Ordination

Family and friends have been asking for photos and details of yesterday’s service. Sergei Kalfov from the cathedral has just posted his excellent photos of the service, so I’ve mirrored them here, along with the text of the ordination service. Click any of the photos to embiggen them.

The Ordination of a Subdeacon

The subdeacons bring the orarion [stole] to the bishop. And when the bishop has signed the orarion with the cross, and he who is to receive ordination has kissed it, and the hand of the bishop, they gird him with it. And the bishop signs him with his hand in the form of a cross; after which the Archpriest says:

Let us pray to the Lord.

And the bishop laying his hand on the candidate’s head, recites the following Prayer:

O Lord our God, who, through one and the same Holy Spirit distributing gifts of grace to each one of those whom thou hast chosen, hast given to Thy Church divers orders; who, through Thine inscrutable providence hast appointed degrees of ministry therein, for the service of Thy holy, spotless Mysteries; and who, through Thine ineffable foreknowledge, hast ordained this Thy servant to be worthy to serve in Thy holy Church: Do thou, the same Lord, preserve him uncondemned in all things. And grant that he may love the beauty of Thy house, stand before the doors of Thy holy temple, and kindle the lamps in the tabernacle of Thy glory. And plant him in Thy holy Church like a fruitful olive-tree, which brings forth the fruits of righteousness. And make him Thy perfect servant in the time of Thine advent, that he may receive the reward of those who are well-pleasing in Thy sight. For Thine are the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

And after the prayer, the subdeacons give the ewer and basin to him who is to receive the laying-on of hands, and lay a towel on his shoulders. And the bishop washes his hands. And he who is to be ordained subdeacon pours water over the hands of the bishop. Then he and the subdeacons kiss the hand of the bishop, and depart to their appointed place. And he who is to be ordained subdeacon stands, holding the ewer and basin, with the towel, until the Cherubic Hymn. And he says, silently:

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: Have mercy on us (Thrice.) Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. O Most-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, blot out our sins; O Master pardon our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake. Lord, have mercy. (Thrice.) Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Our Father who art in the heavens: Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, of teh Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen. Lord, have mercy. (Thrice.)

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life Who proceedeth from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the Prophets; in one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come. Amen.

Pardon, remit, forgive, O God, our transgressions, both voluntary and involuntary, whether of word or of deed, whether of knowledge or of ignorance, whether of the day or of the night, whether of the mind or of the intentions: forgive us all, inasmuch as thou art good and lovest mankind.

And if he desires to say anything further, he does so silently.

At the time of the Cherubic Hymn, he is led in front of the holy doors, to the bishop; and the bishop washes his hands, according to the rite, and says the prayer. Then he signs the water with his hand, in the form of a cross, thrice. And the bishop, with this holy water, wets the candidate’s eyes and ears nostrils, and lips. And at the Great Entrance, the candidate for holy orders walks behind all the clergy. Then the bishop says:

And may the mercy of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, be with you all.

And after the exclamation he is led into the sanctuary by the subdeacons, according to the rubric, and having received the bishop’s blessing, he takes his stand with the subdeacons.

The Ordination of a Deacon

After the bishop has said:

And may the mercy of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, be with you all;

The subdeacons bring the bishop’s pontifical seat and place it in front, and somewhat toward the left side of the holy altar, that he may not turn his back upon the holy things. And the bishop seats himself thereon; and two subdeacons take him who is to receive the laying-on of hands from the middle of the Church, having him between them, and each laying one hand upon his neck, and holding him by the hands with the other; and they bow him down as low as possible. And one deacon in the sanctuary says:

Command.

And leading him forward a little, they bow him down again. And another deacon says:

Command.

And thereupon they draw near to the Holy Door, bowing him down before the bishop. Then the Protodeacon says:

Command, most reverend Master.

Then the subdeacons leave him who is to receive ordination at the Holy Door: whereupon two others, a Protodeacon and a deacon, take him, the one by the right hand, the other by the left; and he bows before the bishop. Then the bishop signs him with his hand in the form of a cross, and they walk round the holy altar, they that lead him and the rest, singing:

O holy Martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: Entreat ye the Lord that our souls may be saved.

Then those who are outside the sanctuary sing the same, once. And he who is to receive the laying-on of hands kisses the four corners of the holy altar, and the hand and knee of the bishop.

Then they compass about the altar again, singing:

Glory to Thee, O Christ our God, the apostles’ boast, the Martyrs’ joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

And the choir outside sings the same, once. And again he who is to receive ordination kisses the holy altar, and the epigonation and hand of the bishop. Then they compass about the Altar again, singing:

Rejoice, O Isaiah! A Virgin is with child, and shall bear a Son, Emmanuel, both God and man: and Orient is his name; whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.

And they do according to the Ritual. And those outside sing the same.

