Untitled Document

THE BOOK OF ORDINATIONS

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT 

 


THE OFFICE FOR SETTING APART                       

3


READERS AND CHANTERS                                         

3


THE ORDINATION OF A SUBDEACON

9


THE ORDINATION OF A DEACON                            

12


ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD                        

18


THE CONFESSION OF FAITH                                   

26


THE FIRST CONFESSION OF FAITH                                               

26


THE SECOND CONFESSION OF FAITH                                           28


THE THIRD CONFESSION OF FAITH                                             

32


THE CONSECRATION                                                                       

34


THE INVESTITURE                                                                            

39


THE ELEVATION OF AN ARCHDEACON (celibate)     

40


OR A PROTODEACON (married)                                            40


The Elevation Of An Archimandrite         

42


ORDER FOR A BEGINNER TAKING THE RASON

45


ORDER FOR A BEGINNER TAKING THE LITTLE HABIT  

49


THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS                                                   

50


The Abbot (or a priest if for a nun)                                                   

51


THE INSTRUCTION                                                                          

52


THE PRAYERS BEFORE THE TONSURE                                        

54


THE BOWING OF THE HEAD                                                          

56


THE TONSURE                                                                                   

58


THE CLOTHING WITH THE HABIT                                                  

59


THE LITANY OF PEACE                                                                

62


THE EPISTLE                                                                                    

64


THE EKTENIA                                                                                   

65


THE GIVING OF THE CROSS AND THE CANDLE                        

67


THE DISMISSAL                                                                                

67


THE LITTLE DISMISSAL                                                                  

68


 

 





THE OFFICE FOR SETTING APART

READERS AND CHANTERS

 

He who is to be made a reader is led by the sub-deacon into the center of the church, before the beginning of the divine liturgy, and there makes three reverences: and turning, he makes three reverences before the bishop. Then, coming to the bishop, he bows his head; and the bishop blesses him, in crosswise form, on the head with his hand. Then, laying his hand upon the head of the candidate(s), the bishop says the following prayer:

BISHOP:  O Lord, who enlightenest all created beings with the light of Thy marvels, and knowest the intent of every man before it is formed, and strengthenest those who are desirous of serving thee: Do Thou, the same Lord, array in Thy fair and spotless vesture this Thy servant who desires to become a reader (these Thy servants who desire to become readers) before Thy Holy Mysteries; that he (they) may be illumined; and that attaining unto the world to come he (they) may receive the incorrup­tible crown of life, and rejoice with Thine elect in bliss everlasting.

 

For hallowed is Thy Name, and glorified is Thy kingdom, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

But when there is no liturgy the bishop begins as follows:

 

BISHOP:       Blessed is our God always, now, and ever; and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Then immediately:

O heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who art everywhere present and fillest all things, the Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come, and abide in us, and cleanse us from every stain; and save our souls, O good One.

 

Reader:                  Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us. (thrice.)

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; Both now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

All-holy Trinity, have mercy upon us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy God, visit and heal our in­firmities, for Thy Name’s sake.

 

Lord, have mercy. (thrice.)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; Both now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Our Father, who art in heaven, 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

 

Bishop:          For Thine is 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.

Choir:Amen.   

 

Lord, have mercy.  (twelve times.)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Then the troparion of the day shall be read. But if liturgy celebrated, O Heavenly King, and O Holy God, and Our Father are omitted, and only the following hymns are read:

O holy Apostles, entreat the merciful God that He will grant our souls remission of our sins.

 

Grace hath shone forth from Thy mouth like fire, illuminating the inhabited world.  Thou hast treasured for the world the treasures of silver-hating and revealed to us the sublimity of humility.  Wherefore, O educator, by Thy words, O John the golden-mouthed, intercede with Christ God to save our souls. 

 

In all the earth that received Thy sayings, Thy melody did resound, O righteous Father, Through which Thou didst go about and proclaim, as worthy of God, the nature of creatures, cultivating the character of mankind, O Thou of kingly Priesthood, Basil. Wherefore, plead Thou with Christ God to save our souls.

 

The pastoral flute of Thy discourse in theology triumphed over the trumpets of orators and overcame it; for having sought the depth of the Spirit, there was vouchsafed to thee also excellence of speech, O Father Gregory. Wherefore, intercede Thou with Christ God to save our souls.

 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Through the prayers of all the Saints, and of the Theotokos, O Lord, grant us Thy peace, and have mercy upon us: for Thou only art bountiful.

Then the Bishop cuts the candidate’s hair in the form of a cross, saying:

 

BISHOP:       In the Name of the Father.

 

Then the deacon, and the reader, or a chanter, shall say:

 

DEACON:          Amen.

Bishop:       And of the Son.

 

Deacon:          Amen.

 

Bishop:       And of the Holy Spirit.

 

Deacon:          Amen.

 

Then the bishop says this prayer:

 

BISHOP: O Lord God Almighty, elect this Thy servant (these Thy servants), and sanctify him (them); and enable him (them), with all wisdom and under­standing, to exercise the study and reading of Thy divine words, preserv­ing him (them) in blamelessness of life.

 

Through the mercy and love toward mankind of Thine only-begotten Son, with whom also Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Choir:Amen.

And after the prayer, the bishop opens the book of the epistles upon the head of the reader. And the sub-deacons lead him from the bishop, and place him in the middle of the church, facing East; and the book of the epistles is given to him, and he reads, a little, wherever the book opens, and turning, bows to the bishop thrice, according to the rubric.  Then a sticharion is brought to the bishop, and he makes the sign of the cross with his hand, over the cross on the back of the sticharion. And he who has been set apart (or ordained), having signed himself with the cross, kisses the cross upon the sticharion, and the hand of the bishop: And the sub-deacons vest him in the sticharion; and the bishop exhorts him in this manner:

 

BISHOP: My son(s), the first degree in the Priesthood is that of Reader. It behooves you therefore, to study the divine Scriptures daily, to the end that the hearers, regarding  you may receive edification; that you in noway shaming your election, may prepare yourself (yourselves) for a higher degree. For by a chaste, holy and upright life you shall gain the favour of the God of loving-kindness, and shall render yourself (yourselves) worThy of a great ministry, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom be glory unto ages ages. Amen.

Then the Bishop says:

Blessed is the Lord. Behold, the servant(s) of God, N. (NN.), has (have) become a reader (readers) of the most holy church of N.: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Then the bishop gives him (them) a lit candle(s). and he stands (they stand) before the bishop with the candle, in the appointed place.


 

THE ORDINATION OF A SUBDEACON

 

The Subdiaconate is considered the highest of the Minor Orders. The ordi­nation to this office takes place at the end of Matins before the Divine Lit­urgy, or at the conclusion of Vespers. Only a Bishop may perform the ordi­nation;

however, in some cases, the abbot of a monastery can ordain a subdeacon with special permission.

If the person to be ordained is a layman, he is presented to the bishop in a black cassock. If the candidate is a monk, he is presented in his mantia (which the bishop then asks him to remove). The candidate is then dressed with a white robe.

The basin and pitcher containing water are presented to the bishop by the candidate. The bishop blesses the head of the candidate three times.

