The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
LionHippo44, Evan Gallagher, Lizzy VH, thomisticgamer, DesertPrayer
5,708 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 members (1 invisible), 41 guests, and 91 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
by Santiago Tarsicio, March 17
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
by JLF, November 10
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Upgraded Russian icon corner
by The young fogey, October 20
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,958
Posts413,428
Members5,708
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 132
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 132
If liturgical functions are representative of the work of Christ, then why not have female servers. After all, His mother served at the wedding in Cana; Peter's mother-in-law waited on Jesus at her house; the woman at the well sat at the foot of Jesus and was instructed by Him. Women assisted Him on His travels throughout Judea; Martha and Mary waited on Jesus; women were with Him at his passion and death when most of His disciples deserted Him. Finally, women went to His grave to anoint Him and were the first witnesses of His resurrection. Why not serve at the altar?

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Originally Posted by danman916
I'm not trying to conflate the issue, but I've heard people make the claim that the ordained deaconess mar the icon as well, yet the Church in the East ordained them.

The question becomes; does the female altar server mar that icon to such a degree that it changes one's understanding of what happens in the liturgy. Clearly, for the priest, the answer is yes, but for the altar server?

I'm just asking the question. I'm not trying to say what the answer should be. It is one thing to prohibit something based on the fact that it changes the theology of something. But it is another to prohibit something based on the, "we've always done it that way so it's become sacrosanct" reason.

So, I guess what I'm getting at, is what is at the heart of the matter here? Is it the former or the latter?


No women deaconess's were not ''ordained'', that is a mistake backed up by St.Irenaeus himself when he said that women deacons were to assist the priest in baptisms only but were not to be ordained.


Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,759
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,759
Originally Posted by Deacon John Montalvo
Wheelbarrow,

you asked the right question, in the Eastern Churches of Byzantine tradition, subdeacons were set aside and blessed to assist those in major orders (bishop, presbyter, and deacon). When the subdeaconate fell into disuse, young men/teen age boys filled the role as "altar servers."

Young men/boys at the altar are a concession to fill a pastoral need. No doubt someone had to come up with a justification to employ boys when men were no longer set aside permanently as a subdeacon.


I love the Church and would give my life for Christ, but I believe the Church compromised its argument for male only altar servers when it allows non-ordained acolytes to serve. In my opinion the Church should either allow females or deanery level training with episcopal ordination of male only acolytes. That would remove the gray area and legitimate controversy which it has created.

Fr Deacon Paul

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Quote
No women deaconess's were not ''ordained'', that is a mistake backed up by St.Irenaeus himself when he said that women deacons were to assist the priest in baptisms only but were not to be ordained.


Incorrect, at least to the extent that the Church of Constantinople was concerned. Deaconesses were indeed ordained by Cheirotoneia, using the same prayers used to ordain male deacons; they were declared to be ordained clergy in conciliar degrees as well as imperial novellae of Justinian the Great. They received communion at the altar after the male deacons, in the same method as the male deacons.

Remember, too, that the liturgical role of the deacon evolved later than its original charism of service, and service remains the primary role of the diaconate. The ancient typos of the Church equated the bishop with God the Father, the presbyters with the heavenly hosts, and the deacon with Christ, "who came to serve".

The usage of the Western Church was different, but should not be considered normative. Remember, in the Eastern Churches, acolytes, readers and subdeacons are all ordained (by Cheirothesia), while in the West, they are considered merely "appointments".

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 382
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 382
Originally Posted by Dr. Henry P.
If liturgical functions are representative of the work of Christ, then why not have female servers. After all, His mother served at the wedding in Cana; Peter's mother-in-law waited on Jesus at her house; the woman at the well sat at the foot of Jesus and was instructed by Him. Women assisted Him on His travels throughout Judea; Martha and Mary waited on Jesus; women were with Him at his passion and death when most of His disciples deserted Him. Finally, women went to His grave to anoint Him and were the first witnesses of His resurrection. Why not serve at the altar?


There are two dimensions to the Liturgy and, simply put, serving at the Altar belongs to the liturgical reditus, while serving elsewhere belongs to the exitus.

Liberals always confuse the two.

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 450
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 450
I don't get it. How are they confused, and why is it that liberals do this?
It sounds, to me, like ad hominem.

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 382
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 382
danman916, sorry if it sounds ad hominem. Not at all.

Let me give you an analogy to explain the liberals thing.

In the 1970s, the churches were rife with folk masses. I remember one in which they played Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind' as a hymn.