Then the bishop rises, and the pontifical chair is removed; and he who is to receive the laying-on of hands goes to the right side of the bishop and bows down before the holy altar, thrice, saying;

Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

And bending the right knee he lays his palms upon the holy altar, in the form of a cross, and places his brow between his hands on the holy altar. Then the bishop lays the end of his stole upon his head, and blesses him, thrice upon the head, and when the Protodeacon, or the deacon, has said:

Let us attend:

The Bishop, laying his hand on the candidate’s head, says, aloud, in the hearing of all those who are in the Church;

The grace divine, which always heals that which is infirm, and completes that which is wanting, elevates, through the laying-on of hands, N., the most devout subdeacon, to be a deacon: Wherefore, let us pray for him, that the grace of the all-holy Spirit may come upon him.

Then the Priests in the sanctuary, on the right side, sing: Lord, have mercy. (Thrice) Likewise, those on the left: Lord, have mercy. (Thrice) And the singers outside in the right and left Choirs; Kyrie eleison (thrice, slowly), while the bishop recites this prayer.

The Protodeacon having said, in a low voice:

Let us pray to the Lord.

And the bishop blesses, thrice, the head of him that is receiving ordination.

O Lord our God, who by Thy foreknowledge dost send down the fulness of the Holy Spirit upon those who are ordained by Thine inscrutable power to be Thy servitors, and to administer Thy spotless Sacraments: Do thou, the same Sovereign Master, preserve also this man, whom thou hast been pleased to ordain through me, by the laying-on of hands, to the service of the diaconate, in all soberness of life, holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Grant unto him the grace which thou didst grant unto Stephen, Thy first martyr, whom, also, thou didst call to be the first in the work of Thy ministry; and make him worthy to administer after Thy pleasure the degree which it has seemed good to Thee to confer upon him. For they who minister well prepare for themselves a good degree. And manifest him as wholly Thy servant

For Thine are the kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The Protodeacon says softly, in a low voice:

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Choir. Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls: ℟

For the peace of the whole world; for the welfare of God’s holy Churches, and for the union of them all: ℟

For our Bishop N., of N., and for his priesthood, help, maintenance, peace, health and salvation; and for the work of his hands: ℟

For the servant of God, N., who has now received the laying-on of hands to be a deacon, and for his salvation: ℟

That the God who loves mankind will vouchsafe unto him a pure and blameless diaconate: ℟

For this city, and for every city and country; and the faithful dwell therein: ℟

That he will deliver us from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity: ℟

Help us, save us, have mercy upon us, and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. ℟

The Bishop, keeping his hand on the head of him who is receiving Holy Orders, prays meanwhile:

O God our Saviour, who by Thine incorruptible voice didst appoint unto Thine apostles the law of the diaconate, and didst manifest the first martyr, Stephen, to be of the same; and didst proclaim him the first who should exercise the office of a deacon, as it is written in Thy Holy Gospel: Whosoever desires to be first among you, let him be your servant: Do thou, O Master of all men, fill also this Thy servant, whom thou hast graciously permitted to enter upon the ministry of a deacon, with all faith, and love, and power, and holiness, through the inspiration of Thy holy and life-giving Spirit; for not through the laying-on of my hands, but through the visitation of Thy rich bounties, is grace bestowed upon Thy worthy ones: That he, being devoid of all sin, may stand blameless before Thee in the terrible day of thv judgment, and receive the unfailing reward of Thy promise.

Protodeacon. Calling to remembrance our most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commit ourselves, and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

Choir. To Thee, O God.

The Bishop. For thou art our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir. Amen.

Then they raise the candidate, and loose his stole, which is bound cross-wise. And taking the stole, the bishop lays it on his left shoulder, saying in a loud voice:

Axios! [Worthy!]

And those within the sanctuary sing, thrice:

Axios.

And likewise those outside, in both Choirs, sing, thrice:

Axios.

Then the cuffs are given to him, and the bishop says:

Axios.

And those within the sanctuary, and those outside, sing the same, as before. Then the sacramental fan is given to him, and the bishop says:

Axios.

And they who are within, and outside, the sanctuary, sing, as before. And he kisses the bishop on the shoulder, and placeth himself at the Altar, and fans the Holy Gifts.

After the Communion of the people, the newly-ordained deacon intones the final litany:

Deacon. Stand aright! Having received the divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly, life-giving and awesome Mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks to the Lord.

Choir. Lord, have mercy.

Deacon. Help us, save us, have mercy on us and keep us, O God, by Thy grace. ℟

Deacon. Having asked that the whole day may be perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us commit ourselves and each other, and all our life to Christ our God.

Choir. To Thee, O Lord.

Priest. For Thou art our sanctification, and to Thee we send up the glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.

Choir. Amen.

Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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