The deacon then says,

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

 The bishop reads the following prayer and then taking the orarion, pIaces it on the  candidate crosswise:

BISHOP:  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 diverse 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 bringeth forth the fruits of righteousness. And make him Thy perfect servant in the time of Thine advent, that he may receive the recompense of those who are well-pleasing in Thy sight.

 

                        For Thine is 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 bishop then places the towel on the candidate’s left shoulder and gives him the basin and the pitcher. The candidate kisses the bishop’s hand, then pours water on the bishop’s hand and says, "Ye who are faithful" three times (asking the people to be witnesses for him), and after the bishop wipes his hands with the towel the candidate kisses the bishop’s hand again.

 


 

THE ORDINATION OF A DEACON

 

The ordination of a deacon takes place during the Divine Liturgy, directly after the exclamation "And the mercies of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all". (This is during the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil the Great. During the Presanctified Divine Liturgy the ordination to the diaconate takes place after the Great Entrance, before the Ektenia, "Let us complete our evening prayers unto the Lord.")

At the proper time, two deacons come and take the basin, water and towel from the subdeacon and bring the him in front of the Royal Doors. The candidate then makes three prostrations, with the two deacons holding him by the shoulders, and gently pushing him down for each prostration. Then the subdeacon proceeds to venerate the icon of Christ and the Theotokos on the Iconostas. Then they return to the front of the Royal Doors.

The first deacon then says:

DEACON:      Command.

 

The second deacon then says:

 

DEACON:      Command.

 

As they are approaching the Royal Doors, where the bishop is standing the first deacon says:

DEACON:      Command, Holy Master.

The candidate then makes three prostrations in front of the bishop with the two deacons holding him by the shoulders while the bishop is blessing the head of the candidate with his right hand, saying each time:

 

BISHOP:       In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

The candidate kisses the right hand of the bishop. The bishop then returns to the Altar and sits on the chair which has been placed at the left corner of the Holy Altar Table.

The candidate is then led around the altar three times by the deacons, each time kissing the four corners of the altar, the cross on the bishop’s epigonation, and the bishop’s hand. While this is occurring, the clergy (and the choir) sing the following three troparia:

(During the first circuit) Tone 5

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      Ye holy martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: entreat ye the Lord that he will have mercy on our souls.

 

(During the second circuit) Tone 7

 

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      Glory to thee, O Christ our God: the Apostles’ boast, the Martyrs’ joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

 

(During the third circuit) Tone 7

 

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      O Isaiah, dance with joy, for a Virgin was with child and hath born a son, Emmanuel, both God and man; and Orient is his name; whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.

 

At the completion of the third circuit the bishop rises and asks the subdeacon to remove the Orarion which the candidate has been wearing in the manner of a subdeacon, after which the candidate kneels in front of the Altar Table on his right knee only, placing his hands on the Altar, the right over the left, resting his forehead on his hands.

The deacon says:

DEACON:      Let us attend.

 

The bishop then prays the following prayer:

 

BISHOP:       The grace divine, which always healeth that which is infirm, and completeth that which is wanting elevateth, 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.

 

The bishop then prays a second prayer:

BISHOP:       O Lord, our God, who by Thy foreknowledge dost send down the fullness 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. Vouchsafe 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 hath 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 is 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.

 

BISHOP:       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 shouldst exercise the office of a Deacon, as it is written in Thy Holy Gospel: Whosoever desireth 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 Thy Judgement, and receive the unfailing reward of Thy promise.

While the bishop says the above prayers, one of the deacons or a priest in a low voice says the following petitions:

 

DEACON:             In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

 

CLERGY:             Lord, have mercy. (after each petition)

 

DEACON:             For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the peace of the whole world; for the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our (metropolitan or archbishop or bishop), N.,his holiness, help, maintenance, peace, health and salvation, and for the work of his hands, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the servant of God, N., who hath now received the Laying-on of Hands to be a Deacon, and for his salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the President of the United States and all civil authorities, and for our Armed Forces everywhere, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For this city, and for every city and land, and for the faithful who dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

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

 

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

 

Clergy:                   To thee, O Lord.

   

PRIEST:                For Thou art our God, and unto thee are due all glory, honour, and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

DEACON:             Amen.

 

The bishop’s praying is heard by the congregation, while the deacon’s (or the priest’s, as the case may be) is heard by those in the sanctuary. At the same time, the choir and/or remaining clergy sing slowly and softly, "Lord, have mercy."

After this prayer and the accompanying petitions have been completed, the bishop raises up the newly-ordained deacon and, facing the people, exclaims:

BISHOP:              Axios!

 

The people repeat, "Axios, Axios, Axios" each time after the bishop.

The bishop holds up the new sticharion, saying again, " Axios " (He is worthy), which the congregation once again repeats. He then takes the orarion and says, " Axios," then the cuffs, once again saying, " Axios."

The sponsoring deacons then help the newly-ordained deacon to vest himself with his oraion and cuffs. He then receives the service book which he will use as an ordained deacon of the Church.

The newly-ordained deacon kisses the right hand of the bishop goes out with the first deacon to the solea through the Royal Doors where he says the Litany, "Calling to remembrance all the Saints, again and again…"

After the Litany, and after the elevation; "Holy Things are for the Holy," the new deacon re-enters the sanctuary through the Royal Doors and stands at the right side of the Altar to assist the bishop in the Liturgy.

At the time of Communion, the new deacon is the first of the deacons to receive.

ORDINATION TO THE PRIESTHOOD

The ordination to the priesthood is performed during the Divine Liturgy, by the bishop. After the Great Entrance, the deacon to be ordained is brought to the middle of the solea through the north door, guided by his sponsors. The sponsors may be deacons or priests. The candidate then makes three prostrations, with the two deacons holding him by the shoulders, then proceeds to venerate the icon of Christ and the Theotokos on the Iconostas. Then they return to the front of the Royal Doors.

The first deacon then says:

 

DEACON:             Command.

 

The second deacon then says:

 

DEACON:             Command.

 

As they are approaching the Royal Doors, where the bishop is standing the first deacon says:

 

DEACON:  Command, Holy Master.

 

The candidate then makes three prostrations in front of the bishop with the two deacons holding him by the shoulders while the bishop is blessing the head of the candidate with his right hand, saying each time:

 

BISHOP:       In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The candidate kisses the right hand of the bishop. The bishop then returns to the Altar and sits on the chair which has been placed at the left corner of the Holy Altar Table.

The candidate is then led around the altar three times by the deacons/priests each time kissing the four corners of the altar, the cross on the bishop’s epignation, and the bishop’s hand. While this is occurring, the clergy (and the choir) sing the following three troparia:

(During the first circuit) Tone 5

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      Ye holy martyrs, who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: entreat ye the Lord that he will have mercy on our souls.

(During the second circuit) Tone 7

 

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      Glory to thee, O Christ our God: the Apostles’ boast, the Martyrs’ joy, whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

 

(During the third circuit) Tone 7

 

CLERGY

AND CHOIR:      O Isaiah, dance with joy, for a Virgin was with child and hath born a son, Emmanuel, both God and man; and Orient is his name; whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.

