Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Form for the Setting Apart of Deaconesses

The Form for the Setting Apart of Deaconesses

The setting apart of Deaconesses shall occur at Morning or Evening Prayer after the collects.

All things being in readiness, a Priest shall present to the Bishop, sitting in his chair near the Holy Table, such as are to be set apart as Deaconesses, saying,

REVEREND Father in God, I present unto you these women, to be set apart to the office and work of Deaconess.

Then shall the Bishop say,

DECLARE, we pray you, unto those who are here gathered what the office and work of a Deaconess are.

Then shall the Priest, addressing the People, say,

DEARLY beloved, that it is agreeable to the mind of Christ that women should do him service by offices  of loving-kindness, we gather from Saint Paul, who saith to the Philippians, Help those women which laboured with me in the Gospel, and who also commendeth unto the Romans one Phoebe, a Deaconess of the Church which was at Cenchrea.
Touching the duty of women set apart to this office and ministry, the Canons of the Church affirm that it is to assist the Ministry in the care of the poor and sick, in the religious training of the young and others, and in the work of moral reformation. That they may be duly appointed to such service, have these women come hither.

Then shall the Bishop say,

BELOVED, we have good confidence that they who are now presented to be set apart to the office of Deaconess are competent thereto, for it hath been so certified unto us, as the Canons require, by them whose word we trust. Nevertheless, if there be any who can allege aught on account of which it is inexpedient that these persons be so set apart, let protest be now made openly and before all men.

If no good reason be alleged by any why any should not be set apart, the following Lesson shall be read.

Romans 12.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Then shall be said or sung Psalm 100, or the Magnificat.

Psalm 100. Jubilate Deo.

O BE joyful in the Lord, all ye lands: * serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; * we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; * be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting; * and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

Then, all kneeling, the Bishop shall say,

Unto thee lift we up our eyes;
O thou that dwellest in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters;
And as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress;
Even so our eyes wait upon thee, O Lord;
Until thou have mercy upon us.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
Have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us;
As our trust is in thee.

The Bishop shall then say,

O ETERNAL God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hast in all times accepted and blessed the services of holy women; Look mercifully, we beseech thee, upon these thy servants, about to be set apart to the office and work of Deaconess. Protect them in the way wherein they go, and grant that in singleness of purpose and with a willing mind they may worthily accomplish the task committed to them, to thy glory and to the praise of thy Christ, to whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, be glory and worship for ever and ever. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop ask of them the following questions, to which each Candidate shall answer for herself.

DEARLY beloved in the Lord, who are minded to take upon you this service in the Church of God, have you duly considered how weighty an undertaking this is, and are you prepared with a willing mind to take upon you this office of ministering to the suffering and needy, and in all humility and godly submission to help the Ministers of God’s Word and Sacraments?
Answer. I have so considered it, and will do so, by the help of God.
Bishop. Will you be obedient to those who are over you in the Lord, cheerfully and faithfully performing the service that shall be appointed to you?
Answer. I will, by the help of God.
Bishop. Inasmuch as this office is not to be lightly undertaken, is it your desire to give yourself to the work of the Lord as a Deaconess in singleness of heart?
Answer. I desire to do so, by the help of God.

Then shall the Candidate kneel, and the Bishop shall say,

ALMIGHTY God, who hath called you to serve him in this holy life, give you the power to fulfil this your service acceptably; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Then shall the Bishop lay his hand upon the head of the person to be made Deaconess, saying,

GOD the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, bless, preserve, and sanctify you; and so endow you with all faith, wisdom, and humility, that you may serve before him to the glory of his great Name, and to the benefit of his Church and people; and make you faithful unto death, and give you the crown of everlasting life. Amen.

N. I admit thee to the office of Deaconess, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Let us pray.

O GOD, who didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant unto this thy servant by the same Spirit to perceive and know what things she ought to do, and to have grace and strength evermore to do the same; direct her in all times of doubt and perplexity; strengthen her to bear the trial of her faith and patience; comfort her in times of sorrow; cheer her when faint and weary in the way. May thy love, abounding towards her more and more, stir up her heart to greater deeds of love to thee, and to all who need her service. And upon all those called to the office of Deaconess in thy Church bestow thy grace and heavenly benediction; enable them to bear each other’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Make them to know and feel their oneness in the mystical Body of thy dear Son, so that their fellowship here in works of love may prove to them a blessed discipline, and thus prepare them at last for the society of thy redeemed in heaven; through Jesus Christ our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

O GOD, who in thy holy Word dost commend above all goodly apparel the ornament of a quiet spirit; Adorn, we beseech thee, these thy servants with the meekness and the gentleness of Christ, that in all humility and singleness of heart they may run the way of thy Commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment