There are 4 stages a Consecrated Sister may go through:
- Consecrated Sister
Not every consecrated sister necessarily goes through all four steps; they may stop after stage 2, or stage 3, or stage 4.
When it is time for the novice to become consecrated, the Rite of Consecration of the Consecrated Women is prayed over her. The consecration, which is done by the bishop, is performed without the laying on of hands, which is different from priestly ordinations. Unlike the deacons, the prayers for consecrated sisters do not take place after the Reconciliation Prayer, but after the morning Raising of Incense. In the Southern Diocese, the novice is differentiated from the consecrated sister by a different-colored garment; novices are dressed in light gray and consecrated sisters are dressed in dark gray.
The consecrated sister may be promoted to subdeaconess after at least five years from the date of the Rite of her consecration. Her good manners, obedience, dedication, service and experience are considered with the extent of the efficiency of her work and readiness for the completion of the way of consecration. If her promotion to subdeaconess is approved, the appropriate Rite is performed for her.
The subdeaconess may be promoted to deaconess after five years of her consecration as subdeaconess. This promotion is done according to her good manners, obedience, dedication, experience in service, the efficiency of her work and her readiness to complete the way of consecration to the end, with the commitment for the life of virginity or widowhood to the last breath. The promotion to the rank of a complete deaconess is decided by the high committee of affairs of consecrated women. If the bishop and the committee of affairs of consecrated women agree to promote her to a deaconess, the appropriate Rite is performed for her.