 

At the completion of the third circuit the bishop rises and asks the deacon to remove the Orarion after which the candidate kneels in front of the Altar Table on his knees placing his hands on the Altar, the right over the left, resting his forehead on his hands.

The deacon says:

 

DEACON:  Let us attend.

 

The bishop then says the following prayer:

 

BISHOP:       The grace divine, which always healeth that which is infirm, and completeth that which is wanting elevateth, through the laying-on of hands, N., the most devout Deacon, to be a Priest: Wherefore, let us pray for him, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.

 

The bishop then places his hand on the candidate’s head, with the omophorion, and says the following prayer:

 

BISHOP:       O God, who hast no beginning and no ending; who art older than every created thing; who crownest with the name of Presbyter those whom Thou deemest worthy to serve the world of Thy truth in the divine ministry of this degree. Do Thou, the same Lord of all men, deign to preserve in pureness of life and in unswerving faith this man, also, upon whom, through me, Thou hast graciously been pleased to lay hands. Be favorably pleased to grant unto him the great grace of Thy Holy Spirit, and make him wholly Thy servant, in all things acceptable unto thee, and worthily exercising the great honours of the priesthood which Thou hast conferred upon him by Thy prescient power.

 

O God great in might and inscrutable in wisdom, marvelous in counsel above the sons of men: Do Thou, the same Lord, fill with the gift of Thy Holy Spirit this man whom it hath pleased thee to advance to the degree of Priest; that he may be worthy to stand in innocency before Thine altar; to proclaim the Gospel of Thy kingdom; to minister the word of Thy Truth; to offer unto thee spiritual gifts and sacrifices; to renew Thy people through the laver of regeneration. That when he shall go to meet thee, at the Second Coming of our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Thine Only-Begotten Son, he may receive the reward of a good steward in the degree committed unto him, through the plenitude of Thy goodness.

 

While the bishop says the above prayers, one of the deacons or a priest says the following petitions:

The bishop’s praying is heard by the congregation, while the deacon’s (or the priest’s, as the case may be) is heard by those in the sanctuary. At the same time, the choir and/or remaining clergy sing slowly and softly, "Lord, have mercy".

 

DEACON:             In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

 

CLERGY:             Lord, have mercy (for this and each following petition)

 

For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the peace of the whole world, for the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our (metropolitan or archbishop or bishop) N., and for his priesthood, succour, maintenance, peace, health and salvation; and for the works of his hands, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the servant of God, N., who hath now received the Laying-on of Hands to the Priesthood, and for his salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

That the God who loveth mankind will vouchsafe unto him a pure and blameless ministry, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the President of the United States and all civil authorities, and for our Armed Forces everywhere, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For this city, and for every city and land, and for the faithful who dwell therein, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

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

 

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

 

CLERGY :            To thee, O Lord.

 

BISHOP:               For blessed and glorified is Thine all-holy and majestic Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

DEACON:             Amen.

 

The bishop then raises the candidate, removes his deacon’s orarion, and gives his new vestments to the sponsors, who in turn dress the new priest. As each piece is put on, the bishop first holds it up to the congregation saying, "Axios", and the people respond the same. The vestments are placed on him as follows: the epitrachelion (stole), the epigonation (shield), the zone (belt), the phelonion.

The newly-ordained priest, now fully-vested, kisses the bishop’s hand and stands at the right side of the altar, in the place of the senior priest. During the Liturgy, the senior priest usually says, "Singing the triumphal hymn…", but on this occasion the bishop generally indicates that the newly-ordained priest should say it.

At the Kiss of Peace, the newly-ordained is the first to exchange it with the bishop.

After the consecration, after the exclamation "Thine own of Thine own…", and before "Especially for our most holy...", the bishop gives the Lamb to the newly-ordained saying:

BISHOP:       Take this pledge and keep it pure and unharmed until your last breath for the Second and Awesome Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ when by Him it shall be required of thee.

Receiving the Lamb, the newly-ordained priest kisses the bishop’s hand and goes to stand behind the altar table, resting his left arm or elbow on the altar, saying Psalm 50 inaudibly. When it is time to intone, "Holy Things are for the Holy", the newly-ordained priest returns the Lamb to the bishop, who places it on the discos and continues the Divine Liturgy.

The newly-ordained priest receives communion first. He also reads the prayer at the ambon,"O Lord, who blesses those who bless Thee…"



THE CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

DEACON:            Let us attend!

 

PRIEST:               The most God-loving, elect and confirmed Archimandrite ( N) is led forth for consecration to the bishopric of the See of  (N).

 

BISHOP:              For what reason have you come, and what do you ask for us?

 

BISHOP-ELECT: The laying-on of hands, unto the grace of the office of bishop, Most Reverend Masters.

 

BISHOP:              And how do you believe?

 

 

THE FIRST CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

BISHOP-ELECT: 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 worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very 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 was made 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 quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.

 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets.

 

And I believe 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 world to come. Amen.

 

I accept the decisions of the Seven Holy and Ecumenical Councils, which were convened for the protection and safeguarding of all the Orthodox dogmas of the Church.

 

And I confess, accept and protect all of the canons which have been promulgated and decided upon, and all the protocol which the Holy Fathers have formulated in different places and times. I accept all that they accepted, and I reject all that they rejected.

 

I commit myself to the preservation of the peace of the Church and for the remainder of my life I will never teach anything which contradicts the teachings of the Church in any way.

 

I will obey and follow the directives of His Beatitude, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East; and I shall always uphold and protect the honor of the Patriarchate of Antioch all the days of my life.

 

PRIEST:               Command!

 

PRIEST:               Command!

 

PRIEST:               Bless, Holy Mater, him who is brought to you.

 

CHOIR:                Many years to you, Master !

 

BISHOP:              Explain to us in greater detail what you believe concerning the ineffable Holy Trinity.

 

 

THE SECOND CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

BISHOP-ELECT: I believe in one God in Three Persons – by which I mean the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe that He is divided in regard to characteristics but not divided in essence. Therefore He is one Trinity Himself, and individual Himself. For the one is called Father, and the other is called Son, and the other is called Holy Spirit.

 

The Father is unbegotten, without beginning, for nothing was before Him. He always was, and without beginning, God. He is without beginning for He did not receive His existence from any save Himself. Therefore, I believe that the Father is the cause of the Son by begetting, and the origin of the Spirit by generation, without there being any separation or change among them except the difference in Person, and that the Father begets the Son and generates the Holy Spirit. The Son is begotten of the Father alone, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. I believe in one beginning, and I know the Father as the one cause of the Son and the Spirit.

 

I believe that the Son is begotten before all ages without limit and is before everything: not as if He were the first of all creation, and not as if He were the first to be created. No! For this is the wicked belief of Arius. For that condemned man blasphemed by saying that the Son and the Holy Spirit were created. But I believe that the Son is begotten from the One who has no beginning, for there could never be two beginnings.

