After the "amen," the archbishop then vested the ordinand with the diaconal orarion (a long stole symbolic of the diaconal office), placing it around her neck, under her maphorion, and bringing the two ends of the stole around to the front.
In terms of rubrics, there are only a few differences: (1) the deaconess bowed her head instead of kneeling; (2) she was not vested with a liturgical tunic, (144) and the way in which she was vested with the orarion was different from the male deacon; (3) the deaconess was not given a kiss by the archbishop; (4) she was not given a ripidion (liturgical fan) to carry in procession or with which to fan the Holy Gifts; and (5) when the archbishop gave the deaconess the chalice after she had received Communion, she placed it back on the altar rather than taking it out of the sanctuary in order to distribute Communion to the laity.
The final difference--that the female deacon does not wear a liturgical tunic and that she is vested with the orarion (164) in a different manner from the male deacon--similarly reflects a difference in liturgical function, but does not indicate a difference in the clerical orders' respective rank.
As for the orarion, the deaconess essentially wore it in the same manner as the subdeacon (that is, with both ends brought to the front), while the male deacon's stole hung from one shoulder or, for an archdeacon, circled diagonally around the body from one shoulder, with the two ends crossing and hanging down, front and back, from the shoulder.
Again, the reason for changing the manner in which the male deacon wore the orarion was liturgical function.
It also indicates that the bishop placed the orarion under the maphorion which covered the deaconess' head and shoulders, making the orarion rather difficult to see in an icon, particularly given the pattern of fabric folds common in Byzantine iconography.
On the other hand, it seems incongruous to postulate that the female deacon in the Byzantine Church was vested with the orarion and received Communion at the altar at her ordination, but then functioned liturgically completely as a layperson thereafter.
The ordination rite itself, including vesting with the diaconal orarion and reception of Communion at the altar with the deacons, presbyters, and bishop, further underscores the Byzantines' assumption that the deaconess was part of the higher clergy of the church.
(164.) For a fuller discussion of the orarion, see S.