Now, I happen to think that there is nothing wrong with Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'. But even back then, I was sure that there was something wrong with playing it in the context of the Mass. The liberals (or whatever you want to call them) had, in this instance, imported something that was perfectly acceptable to listen to in the 'Liturgy of the World' to the 'Liturgy of the Altar'.

To suggest that because women served as our Lord served is to correctly identify the role women play in the economy of salvation. At the Last Supper, and where Christ is most fully known - in the Sacrifice on Calvary - however, women did not serve. Only our Lord did. And it is this precise act, and its eternal reality in heaven, that is re-presented in the Liturgy of the Altar. So, as he undertook this work in his incarnate form as a man, we the Church, continue to re-present it the same way.

We can carry whatever positive - even holy - reality from the Liturgy that unfolds in the world into the Liturgy that unfolds at the Altar, but then we less faithfully represent the eternally-established nature of the Sacrifice.

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
No women deaconess's were not ''ordained'', that is a mistake backed up by St.Irenaeus himself when he said that women deacons were to assist the priest in baptisms only but were not to be ordained.


Incorrect, at least to the extent that the Church of Constantinople was concerned. Deaconesses were indeed ordained by Cheirotoneia, using the same prayers used to ordain male deacons; they were declared to be ordained clergy in conciliar degrees as well as imperial novellae of Justinian the Great. They received communion at the altar after the male deacons, in the same method as the male deacons.

Remember, too, that the liturgical role of the deacon evolved later than its original charism of service, and service remains the primary role of the diaconate. The ancient typos of the Church equated the bishop with God the Father, the presbyters with the heavenly hosts, and the deacon with Christ, "who came to serve".

The usage of the Western Church was different, but should not be considered normative. Remember, in the Eastern Churches, acolytes, readers and subdeacons are all ordained (by Cheirothesia), while in the West, they are considered merely "appointments".


Could you perhaps point me to book, chapter and verse of anywhere ( the early fathers perhaps? ) that could verify what you have said. Because I find it very hard to believe that women were ordained in the Major orders like that of male deacons.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, it is not meant to come across that way. I strive to trust in God but always test everything so I hope you respect that. I'm sure you do.

Slavophile I couldn't agree more.

God bless

Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 174
Just found this by apologist Michelle Arnold - Although there is some historical evidence that deaconesses were specially charged with their ministry in a manner resembling the ordination of deacons, it is certain that there was a fundamental difference in the rites. By their ordination deacons receive the sacrament of holy orders, although in a lesser degree than priests and bishops, a sacrament that women cannot validly receive. If there indeed was a special liturgical rite for deaconesses, it likely resembled the non-sacramental "investiture" ceremonies held in conjunction with a Mass that charge extraordinary ministers of holy Communion with their responsibilities.

Is this what you mean Stuart?

Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,224
Likes: 9
Moderator
Member
Offline
Moderator
Member
Joined: Aug 1998
Posts: 4,224
Likes: 9
That is modern Latin apologetics.

The ordination rite in the Byzantine Church was nearly identical to the ordination of deacon. Compare:

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/deacon.htm

http://www.anastasis.org.uk/woman_deacon.htm

The real proof is in the following prayer which is only used in ordination to major orders:

Divine grace, which always heals what is infirm and completes what is lacking, ordains N., the most devout (insert order), as (insert order). Let us therefore pray for him/her, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him/her.





My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
I recommend to you Kyriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald's Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church , which includes, in addition to a history of the development, role, and decline of the office of the female diaconate, the full text of the Rite or Ordination for a Female Deacon.

A side-by-side comparison of this rite, with the Rite of Ordination for a Deacon, shows both to be essentially identical, differing only in the saints invoked (male deacons in the case of the Rite for a male deacon, deaconesses in the case of the rite for a female deacon). Both are indubitably the "Great Ordination" or Cheirotoneia, as opposed to the "Lesser Ordination" (Cheirothesia) employed in the case of acolytes, readers and subdeacons. In the case of the ordination of deaconesses, the laying on of hands takes place not in the nave, but in the sanctuary before the Angel of Peace litany and the Lord's Prayer. It includes this critical and distinctive prayer, which is the mark of Cheirotoneia as opposed to Cheirothesia:

Quote
The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains N.__, beloved of God, as deacon. Let us pray for her, that the grace of the Holy Spirit may come upon her.

