, the Bishop hands her the
chalice. She accepts it and puts it on the holy table [= the altar].