The word “consecrated” means separated from common use to sacred use; by which a person or a thing is dedicated to the service and worship of God by prayers, rites, and ceremonies.
The process of consecration consists of separation, purification, and offering. Separation means to leave behind the world and all its pleasures, and anything that distracts one from the love of God. Purification refers to inner purification and holiness. Offering refers to the offering of one’s life to God, in humble thanksgiving and as a sacrifice of love. In the same way that God manifested His love to us by offering His Only Begotten Son on the Cross, our love to Him is manifested by offering our lives completely to Him.
There are 4 stages a Consecrated Sister may go through:
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. 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, etc.