 

The Holy Spirit shares with the Son in beginning for both the Son and the Holy Spirit have their cause in the Father – the Son by begetting and the Holy Spirit by procession. For the Father does not separate Himself from the Son, neither does the Son separate Himself from the Holy Spirit, nor does the Holy Spirit separate Himself from the Father and the Son. But the Father is Himself fully expressed in both the Son and the Holy Spirit; and the Son is fully expressed in the Father and the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit is fully expressed in the Father and the Son. For all are united without separation, yet distinct persons in that unity.

 

Therefore, I believe that the Word of God is equal to the Father in eternity beyond time, who is neither contained nor confined, and that He descended to our nature and took from the Virgin, who is alone pure and immaculate, all of fallen man, to grant the world salvation and grace according to His compassion. This was accomplished by the union of the two natures – not as if the Child matured with additions little by little, and not as if the natures were united with confusion, by mingling or mixture; and not as if the Word came after He became a grown man, nor that the unity of natures took place as something separate, as Nestorius taught, the one whom God condemned and cast away. And not as if He was without mind and soul, as Apollonarius taught, who is himself without any mind, and who carelessly said that theology is sufficient without reason. I believe that He is perfect God and perfect man; that is to say, He is both God and man – man with soul and mind. Yet after the union of the two natures, He retains all His natural characteristics. In participating in the Word, His dive and human natures did not change.

 

He is himself one person of two natures and two wills, preserving what is of Him and what is in Him, the one Jesus Christ our God. He is naturally of two wills, not rationally. I further believe that He suffered in the flesh as God. And I believe that He took upon Himself all of our infirmities and conflicts in our nature except sin: hunger, thirst, fatigue, tears and the like. Those were in Him, not determinantly like in us, but through obedience of His human nature to His divine nature.

 

For He deigned to thirst – and He was thirsty; He deigned to tire – and He was fatigued; He deigned to die- and He suffered death. He died, freely accepting death for our sake, without the suffering of His divine nature. For He who takes away the sin of the world was not subject to death, but He willingly accepted death to save us all from the devouring hand of death, and to offer us to His Father by His blood. Wherefore death encountered human flesh and was trampled down by divine power, and the souls of the righteous, which were chained by death from the beginning of time, were liberated by Him.

 

And after His resurrection from the dead, and appearances to His disciples for forty days on earth, He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. In saying "the right hand of the Father" I do not mean spatial right hand or confinement, but I mean by "right hand" His glory which is without beginning and end. For the glory which was the Son’s before the incarnation is His after the incarnation as well. For His holy body is worshipped together with His divine essence, not with any mingling in the Holy Trinity. No! For the Holy Trinity remained trinitarian after the union of the Only-begotten Son, whose holy body is still united and remains with the Father, now and for ever.

 

And He will come again to judge the living and the dead, both the righteous and the wicked. The righteous will be rewarded according to their virtuous deeds and with the Kingdom of Heaven for what they have suffered here. But the sinners will be punished by eternal suffering in hell’s fire which is without end, from which may we all be delivered according to the promise and incorruptible blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

PRIEST:         Command!

 

PRIEST:         Command!

 

PRIEST:         Bless, Holy Master, him who is brought to you.

 

BISHOP:              + The grace of the Holy Spirit be with you, enlightening you and endowing you with wisdom all the days of your life.

 

CHOIR:          Many years to you, Master !

 

BISHOP:              Explain to us in greater detail what you believe concerning the incarnation of the Son and Word of God, and how many natures you believe that Christ has.

 

THE THIRD CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

BISHOP-ELECT: I believe in one God: the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. For He is without beginning, unbegotten and without cause, but is Himself the natural beginning and cause of the Son and of the Spirit.

 

And I believe in His Only-begotten Son, without mutation and without time begotten of Him, being of one essence with Him, by whom all things were made.

 

And I believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeds, from the same Father, and with Him is glorified as co-eternal, being of one essence with Him, and equal in glory, and enthroned together with Him, the Author of Creation.

 

I believe that one of the same super-substantial and life-giving Trinity, the Only-begotten Word, came down from heaven, for us men, and for our salvation, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; that is to say, was made perfect man, yet remaining God, and in nowise changing His divine essence by His participation in the Flesh, neither being transmuted into anything else: but without mutation assuming man’s nature, He therein endured suffering and death, being free in His divine nature from every suffering. And on the third day He rose again from the dead; and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of His God and Father

 

And I believe those traditions and narrations concerning the One Catholic and Apostolic Church which we have received from God and from the men of God

 

I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins.

 

I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

 

Furthermore, I confess the One person, the Word made flesh; and I believe and proclaim that Christ is one and the same in two natures after His incarnation, preserving those things which were in them and from the. Therefore, also, I adore two wills, in that each nature retains its own special will and its own action.

 

I reverence, relatively, but not in the way of worship, the divine and reverence-worthy images of Christ Himself, and of the all-undefiled Mother of God, and of all the Saints, addressing to their originals the honor shown to them. I reject as ill-advised those who think otherwise.

 

And I excommunicate Arius and his followers and those who participate with him in his wicked belief. And I excommunicate Macedonius and his followers, who are appropriately called "rejectors of the Spirit." Likewise I excommunicate Nestorius and the propounders of all heresies. I reject all who agree with them in their error, and I publicly proclaim them excommunicated. All heretics are excommunicated! All heretics are excommunicated!

 

I literally and truly confess our Sovereign Lady, Mary the Theotokos, as having borne in the flesh one of the Trinity, even Christ our God. May the same by my helper, protector, and defender all the days of my life. Amen

 

I, Archimandrite (N), chosen by the grace of God for the See of (N.), have signed this confession of my faith with my own hand.

 

PRIEST:         Command!

 

PRIEST:         Command!

 

PRIEST:         Bless, Holy Master, him who is brought to you.

 

BISHOP:              +The grace of the All-holy and Life-giving Spirit, through my humility, exalts you, most God-loving Archimandrite (N.), to be the Bishop of the See of (N).

 

CHOIR:          Many years to you, Master!

 

BISHOP:              +The grace of the Holy Spirit be with you, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

 

CHOIR:          Amen. Many years to you, Master!

 

The Bishop-elect is led into the sanctuary where he dons his priestly vestments and stands praying in the chapel on the south of the Altar Table until the time of his consecration.

 

 

 

THE CONSECRATION

 

Following the proclamation of the Presiding Bishop’s Phimi, the Bishop-elect is led to the solea and brought to the Holy Doors.

 

PRIEST:               Command! (addressed to the laity)

 

PRIEST:               Command! (addressed to the clergy)

 

PRIEST:               Command, Holy Master!

With the Presiding Bishop enthroned on the north side of the Altar Table, the Bishop-elect is led around the Altar Table three times by the other Bishops as they chant:

 

BISHOPS:            Ye Holy Martyrs, who fought the good flight and have received your crowns: entreat ye the Lord that He will have mercy on our souls.

 

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

 

O Isaiah, dance your joy, for a Virgin is with child and has borne a son, Emmanuel, both God and man; and Orient is His name, whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.

The Bishop-elect kneels before the Altar Table and the Presiding Bishop opens the book of the Holy Gospels and, with the writing downward, places it upon the head of the Bishop-elect. The other Bishops hold the book of the Holy Gospels with their left hands and the Presiding Bishop places his omophorion upon the book of the Holy Gospels. All of the Bishops place their right hands upon it.

