Posted By: Darryl Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/08/21 06:42 PM
Hey folks,
I am a Roman Catholic who has been attending an Eastern Catholic Parish(UGCC) for the last couple of months. During my theological studies, I began to be drawn to the beauty of liturgy and theology presented in the East. I have worked in ministry full time since 2006(had a break to go to school in the middle of it). Formerly in Protestant ministry, I am now serving in Catholic ministry as a lay prison chaplain. I feel called to be a deacon and at some point hope to pursue that vocation. My calling(after being a father of 11 children) has always been to the margins. 10 years of homeless ministry and now prison ministry. The diaconate seems to be the place for those who have a strong calling to evangelism outside of the parish.

As a Roman Catholic, I have prayed as deacons pray, and try to be involved in the liturgical and service end of parish life. I then attempt to take the grace of God received in Eucharist/and other prayers, and be the first face of Christianity to inmates(and of course my family). How do deacons pray in the East? Do they pray Matins/Vespers along with the Jesus Prayer/Morning Offering/etc.? I'm currently using a general prayer book from our Eparchy and quite enjoying it. Overall, I'm looking for a rule which will give help with my sinful self in need of mercy, along with keeping me walking in step with the liturgical cycle of the Church.

Any help is appreciated.

Peace and all good,
Posted By: theophan Re: Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/08/21 06:46 PM
Christ is in our midst!!


Welcome to the forum. There are many members here who should be able to help you in your pilgrimage.

Posted By: Irish Melkite Re: Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/09/21 08:23 AM
Hi Darryl,

Welcome to the forum. As Bob has said, there are a number of members here who should be able to offer helpful suggestions to you. I suspect that you'll find some variety in the responses, which will give you alternatives to consider.

I'm not a deacon and can't really provide you with recommendations for a prayer rule specific to the diaconate, or directed toward formation for it, but I would offer you this, from St Theophan the Recluse, on prayer rules in general:

“It is good to have a prayer rule on account of our weakness, so that on the one hand we do not give in to laziness, and on the other hand we restrain our enthusiasm to its proper measure. The greatest practitioners of prayer kept a prayer rule. They would always begin with established prayers and if, during the course of these, a prayer started on its own, they would put aside the others and pray that prayer. If this is what the great practitioners of prayer did, all the more reason for us to do so. Without established prayers, we would not know how to pray at all. Without them, we would be left entirely without prayer.”

Although not specific to deacons, I might also recommend an an excellent piece on prayer rules written by a friend.

Many years,

Posted By: Darryl Re: Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/09/21 04:53 PM
Hi Neil,
Thanks for the response. Your quote from St. Theophan sums up my heart. My prayer rule has kept me from extremes and from laziness. I'll check out the link. I'm looking forward to being able to incorporate an Eastern perspective into my rule.

Posted By: Fr. Deacon Lance Re: Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/10/21 02:54 AM
Well our particular law (Metropolia of Pittsburgh) states;

Canon 377 When common prayer of the Divine Praises is not possible, all clerics should recite the divine praises privately in a manner to be established by the competent authority.

But that manner has never been established (and the Divine Office as a private obligation is very much a Latinization) so each deacon works out a prayer rule with his spiritual director. I know Roman deacons are obligated to recite Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. So you might try First Hour and Vespers, or simply read a stasis or kathisma from the Psalter in the morning and evening,
or the Rule of St Pachomius https://www.byzcath.org/index.php/resources/faith-worship/a-rule-of-prayer

or this simple rule from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary https://www.bcs.edu/spiritual-life/
Posted By: Darryl Re: Rule of Life for Deacons - 03/10/21 03:24 AM
@Fr. Deacon Lance,
Thanks so much. That is helpful. I've been praying for a spiritual director and think I may have a lead on one. Thank God, it's been a number of years since I've had one. My last one who was great moved.

The prayer book I have is similar to the second link you posted in its rhythm and form of prayer. I like the idea of spending some time solely with intercessions. There is a part in my prayer book for that.

Thanks again!
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