Meanwhile, she bows her head and the bishop places his hands on her head. He makes the sign of the Cross three times and prays the following:

O God, the Holy and Mighty, who sanctified woman through the birth in the flesh of your only-begotten Son and our God from the Virgin; and bestowed the grace and advent of your Holy Spirit not to men alone, but also to women; look now, Lord, upon this your servant, and call her to the work of your diaconate, send down upon her the abundance of your Holy Spirit. Preserve her in your Orthodox faith, in blameless conduct, always fulfilling her ministry according to your pleasure, because to You is due all honor, glory and worship, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the Ages of Ages, Amen
.

During a subsequent litany, the bishop does the following:

Quote
And while this prayer is being said by the deacon, the bishop, still keeping his hand in the same position upon the head of the woman being ordained, prays as follows:

Sovereign Lord, You who do not reject women offering themselves and desiring to minister in your holy houses, in accordance with that which is fitting, but rather receive them into an order of ministers; bestow the grace of your Holy Spirit also upon this your servant, who desires to offer herself to You, and fill her with the grace of the diaconate, just as you gave the grace of your diaconate to Phoebe, whom you called to the work of ministry. O God, grant that she may persevere blamelessly in your holy temples, to cultivate appropriate conduct, especially prudence; and make you servant perfect so that she, standing at the judgment seat of your Christ, may receive the worthy reward of her good conduct. Through the mercy and love for mankind of your only-begotten Son with whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto Ages of Ages, Amen.

After the Amen, he places the diaconal orarion around her neck under the maphorion, bringing the two ends forward. The deacon then stands on the Ambon and says,

Having commemorated all the saints, etc.

After she has accepted the Holy Body and Holy Blood the bishop gives her the Chalice, which she accepts and places on the Holy Altar.


I don't know what you could possibly call this, other than full and complete ordination into the same Order of the Diaconate to which men are called.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Quote
That is modern Latin apologetics.


Oh, so true! Martimort bites again. Of course, he started with the conclusion that women, by definition could never be ordained to anything because Holy Orders are reserved exclusively to men, and then worked backwards, carefully cherry picking the evidence to conclude (wait for it!), that indeed, women had never been ordained to the diaconate.

I think we must conclude that the usage of the different Churches in the Patristic period and down to the 13th century at least, varied from place to place. This different usage was known and accepted, in the same way that other differences in usage were accepted.

It is a fact that the Order of the Female Diaconate was never abolished in the Orthodox Church, but simply faded from desuetude after the Latin sack of Jerusalem left the Church too impoverished to maintain the number and variety of ministers it supported in its heyday. We last hear of deaconesses in Constantinople in the 13th century, and not thereafter (though there have been isolated instances of bishops ordaining women to serve as deacons in isolated female monasteries right down to the 20th century).

For the last three decades or so the Orthodox Church has been discussing whether and how to restore the order, but no conclusion has been reached as yet.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Quote
If there indeed was a special liturgical rite for deaconesses, it likely resembled the non-sacramental "investiture" ceremonies held in conjunction with a Mass that charge extraordinary ministers of holy Communion with their responsibilities.

Is this what you mean Stuart?

Very short answer: No. I have written what I have written.

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 450
D
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 450
Stuart pointed out something, in a thread here somewhere, some time last year that makes a lot of sense, and becomes the problem in discussing the topic. one can't take a 20th century ecclesiology and apply it to a 6th century Church. We need to investigate from an open perspective basing on what the texts say. Not starting from the position of Michelle Arnold that they were likely investiture ceremonies.
I agree that Martimort starts with the premise that women cannot be ordained and then goes on to demonstrate that based on the premise, instead of simply letting the evidence fall where it may.

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 38
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 38
Originally Posted by StuartK

Remember, too, that the liturgical role of the deacon evolved later than its original charism of service, and service remains the primary role of the diaconate.


This is also, as I recall, in Afanasiev's dissertation on ecclesiology (Church of the Holy Spirit), as well Father Deacon John Chryssavgis' recent book on the Diaconate.

IMO, this needs to be foot stomped especially in discussions like this: a deacon is not just a dude who stands next to the priest at liturgy, or even someone who's defined by a strictly liturgical role.

Rather, his main "function" is service and even leadership role in non-liturgical work of the church. The very idea of this function is IMO unfortunately absent in the consciousness of most people in the Catholic Church.

This is in direct contrast with acolytes (as well as readers), whose ministry is strictly liturgical.

Last edited by Soson Kyrie; 08/31/12 11:26 AM.
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5