 

DEACON:            Let us attend!

 

BISHOP:              By the election and approbation of the most God-loving Bishops and the most reverend Priests:

 

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 God-loving Archimandrite, duly elected, to be the Bishop of the See of (N). Wherefore, let us pray for him that the grace of the All-holy Spirit may come upon him.

 

 

While the "Lord, have mercy" is chanted slowly and softly, the Presiding Bishops says the following prayer while another Bishop quietly says the ektenia.

 

BISHOP:              O Master, Lord our God, who through Thine all-laudable Apostle Paul hast established for us an ordinance of degrees and ranks, unto the service and divine celebration of Thine august, and all-spotless mysteries upon Thy holy Altar; first, Apostles, secondly, Prophets, thirdly, Teachers: Do Thou, the same Lord of All, who also hast graciously enabled this chosen person to come under the yoke of the Gospel and the dignity of a Bishop through the laying-on of hands of us, his brother Bishops here present, strengthen him by the inspiration and power and grace of Thy Holy Spirit, as Thou didst strengthen Thy holy Apostles and Prophets; as Thou didst anoint Kings; as Thou hast consecrated Bishops: And make his bishopric to be blameless; and adorning him with all dignity, present Thou him holy, that he may be worthy to ask those things which are for the salvation of the people, and that Thou mayest give ear unto him.

 

For blessed is Thy Name, and glorified is Thy Kingdom, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

CHOIR:          Amen

 

The following ektenia is said quietly while the Presiding Bishop reads the preceding prayer.

 

                                In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the peace from above, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the peace of the whole world; for the good estate of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our Metropolitan (N), his holiness, help, maintenance, peace, health and salvation, and for the work of his hands, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For the servant of God, (N), now consecrated to be a Bishop, and for his salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

 

That our God who loveth mankind will grant him to exercise his episcopal office without stain or blame, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For this city, and for every city, and for all those who entreat of God aid and protection, let us pray to the Lord.

 

For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

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

 

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

 

The Presiding Bishop says the following prayer aloud:

 

BISHOP:              O Lord our God, who, forasmuch as it is impossible for the nature of man to endure the essence of the Godhead, in Thy providence has instituted for us teachers of nature with ourselves, to maintain Thine Altar, that they may offer unto Thee sacrifice and oblation for all Thy people; Do Thou, the same Lord, make this man also, who hath been proclaimed a steward of the episcopal grace, to be an imitator of Thee, the true shepherd, who didst lay down Thy life for Thy sheep; to be a leader of the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a reprover of the unwise, a teacher of the young, a lamp to the world: that, having perfected the souls entrusted unto him in this present life, he may stand unashamed before Thy throne, and receive the great reward which Thou hast prepared for those who have contended valiantly for the preaching of Thy Gospel.

 

For Thine it is to show mercy, and to save us, O 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.

 

The book of the Holy Gospels is now closed and placed on the antimension and the newly consecrated Bishop stands to be vested by the other bishops.

 

BISHOPS:            Axios! He is worThy!

 

All:                         Axios! He is worThy!

 

The newly consecrated Bishop now exchanges the Kiss of Peace with his brother Bishops. After they proceed to their thrones at the High Place, the Divine Liturgy continues from the prokeimenon of the Epistle.

 

THE INVESTITURE

 

After "Blessed be the Name of the Lord" the Bishops come to stand before the Holy Doors. The Presiding Bishop places the miter upon the head of the newly consecrated Bishop and presents him with the pastoral staff saying:

 

BISHOP:              Receive the pastoral staff, that you may feed the flock of Christ entrusted to you: and be a staff and support to those who are obedient. But lead the disobedient and the wayward to correction, to gentleness and to obedience, and they shall continue in due submission.

 

The newly consecrated Bishop delivers his homily and gives the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy as the clergy, choir and laity chant:

 

ALL:                      O Lord, preserve our Master and Chief Shepherd! Many years to you, Master! Many years to you, Master! Many years to you, Master!

 

PRIEST:               Through the prayers of our Holy Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.

 

CHOIR:                Amen



THE ELEVATION OF AN ARCHDEACON (celibate)

OR A PROTODEACON (married)

 

The elevation of an archdeacon or protodeacon takes place during the Small Entrance. Two sponsoring deacons bring the deacon to be elevated to the Royal Doors, where he makes three prostrations. The bishop is now seated on his throne. The first deacon says:

 

DEACON:            Command.

 

The second deacon says:

 

DEACON:            Command.

 

The first deacon says:

 

DEACON:            Command, Holy Master.

The candidate, at the exclamation of each command, makes a prostration in front of the bishop, three in all. The Bishop then says:

 

 BISHOP:             The Grace of the All-Holy Spirit, through our humility, promoteth thee to be Archdeacon (Protodeacon) to our church (Archdiocese/ Diocese).

 

He then blesses the Archdeacon with his right hand over the Archdeacon’s head saying:

 

BISHOP:              In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

One of the deacons says:

 

DEACON:            Let us pray to the Lord.

 

CHOIR:                Lord, have mercy.

The Bishop then puts his right hand over the head of the one to be elevated, and says the following prayer:

 

BISHOP:              O Master, Lord Our God, who hast bestowed upon our race the Archdeaconship, granting, through Thine unspeakable providence, that they who are endued therewith may order and serve Thy Divine Mysteries as lesser ministers: Do Thou, the same Lord, endue with this grace of the Archdeaconship this Thy servant, N., and adorn him with Thine integrity, to stand at the head of the deacons of Thy people, and to be an example of good to those who are under him. Cause him to attain unto a ripe old age, that he may magnify Thy glorious Name, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

CHOIR:                Amen. Is polla Eti Despota

 

Meanwhile the bishop imparts the customary blessing. The Divine Liturgy then continues as usual.



The Elevation Of An Archimandrite

 

The deacons bring the priest/priest-monk who is to be elevated to archimandrite to the bishop who is seated on the Throne, saying:

 

Deacons:          Command! (addressed to the people)

                                Command ye! (addressed to the clergy)

                                Command Holy Master him who is brought to thee! (addressed to the bishop)

 

The priest/priest-monk makes three deep metanias before the bishop and then kneels before him bowing his head. The archimandrites who are acting as sponsors stand on either side of the priest-monk. The bishop makes the sign of the cross over the priest/priest-monk’s head with his hand three times. Then placing his hand on the head of the priest/priest-monk, the bishop says:

 

Bishop:              The Grace of the All-holy, perfecting, and sovereign Spirit, through our unworthiness, elevateth, N., to be archimandrite of our Archdiocese.

 

Bishop:              O Lord Jesus Christ our God, King before the ages, the Good Shepherd and Leader of the rational flock, who setteth the Spirit upon Thine own sheep, who saith, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Do Thou Thyself now visit these who have come together through the Grace of Thy Holy Spirit and Thy servant, N., who hath been elevated to archimandrite, publicly set forth as a worthy, chosen servant of this Archdiocese. Direct his way, enlighten his understanding, and implant Thy divine fear in his heart so that he may administer faithfully and truthfully according to Thy Holy will, and care most fervently for the needs of this holy Archdiocese, expediently, zealously, and with all his strength. Guard his soul and body from all harm, and grant him to receive a share in Thy Kingdom.

