May 5, 2014
The third Sunday after Pascha (Easter) is the Sunday of the Myrrhbearing Women.
During Vespers, at the Lord, I Call, we sing the following from the Pentecostarion:
“Rising early and coming earnestly to your tomb,
the Myrrhbearers sought you so as to anoint your immaculate Body,
O Christ.having been informed by the words of the angel,
they preached to the apostles the glad tidings of joy;
that the author of our salvation is risen, having destroyed death,
and granting the world eternal life and great mercy.”
and again, during the Divine Liturgy we sing the following Kondak from the Pentecostarion:
“You commanded the Myrrhbearers to rejoice, O Christ God.
By Your Resurrection, You stopped the lamentation of Eve, the first mother.
You commanded them to preach to Your Apostles: ‘The Savior is risen from the tomb!’
Those wise ones who wrote these words acknowledge the powerful preaching that these women did. These myrrhbearers were the first preachers–and it was men to whom they preached!
How can we overlook this in our blessings, our Liturgies, and our ordinations? How can we sing and proclaim this in our Liturgy, and then do nothing to bring back the order of deaconess, which has not been forbidden, but has simply fallen out of use?