Deaconess


Deaconess
   In the Apostles' time there were holy women set apart for the work of the Church, for example Phoebe, the servant or deaconess, who was commended by St. Paul. This order of Deaconesses continued until about the seventh century, when the changed conditions of the Church interfered with its usefulness. In many places the order has of late years been revived and is demonstrating its original usefulness. The American Church has recognized the need of such an order of women in its work, and in the general canons provision is made for establishing the order and for its continuance and regulation. According to these, a woman to be admitted to the office of Deaconess must be at least twenty-five years of age, a communicant of the Church, and fit and capable to discharge the duties of the office. Before she can act as a Deaconess she must be set apart for that office by an appropriate religious service. When thus set apart she shall be under the direct oversight of the Bishop of the Diocese, to whom she may resign her office at any time, but having once resigned her office she is not privileged to be reappointed thereto unless the Bishop shall see "weighty cause for such reappointment."
   Training Schools for Deaconesses have been established in various parts of the country where candidates for this office receive special instruction and are trained for their work.

American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. . 1901.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Deaconess — Dea con*ess, n. (Eccl.) A female deacon; as: (a) (Primitive Ch.) One of an order of women whose duties resembled those of deacons. (b) (Ch. of Eng. and Prot. Epis. Ch.) A woman set apart for church work by a bishop. (c) A woman chosen as a helper …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deaconess — ► NOUN ▪ a woman with duties similar to those of a deacon …   English terms dictionary

  • deaconess — [dē′kən is] n. [ME dekenesse < LL(Ec) diaconissa, fem. of diaconus: see DEACON & ESS] in some Protestant denominations, a woman consecrated or commissioned to serve in a church related agency or hospital …   English World dictionary

  • Deaconess — For the honorific accorded a deacon s wife, see Diakonissa. Elizabeth Catherine Ferard, first deaconess of the Church of England …   Wikipedia

  • deaconess —    Deaconesses are women who perform the functions of a deacon in many Protestant churches. The modern Protestant deaconess movement began as a small ministry within the Moravian Church in 1745. That movement inspired a German Lutheran pastor,… …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • deaconess — UK [ˌdiːkəˈnes] / US [ˈdɪkənəs] noun [countable] Word forms deaconess : singular deaconess plural deaconesses a woman with a position just below that of a priest in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, or Orthodox churches …   English dictionary

  • Deaconess — A maid that had devoted her life to serve God, and to prayers as well. St. Paul mentioned Phoebe as a deaconess (Rom. 16:1). She is officially in charg of certain duties in the church. She helps the priest in serving women, particularly the sick… …   Dictionary of church terms

  • deaconess — noun Date: 15th century a woman chosen to assist in the church ministry; specifically one in a Protestant order …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • deaconess — /dee keuh nis/, n. 1. (in certain Protestant churches) a woman belonging to an order or sisterhood dedicated to the care of the sick or poor or who is engaging in other social service duties, as teaching or missionary work. 2. a woman elected by… …   Universalium

  • deaconess — noun a) A female deacon. b) A female servant in the early Christian church …   Wiktionary