 

                                For Thou art our Savior and to thee do we ascribe glory and worship with Thine All-Holy, Good and Life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

All:                      Amen.

 

Bishop:              Axios!

 

Clergy

and people:   Axios!

 

The bishop, taking a jeweled pectoral cross, which is brought to him on a tray by the chairman of the parish council, blesses it and presents it to the newly-elevated archimandrite, on behalf the parish. The newly elevated archimandrite kisses the cross and the bishop’s hand.

 

As the bishop puts the cross on the archimandrite, he says:

 

Bishop:              Moustahiq!

 

Clergy

and people:   Moustahiq!

 

The bishop places a hat and veil on the head of the archimandrite.

As the bishop places the hat and veil on the newly-elevated archimandrite, he says:

 

Bishop:              He is worthy!

 

Clergy:            He is worthy!

 

All:                      He is worthy!

 

The new archimandrite now takes his place at the right hand of the bishop for the rest of the service. Thereafter, he will stand with the other archimandrites, according to his seniority in this dignity.

 



ORDER FOR A BEGINNER TAKING THE RASON

(The Order for the Making of A Rasophore)

 

On the Holy Mountain the presentation of the rasson and skouphos takes place unceremoniously, with the abbot simply presenting them to the novice in his Office.  But in some other places, the following order is observed:

 

Standing in the narthex of the church temple, vested in exorasson and epitrachelion, the priest, facing west, signs himself with the cross, saying:

 

 

BISHOP:   Blessed is our God, always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

READER:     Amen.

 

                        Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

 

                        Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

                        All-holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins, Master, pardon our transgressions. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for Thy name’s sake.

 

                        Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

 

                        Our Father, who art in heaven, 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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

 

BISHOP:   For Thine is 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.

 

READER:     Amen.

 

TROPARIA OF REPENTANCE

 

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for laying aside all defense, we sinners offer unto thee, as Master, this supplication: Have mercy on us.

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

 

O Lord, have mercy on us, for in thee have we put our trust; be not exceedingly wroth with us, nor remember our iniquities, but look down upon us even now, as Thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies; for Thou art our God, and we are Thy people; we are all the work of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.

 

Now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

Open unto us the door of Thy compassion, O blessed Theotokos. As we set our hope in thee, may we not be confounded; through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, for Thou art the salvation of the race of Christians.

 

He (she) who is to be clothed as a novice comes forward and stands before the priest, facing east.

 

DEACON:     Let us pray to the Lord.

 

READER:     Lord, have mercy.

 

BISHOP:   We give thee thanks, O Lord our God, who according to Thy great mercy hast delivered Thy servant (handmaid) N., out of the vain life of the world, and hast called him (her) to this high calling. Enable him (her) to live worthily in this angelic estate, and protect him (her) from the snares of the devil, and keep him (her) pure in soul and body even unto death; and make him (her) worthy to become Thy holy temple. Keep him (her) ever mindful of thee; and grant him (her) the lowliness of Thy commandments, and love, and meekness. Through the intercessions of our all-immaculate Lady Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints.

 

READER:     Amen.

 

DEACON:     Let us pray to the Lord.

 

READER:     Lord, have mercy.

 

BISHOP:   Unto Thy saving yoke, O Lord, receive Thy servant (handmaid) N., and make him (her) worThy to be numbered in the flock of Thine elect; clothe him (her) with a robe of sanctification; gird his (her) loins with sobriety; make him (her) a champion in all manner of temperance; grant that in him (her) and in us there ;may abide a full measure of Thy spiritual gifts; through the intercessions of our most holy Lady, the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all the saints.

 

Choir:             Amen.

 

The abbot then cuts the hair of the new rasophore in the sign of the Cross (that is in four places), saying as he does so:

 

Abbot:                   In the Name of the Father.

 

Choir:                    Amen. (for this and the following)

 

Abbot:                   And of the Son.

 

                                And of the Holy Spirit.

 

Saying nothing, the abbot (abbess) presents a rasson (the inner cassock) and a skouphos (the soft, black cap) to the novice.  It should be noted that the novice is not vested by others. but the folded rasson and the skouphos are merely given to him (her) by the abbot  (abbess) by the abbot (abbess), and he (she) vests himself (herself).

 

 

THE DISMISSAL

 

BISHOP:   Glory to thee, O Christ our God and our Hope, glory to thee.

READER:     Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

                        Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

 

                        Master, bless.

 

BISHOP:   May (insert the appointed characteristic phrase), Christ our true God, through the intercessions of his all-immaculate and all-blameless holy Mother, of our holy and inspired Fathers, of Saint(s) (the saint of the monastery or the saint of the day),  and of all the saints: have mercy on us, and save us, forasmuch as he is good and loveth mankind.

 

                   Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us.

 

READER:     Amen.



ORDER FOR A BEGINNER TAKING THE LITTLE HABIT

(The Order for Making a Stavrophore)

 

After the small semantron (the talanton) has been rung, and the brethren have begun the Hours, the ecclesiarch brings him (her) who is to receive tonsure; and he (she) makes prostrations, once before the Holy Doors or Beautiful Gates in the middle of Iconostasis and towards the two choirs respectively and finally to the abbot (abbess). And then, going into the Narthex he (she) lays aside the usual garments. [In modern practice the candidate is brought into the church wearing a white robe and slippers. After arriving at the Iconostasis, the candidate steps out of the slippers. If the candidate is already a priest, he goes into and remains in the holy place until it is time to be tonsured.] After the Divine Liturgy has begun, he (she) stands before the icon of Christ, ungirded, barefooted, and bareheaded.

And when the antiphons have been sung, and after the Little Entrance has taken place, the Kondakion of the day is said after Glory to the Father…; but after Now and ever…the following is sung:

Tone One (Thy tomb, O Savior…)

 

Hasten to open Thy fatherly arms to me! Like the prodigal I have spent my life. Do not despise an impoverished heart, O Savior, who hast before Thine eyes the inexhaustible riches of Thy mercies. For to thee, O Lord, in compunction I cry; Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. (thrice)

 

During the singing of this troparion the brother (sister) is led to the back of the church by the ecclesiarch, and he (she) makes prostrations with the sign of the cross as follows: at the Royal Doors (entrance) of the church, in the middle of the church; and in front of the holy doors of the Iconostasis.

And while standing there the abbot (abbess) instructs him (her) in this manner:

 

Abbot/

Abess:              Open the ears of your heart brother (sister), and hearken to the voice of the Lord saying: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. So give now unto God a right answer to each of the questions, with fear and joy. But know for certain that our Savior himself, with his all-praiseworhy Mother, and the holy angels, and all his saints, is here present, listening to the words that proceed from you, so that, when cometh to judge the living and the dead, he may render to you, not according to what you are about to agree to and confess. but according to how you have kept what you are going to confess. Now, therefore, if in truth you came to God, answer with care to us concerning the things about which you are to be questioned.

 

          The abbot (abbess) now questions the brother (sister) as follows:

 

THE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 

Question:         Why have you come here, brother (sister), falling down before the holy altar, and before this holy assembly?

