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The feminine diaconate took form after the first two Christian centuries. From the 4th-c. testimonies regarding women became more numerous, but they were not considered part of the clergy, even if ordained with the laying on of hands ceirotoni,a; virginity or being the widow of one husband were an indispensable requirement. This form of institutionalized feminine diaconate remained exclusive to the East and was never introduced in the West. Belo Horizonte Subway Map Deaconesses should not be confused with widows, since the diaconate expressed a function whereas widowhood indicated a higher, ascetical state of life. Among heretical sects, esp. the Montanists, women taught, baptized, administered the Eucharist and carried out episcopal or presbyterial tasks.
DEAD, Ceremonies for the I. Funerals – II. Remembrance of the dead. In honoring their dead, the living display, more or less consciously, the belief that the dead survive their disappearance and need appropriate care in the afterlife. When this care, besides being a natural expression of affection, is clothed in religious expression, we may speak of ceremonies for the dead.
Christians initially followed contemporary Jewish and pagan customs. Only over time were these Christianized and a specifically Christian attitude to death created, but even then they remain a vehicle of ideas and customs whose origins are lost to us. I. Funerals. Care for the dead began in the home from the moment of death. The series of practices that succeeded each other from death to burial were called funus and can be divided as follows: 1. The funerary toilette.
After expiring, the dead person was called by name conclamatio to ensure that death had actually occurred, a rite still observed at the death of a pope. The eyes and mouth were closed, and then the body was washed, perfumed and dressed as befitted one’s station: all this by professionals. Meanwhile, rather than abandon themselves to grief like pagans, relatives were invited to sing psalms. Prayers seem to have been said by a priest.
2. Laying out. Laid out on a bed prepared for the purpose feretrum, crowned with flowers this custom, rebuked by Tertullian, took root among Christians, as texts and archaeology show, surrounded by family, the deceased received at home monks later at church the traditional incense, candles and Christian honors prayer for the deceased with night vigil if necessary. Burial was originally on the day of death, so laying out lasted only a day. If death was in the evening, there was a night vigil. Sometimes laying out was prolonged for some days to allow relatives to come to the funeral from a distance.
3. The funeral procession. According to old Roman custom, which Julian the Apostate vainly attempted to revive, the dead person was carried to the tomb at night by torchlight. This custom is still attested by Cyprian Act. Cypr. 5, 6 and perhaps by epigraphy CIL 11, 2538, but it disappeared in the course of the 4th c., when daytime burial began. The deceased was carried on the feretrum, followed by relatives and friends, men with head covered, women with hair unfastened, both dressed in dark colors or black. Psalms and hymns were sung during the procession.