Monday, December 26, 2011

The Form of Prayer for the Ordination of a Deaconess

Book 8, Section III, XX of Apostolic Constitutions
XX . O Eternal God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of man and of woman, who replenished with the Spirit Miriam, and Deborah, and Anna, and Huldah; who did not disdain that Your only begotten Son should be born of a woman; who also in the tabernacle of the testimony, and in the temple, ordained women to be keepers of Your holy gates—do Thou now also look down upon this Your servant, who is to be ordained to the office of a deaconess, and grant her Your Holy Spirit, and cleanse her from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, 2 Corinthians 7:1 that she may worthily discharge the work which is committed to her to Your glory, and the praise of Your Christ, with whom glory and adoration be to You and the Holy Spirit for ever. Amen.
Issue 101 of Christian History is on Healthcare and hospitals in the mission of the church. There is a small article on Deaconesses on the front lines of care in the early church. Other women mentioned in this issue are Margery Kempe, an English lay-woman who wept for Christ's passion, and was known for devotion and intercession for the sick and her charitable acts; Paula and her daughter Eustochium who spent their wealth founding monasteries and helping the poor, and Fabiola, a Christian widow who founded the first Christian hospital.

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