Prayers at the Deaconess Ordination

 

A Prayer from the ordination service of the deaconess, offered by the ordaining bishop:

“O God, the Holy and Almighty, you have blessed woman through the birth in the flesh of your only-begotten Son and our God from the Virgin and you have given the grace and visitation of the Holy Spirit not to men only, but to women as well; Lord, look now upon this your servant and call her to the work of your ministry. Send down upon her the rich gift of your Holy Spirit. Preserve her in the Orthodox faith, that she may fulfill her ministry in blamelss conduct according to what is well pleasing to you. For to you are due all honor, glory and worship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

Kalfayan Sisterhood with Patriarch Galustian. The mission of the Kalfayan Sisterhood of Istanbul, established in 1866, was the care and education of orphans. Armenian Patriarch Mesrop Naroyan ordained the sisterhood’s first member, Aghavni Keoseian, as deaconess in 1932. Armenian Patriarch Shnork Galustian ordained the last, Hripsime Sasunian, in 1982. (R.R.Ervine photo.)

Kalfayan Sisterhood with Patriarch Galustian. The mission of the Kalfayan Sisterhood of Istanbul, established in 1866, was the care and education of orphans. Armenian Patriarch Mesrop Naroyan ordained the sisterhood’s first member, Aghavni Keoseian, as deaconess in 1932. Armenian Patriarch Shnork Galustian ordained the last, Hripsime Sasunian, in 1982. (R.R.Ervine photo.)


The bishop offers this prayer prior to vesting of the deaconess with the
diaconal stole:

“O Lord and Master, you do not reject women who are willing to offer themselves, in so far as it is fitting, to minister in your holy houses, but rather you accept them into the rank of ministers. Grant the grace of your Holy Spirit also to this your servant who desires to offer herself to you and fulfill the grace of your ministry, just as you gave the grace of your ministry to Phoebe, whom you called to the work of ministry.”

 

From The Ordination Rite of the Byzantine Deaconess.  This service dates from the eighth to the tenth centuries and is taken from the Barberion Codex and the Bessarionos Codex (manuscripts belonging to these cardinals.)