Canons of the Synod of Orange

441 AD

Translation by John Wijngaards

Source: Mansi VI, 440
Canon 26. Diaconae omnimodis non ordinandae: si quae iam sunt, benedictioni quae populo impenditur, capita submittant. Canon 26. “Altogether no women deacons are to be ordained. If some already exist, let them bend their heads to the blessing given to the (lay) people.”

Comment. Note that the woman deacon is called ‘diacona’, using the ancient term rather than just ‘diaconissa’.

During the blessing the clergy stood on the side of the bishop or priest, joining the blessing he gave. Here the female deacons are told to stand on the side of the people and ‘receive’ the blessing.