 

Answer:           I desire the life of asceticism, holy father (master)/holy mother.

 

Question:         Do you desire to be deserving of the Angelic Habit, and to be ranked in the company of those who are living as Monks (Nuns) ?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master)/holy mother.

 

The Abbot (or a priest if for a nun)

 

Abbot:             Truly you have chosen a good and blessed work; but only, if you accomplish it. For good works are brought about with labor, and achieved with pain.

 

Question:         Do you come to the Lord of your own will?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

Question:         Not out of necessity, or coercion or force?

 

Answer:           No, holy father (master).

 

Question:         Will you abide in the monastery and in the ascetic life until your last breath?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

Question:         Will you keep yourself in chastity, soberness of life and in piety?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

Question:         Will you observe obedience to the superior and to all the brotherhood (sisterhood) in Christ, until death?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

Question:         Will you endure all the strain and the poverty belonging to the monastic life, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

THE INSTRUCTION

The abbot (or if for a nun, a priest) gives the following instruction.

 

Abbot/

Abbess:            Behold, my child, what manner of promises you are giving to our Savior Christ, for the angels are present invisibly, writing down this profession of yours, for which you will be held accountable at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am explaining to you this most perfect life, in which, by imitation, our Lord’s manner of life is exemplified, testifying Rather what things you ought to embrace, and what things it is necessary to avoid. For behold! you have as your purpose my child, to come to the Lord and to serve him. If therefore, your will is to become a monk (nun), above all cleanse yourself from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Acquire humility, with which you will become an inheritor of the eternal good things; lay aside the boldness of worldly behavior, and render obedience to all. Be uncomplaining in the services imposed upon you, steadfast in prayer, not slothful in vigils, disheartened in temptations, or lax in fasting. know that it is necessary to make your peace with God, through prayer and fasting. Do not become indifferent in infirmities, be on your guard against evil Thoughts, for the enemy is not going to be stopped from reminding of you of your former life, and from suggesting a hatred for virtuous conduct. Therefore, it is necessary for you, who has made a beginning in the way that leads to the Kingdom of heaven, not to be turned back to those things which are behind; otherwise you will not be fit for the kingdom of heaven. Therefore prefer nothing before God. Love neither father, nor mother, nor brethren, nor any one of your own family, and do not love even yourself, more than God, nor the kingdoms of this world, or any sort of repose and honor. Do not turn away from poverty, hardship, human contempt or any other thing which you consider to be difficult, and so be hindered from running after Christ. But be sober in all things, ever beholding as in a mirror the good things to be hoped for by those who live for God, and considering the martyrs and holy ones since the world began, who with much sweat and labor, and through ten Thousands of examples of shedding blood and death, obtained their good things. Endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ, who, being rich in mercy, for our sakes became poor, coming among us that we might share the riches of his Kingdom. Therefore it is necessary for us to become his followers, and through him to endure all things, advancing in his precepts by day and by night; for the Lord himself has said: If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. And this means, that he is to be always ready, until death, for every fulfillment of  Christ’s commandments. For you have to endure hunger and thirst, to be naked, insulted, and mocked, to suffer reproach and persecution, and to be afflicted in many other painful ways, whereby  the life in God is distinguished. And when you do suffer all these things, Rejoice, says he, for great is your reward in heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

 

Question:         Do you thus acknowledge all these things, in the hope of the power of God, and do you agree to stand firm in these promises to the end of your life, by the grace of Christ?

 

Answer:           Yes, with God’s help, holy father (master).

 

 

 

THE PRAYERS BEFORE THE TONSURE

 

            And the abbot (or priest) immediately says:

 

Abbot:             Therefore may the all-compassionate and merciful God, who opens up the pure affection of his unsearchable goodness to every one that comes to him with desire and fervent love, who says,  A woman shall forget the fruit of her womb, before I will ever forget you, who also knows your desire, and to your good purpose lends his own strength for the fulfillment of his commandments; may he receive, embrace and shield you, may he be to you a strong tower from the face of the enemy, a rock of endurance, source of consolation, an inspirer of courage, a provider of peace of soul, a fellow-combatant in valor, present with you when you lie down, and when you rise, comforting and cheering your heart through the consolation his own Holy Spirit, and deem you worThy of the lot our holy and pure Fathers, Anthony, EvThymios, Sabbas, and their companions; [but in the case of nuns: of the holy Proto-martyr Thekla, Evpraxia, Olympias and their companions] with whom you will inherit the Kingdom of heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

                        To whom be glory, might, dominion and power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

 

Choir:              Amen.

 

Then, while he (she) bows his (her) head,

 

Deacon:           Let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy.

The abbot (or priest) lays upon the head of the brother (sister) , and says the following prayer for all to hear.

 

Abbot:             O Lord our God, who hast decreed that they are to be accounted worthy who have forsaken all worldly possessions, and family, and friends, and have followed thee; receive now Thy servant (handmaid), N., who hath given up all these, according to Thy holy commandments, and guide him (her) in the way of Thy truth; for he (she) prostrateth himself (herself) before thee not lightmindedly. Fortify him (her) with the strength of Thy Holy Spirit, so that no hostile device may able to prevail against him (her); endue him (her) with patience, that he (she) may ever be pleasing unto thee. Through the intercessions of our all-immaculate Lady Theotokos, and of all the saints, who from the beginning were pleasing unto thee.

 

                        For blessed and glorified is Thine all-honorable and majestic name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:              Amen.

 

THE BOWING OF THE HEAD

 

Abbot:             Peace be to all.

 

Choir:              And to Thy spirit.

 

Deacon:           Bow your heads unto the Lord.

 

Choir:              To thee, O Lord.

 

Abbot:             O Lord our God, the hope and refuge of all who put their trust in thee, who hast revealed unto us diverse paths of salvation, through the incarnation of Thine Anointed, receive Thy servant (handmaid), N., who hath forsaken worldly delights and hath offered himself (herself) to thee, his (her) Lord, as a living and acceptable sacrifice. Take away from him (her) all carnal desire and irrational notions, so that along with the taking away of the senseless hairs of his (her) head, he (she) may also lay aside his (her) unreasonable designs and actions, and may be accounted worThy to take up the cross and follow thee, his (her ) Lord. Keep him (her) safe in Thy blessing, and give him (her) a good purpose in the keeping of Thy holy commandments, numbering him (her) in due season in the company of Thine elect.

 

                        Through the grace and compassions and love toward mankind of Thine only-begotten Son, with whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:              Amen.

 

During the time that the abbot  says Peace be to all the deacon places a pair of scissors on the holy gospel. After concluding the above prayer, the abbot (or a priest) takes the holy gospel and holding it in front of him and toward the brother (sister) says:

 

Abbot:             Behold, Christ is here invisibly present. See that no one is compelling you to come to this Habit. See, that you desire with a set purpose the betrothal of the great and angelic habit.

 

Answer:           Yes, holy father (master), with a set purpose.

 

THE TONSURE

After the answer has been given, the abbot (or a priest) says to him (her):

 

Abbot:             Take the scissors and give them to me.

