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Bachelor Subdeacon

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  • Reader John
    Christ is Risen! Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors are normally ordained as subdeacons. My understanding is that married
    Message 1 of 5 , May 7, 2003
      Christ is Risen!

      Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors
      are normally ordained as subdeacons. My understanding is that
      married men and monks are ordained as subdeacons but I can't find a
      citation. I've been looking for the Pedalion on the internet and
      can't find the necessary information.

      Thanks,
      Rdr John
    • Glen Thurman
      Reader John, Indeed He is Risen! I can t cite a particular canon, but I had my bishop explain to me that due to different traditions in canon law that there
      Message 2 of 5 , May 8, 2003
        Reader John,

        Indeed He is Risen!

        I can't cite a particular canon, but I had my bishop explain to me that due
        to different traditions in canon law that there are two schools of thought
        here.

        The Slavic tradition treats the subdiaconate like one of the major orders
        (deacon, priest) in which the candidate must make the decision to marry or
        not *before* they are ordained. If a man chooses to become a subdeacon while
        single, he may not marry after being ordained.

        The Byzantine tradition treats the subdiaconate like being a reader, i.e.,
        that the decision to marry before or after being ordained is not a factor.

        For example, I was ordained a subdeacon while I was still dating my wife.
        This was not an issue because I'm in the Antiochian Archdiocese (i.e., the
        Byzantine tradition). My wife went to an OCA parish at the time, so this
        raised a few eyebrows (i.e. the Slavic tradition).

        In Christ,
        Subdeacon Tikhon
        SS Peter & Paul, Topeka

        > From: "Reader John" <rdrjohn2000@...>
        > Reply-To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Thu, 08 May 2003 03:12:25 -0000
        > To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [orthodox-readers] Bachelor Subdeacon
        >
        > Christ is Risen!
        >
        > Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors
        > are normally ordained as subdeacons. My understanding is that
        > married men and monks are ordained as subdeacons but I can't find a
        > citation. I've been looking for the Pedalion on the internet and
        > can't find the necessary information.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Rdr John
      • Stephen Parsons
        ... And how about whether an unmarried subdeacon could later get married? (Deacon and higher, I know, but wasn t sure about subdeacon.) -- Stephen in NC (Rdr
        Message 3 of 5 , May 8, 2003
          Reader John wrote:

          > Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors
          > are normally ordained as subdeacons.

          And how about whether an unmarried subdeacon could later get married?
          (Deacon and higher, I know, but wasn't sure about subdeacon.)

          -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)
        • Rick Patterson
          Christ is Risen! From Reader John to Reader John. I always wondered that too. One of the other posters here said it best about that it depends on your
          Message 4 of 5 , May 8, 2003
            Christ is Risen!

            From Reader John to Reader John.

            I always wondered that too. One of the other posters here said it
            best about that it depends on your jurisdiction. Actually, in the OCA
            it depends on the Diocese. Out west here, Bishop TIKHON has ordained
            men who were not married and I think they can or will marry later on.
            In other dioceses unmarried men are blessed as a Sub-Deacon but are
            not actually ordained until they are married.

            Indeed He has Risen!

            Humbly,

            Reader John Patterson
            --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Reader John"
            <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:
            > Christ is Risen!
            >
            > Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors
            > are normally ordained as subdeacons. My understanding is that
            > married men and monks are ordained as subdeacons but I can't find a
            > citation. I've been looking for the Pedalion on the internet and
            > can't find the necessary information.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Rdr John
          • Alex Vallens
            Christ is Risen! Well, I ll list the canon in question for you first... With regard to the marriage of clergy, canon VI of the Quinisext council* states: Since
            Message 5 of 5 , May 8, 2003
              Christ is Risen!

              Well, I'll list the canon in question for you first...
              With regard to the marriage of clergy, canon VI of the Quinisext
              council* states:
              Since it is declared in the apostolic canons that of those who are
              advanced to the clergy unmarried, only lectors and cantors are able to
              marry, we also, maintaining this, determine that henceforth it is in
              nowise lawful for any subdeacon, deacon or presbyter after his
              ordination to contract matrimony but if he shall have dared to do so,
              let him be deposed. And if any of those who enter the clergy, wishes to
              be joined to a wife in lawful marriage before he is ordained subdeacon,
              deacon, or presbyter, let it be done. [NPNF 2.14.364]

              * This council was convened in 692 in Constantinople, and was
              considered a continuation of the 6th Ecumenical Council in the east. It
              adopted 102 canons to reinforce the decisions of the 6th EC, but those
              were never accepted in the west, since no Papal representatives
              attended.

              Being from Bishop TIkhon's diocese, I am aware that he has been known
              to ordain subdeacons at a young age, who would presumably marry
              afterwards. In fact, I'm going to school here at St. Tikhon's with a
              subdeacon who is eagerly anticipating a forthcoming marriage (I do take
              the opportunity to poke fun at him for all this time to time). With
              regard to the validity of such practice, ultimately we must remember
              that canons are a guide for the bishops. The bishops are the true
              authority in the Church, and thank God for them, since they make all
              the hard decisions so we don't have to (in other words, as long as
              we're obedient to them, they are the ones held accountable by God).
              Now, I'm not advocating an outright disregard for canons, but in the
              end the ball is in the bishops court, so consult your local bishop.

              Here at St. Tikhon's unmarried servers are 'blessed' as subdeacons
              (whatever that means) according the local diocesan custom (e.g.
              Metropolitan Herman's preference). They wear and orarion, but I don't
              believe they are allowed to put the dikiri and trikiri on the Holy
              Table, nor handle the Holy Vessels.

              Moral of the story... as has been put forth already, YMMV!

              In Christ,
              Reader (Seminarian) Alex

              P.S. I was never ordained to the subdiaconate, although I was
              consistently being asked to serve as a subdeacon whenever the bishop
              was in the deanery. I was told this was because I was not married,
              despite being in Bishop Tikhon's diocese. It seems more likely this has
              something to do with my unworthiness!

              On Thursday, May 8, 2003, at 11:08 AM, Rick Patterson wrote:

              > Christ is Risen!
              >
              > From Reader John to Reader John.
              >
              > I always wondered that too. One of the other posters here said it
              > best about that it depends on your jurisdiction. Actually, in the OCA
              > it depends on the Diocese. Out west here, Bishop TIKHON has ordained
              > men who were not married and I think they can or will marry later on.
              > In other dioceses unmarried men are blessed as a Sub-Deacon but are
              > not actually ordained until they are married.
              >
              > Indeed He has Risen!
              >
              > Humbly,
              >
              > Reader John Patterson
              > --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Reader John"
              > <rdrjohn2000@y...> wrote:
              >> Christ is Risen!
              >>
              >> Can anyone refer me to the canons concerning whether or not bachelors
              >> are normally ordained as subdeacons. My understanding is that
              >> married men and monks are ordained as subdeacons but I can't find a
              >> citation. I've been looking for the Pedalion on the internet and
              >> can't find the necessary information.
              >>
              >> Thanks,
              >> Rdr John
              >
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