Choosing to become a deacon in the Greek orthodox church is a decision that is both rewarding and important. A deacon has a number of responsibilities, and can play a significant role in the life of the community. However, there are some things to consider before applying for a deaconship.
Getting documents required to become a deacon in the Greek orthodox church is a good idea for those interested in serving the Lord. But before embarking on the journey, make sure you have the proper training and discernment.
A deacon is a person who is ordained to help conduct liturgies and other services. They may also serve as a baptizer, preacher, and leader of weddings and funerals.
The ordination of deacons is one of the most important sacraments in Christianity, and the gift of the Holy Spirit is bestowed through it. Priests and bishops, who are ordained after the laying on of hands, act as Christ’s teachers and liturgists, and as community shepherds. They are responsible for preserving the Catholic faith through apostolic succession.
The Greek Orthodox Church allows married men to be ordained as deacons. In the Greek tradition, a deacon’s wife is called a diakonissa. A deacon’s ordination ceremony is an event that combines theological rites with aesthetics. The newly ordained clergy receive special vestments, according to the office for which they are ordained.
Rites of deaconship
During the early Church, seven deacons were assigned to each congregation. Their role included distributing the resources of the Church to the people. They also led prayers for the needs of the church. These deacons were ordained by the Apostles.
There are different ways of ordination. Some of them involve a home study program under the guidance of the diocese bishop.
Other ways include a traditional ordination ceremony in the presence of the bishop. A bishop blesses the ordinand three times with a cross symbol on the head. The new subdeacon kisses the bishop’s hand and makes prostrations. Then he joins the end of the procession. He takes blessed water to the people and he says quiet prayers.
The deacon’s duties are to teach, to instruct, and to minister the Word. Without proper education, the ministry of the Word will not be effective. In order for a deacon to be effective in this role, he or she must be evangelized.
Duties of a deacon
Besides being a minister of the word and an educator, deacons are social workers. They minister to orphans, the disabled, and the undereducated. They also visit the sick and care for demoniacs. They are a good representative of the Church, and they are a great help to the priest and the bishop. They are a mediator between the Church and its faithful. They have the authority to carry out their functions on behalf of the bishop, and they are directly responsible to him.
Traditionally, there were seven deacons for every congregation. They assisted the priest in the preparation of the Eucharist, and they served at the liturgical gatherings. They also helped catechumens in preparation for baptism, and they read the Gospel and preached.
During the fourth century, the Church in Rome supported three thousand needy widows. The bishop selected men to serve the needs of the Church. They gathered offerings brought to the church, prepared common meals, and they helped bishops in their work.
Whether female deacons existed in the Greek Orthodox church during the first millennium is a subject of debate. Though there are some hagiographic and epigraphic evidence that shows the presence of female deacons, there is no official position.
The word deacon originally meant “general service to the Church.” Later it was used as a specific function. Male deacons were grounded in the way the church meets the world. Their duties included preaching, reading of Scriptures, ecclesial administration, and philanthropic activities. They were also trained to take the Eucharist to sick people.
The ordination of women deacons was a major order in the Orthodox church, and many bishops approved of the decision. The Patriarch of Alexandria, Theodoros, consecrated five women to diaconate in February of this year. This decision by the Patriarchate of Alexandria could have significant effects on the restoration of the female diaconate.
In the Greek Orthodox church, a woman’s name was not required for her to be ordained to the diaconate. However, it provided added prestige to her status. The women were chosen from the ranks of virgins and widows. The minimum age for female diaconesses was 40 to 60.