 

He (she) takes the scissors, and gives them to the abbot (priest), kissing his hand. This command and response are done three times, the third time, the abbot saying:

 

Abbot:             Behold, from the hand of Christ you receive them. And behold toward whom you approach, to whom you make this promise, and whom you now renounce.

 

The abbot (priest) now takes hold of the scissors and says:

Abbot:             Blessed is God, who desires that all men should be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, who is blessed to the ages of ages.

 

Choir:              Amen.

Then the abbot (or priest) cuts his (her) hair cross-wise (that is in four places) saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., is shorn of the hairs of his (her) head, in the name of the Father.

 

Choir:              Amen (for this and the following)

 

Abbot:             And of the Son.

 

                        And of the Holy Spirit.

 

                        Let us say for him (her) Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

 

THE CLOTHING WITH THE HABIT

Then the abbot (or priest) gives him (her) the cassock, saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., is clothed with the tunic of gladness, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Then the belt, saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., is girded about his (her) loins with the power of truth, for mortification of body and renewal of spirit, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Then the kalymavkhion, saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., is covered with a helmet for the hope of salvation, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Then the exorason (jibbe), saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., receiveth the betrothal of the great and angelic habit, for a robe of incorruptibility and modesty, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Then the sandals, saying:

 

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., is shod with the sandals in preparation for the gospel of peace, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Then a prayer rope, saying nothing.

Then the mandyas, saying:

Abbot:             Our brother (sister) N., hath received the betrothal of the great and angelic habit, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Let us say for him (her) three times, Lord, have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (thrice)

 

Deacon:           Let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy.

 

Abbot:             O Lord our God, lead Thy servant (handmaid), N., into Thy spiritual court, and number him (her) in Thy mystical flock. Cleanse his (her) mind from the carnal desires and the vain deceit of this life, and grant unto him (her) unceasingly to dwell upon the good things laid up for them that love thee and crucify themselves to this life for Thy Kingdom’s sake.

 

                        For Thou art the shepherd and the bishop of our souls, and unto thee do we offer praise, to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

 

Choir:              Amen.

 

And if this service is celebrated outside of the Divine Liturgy, the following Litany of Peace is said, and the epistle and gospel are read. And a candle and cross [a hand cross of the type kept on the altar is given to a new hieromonk] are now given to the tonsured person. After this the entire community comes forward to give their new brother (sister) a kiss of peace, in the same fashion as the priests do in the liturgy, saying Christ is in our midst. He is and ever shall be.

THE LITANY OF PEACE

 

Deacon:           In peace, let us pray to the Lord.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy (for this and the following petitions)

 

Deacon:           For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God, and the union of all men, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For our brother (sister) N., and for his (her) protection and support by God, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For his (her) accomplishment without blame, condemnation, or hindrance the purpose of the monastic life, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For his (her) living his (her) life in all piety, reverence, and gravity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For his (her) putting off the old man and putting on the new man, which is created after God, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For the remission and forgiveness of his (her) sins, let us pray to the Lord.

 

                        For his (her) deliverance, and ours from all tribulation, wrath, danger and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

 

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

 

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

 

Choir:              To thee, O Lord.

 

Abbot:             For holy art Thou, O our God, and unto thee 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.

 

                        As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia. (thrice)

 

                        Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

                        Have put on Christ. Alleluia.

 

Deacon:           Dynamis.

 

Choir:              As many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia.

 

THE EPISTLE

 

Deacon:           Let us attend.

 

Reader:            The Lord is my light, and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?

 

                        The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

 

Deacon:           Wisdom.

 

Reader:            The reading is from the epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians. (Eph. 6:10-17)

 

Deacon:           Let us attend.

After the reader has finished, the abbot (or priest) blesses him:

 

Abbot:             Peace be to thee that readest.

 

Reader:            And to Thy spirit.

 

Choir:              Alleluia (thrice)

 

Deacon:           Wisdom. Stand upright. Let us hear the holy gospel.

 

Abbot:             Peace be to all.

 

Choir:              And to Thy spirit.

 

Deacon:           The reading from the holy gospel according to St. Matthew (Matthew 10:37-38; 11:28-30)

 

Choir:              Glory to thee, O Lord. Glory to thee.

 

After the abbot (or priest) has finished reading the gospel and blessed all those present:

 

Choir:              Glory to thee, O Lord. Glory to thee.

 

THE EKTENIA

 

Deacon:           Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we pray thee, hearken and have mercy.

 

Choir:              Lord, have mercy. (thrice, for this and the following petitions)

 

Deacon:           Again we pray for all pious and Orthodox Christians.

 

                        Again we pray for our (metropolitan or archbishop or bishop), N.

 

                        Again we pray for our brethren: the priests, hieromonks, deacons, hierodeacons and monastics and all our brotherhood in Christ.

 

                        Again we pray for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation and visitation and pardon and forgiveness of sins for (the servants of God, NN., and) all Orthodox Christians of true worship, who live and dwell in this community.

 

                        Again we pray for the blessed and ever-memorable founders of this holy church [or monastery] (and for the servants of God, NN.,) and all our fathers and brethren the Orthodox departed this life before us, who here and in all the world lie asleep in the Lord.

 

                        Again we pray for those who bear fruit and do good works in this hold and all-venerable temple, those who serve and those who sing and all the people here present, who await Thy great and rich mercy.

 

                        Again we pray for the remission and forgiveness of the sins of the servant (handmaid) of God, N.

 

Abbot:             For Thou art a merciful God and lovest mankind, and unto thee 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.

 

THE GIVING OF THE CROSS AND THE CANDLE

 

The abbot (or priest) give him (her) the Cross saying:

 

Abbot:             The Lord hath said: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

 

And the lighted candle, saying:

 

Abbot:             The Lord hath said: Let your light so shine before men, that Thy may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

THE DISMISSAL

 

And the kiss is given while the following Idiomelon is sung.

 

Tone One

 

May we discern brethren, the striking import of this mystical action. For when the Prodigal Son returneth from sin to the paternal fireside, the all-good Father, going forth to meet him, kisseth him, and conferreth upon him again the tokens of his own glory; and for those above he maketh a mystical festivity, offering in sacrifice the fatted calf; that we may live a life worthy both of the Father who, as a lover of mankind, offereth; worthy also of the glorious offering, the Savior of our souls.

 

After the kiss, the dismissal is given. If the Liturgy is said, it is the Great Dismissal; otherwise the Little Dismissal.

 

THE LITTLE DISMISSAL

 

Abbot:             Glory to thee, O Christ our God and our Hope, glory to thee.

 

Choir:              Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

                        Lord, have mercy. (thrice)

 

                        Master, bless.

 

Abbot:             May (insert the appointed characteristic phrase), Christ our true God, through the intercessions of his all-immaculate and all-blameless holy Mother, of our holy and inspired Fathers, of Saint(s) (the saint of the monastery or the saint of the day),  and of all the saints: have mercy on us, and save us, forasmuch as he is good and loveth mankind.

 

                        Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us, and save us.

 

Choir:              Amen.

 

If it is possible, the custom is for a monk of this grade ought to abide in the Church for five days, resting from all work, except reading.