Ancient Orthodox Faith in our Modern Age

Eastern Apostolic Church

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;
that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.

(Romans 16:1-2)

The Function of Deaconess in our Jurisdiction



The Office of Deaconess is a special ordination and not a female version of the male diaconate. She is empowered to perform the following functions:


1. Assist at Holy Baptism when administered to women and children
2. Conduct Prayer Services, such as devotionals, as assigned by the pastor or bishop
3. In case of a life-threatening situation, a deaconess can and should perform Holy Baptism (emergency baptism)
4. Deliver sermons in special circumstances if so qualified and assigned
5. Help with the distribution of the Holy Gifts (Communion) to women and children, both inside and outside of Liturgy (e.g., Communion to the sick)
6. Assist with pastoral care and counseling as approved by the bishop. This typically requires prior theological and pastoral training (such as seminary schooling or a degree in theology).
7. Serve as Cantor and Reader if so assigned
8. A Deaconess is considered clergy and hence may wear clerical attire when appropriate, such as Rhason and Skufos/veil.


Please note that neither a deacon nor a deaconess may ever (under no circumstances) perform Holy Matrimony, Holy Unction (for the sick), Chrismation (Confirmation), Absolution (Confession), Divine Liturgy (Eucharist) and Ordination, since only a priest or respectively a bishop may validly perform such.

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