Liturgical Texts of the Orthodox Church

During the Liturgy, after the Hierarch has intoned "And may the mercies of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all," two Deacons exit, and bring the Subdeacon is before the Hierarch.  They stand on the solea, facing the Hierarch who stands in the Beautiful Gate.

1st Deacon:  Command

2nd Deacon:  All command

1st Deacon:  Command, Holy Master, the one who presents himself before you.

Bishop:  In the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  (3)

The subdeacon addresses the bishop, then the bishop counsels the subdeacon.  Afterwards, the subdeacon is brought into the sanctuary, and led by the deacons, circles the altar three times while the clergy sing:

Clergy:  Hear us, you martyred Saints who have fought the good fight and received crowns, entreat the Lord, to have mercy on our souls.

Glory to you, Christ our God, the Apostles' boast and pride, the Martyrs' fervent joy whose preaching is the consubstantial Trinity.

O Isaiah dance with joy, for the Virgin is indeed with child and brought forth a son, Emmanuel.  Who came both as God and man, Day-at-the-Dawn is his name, and by magnifying him, we call the Virgin blessed.

They bring the Candidate to the Hierarch at the front of the Altar. The subdeacon kneels before the Altar placing his hands on the Altar and his head upon his hands.  The Hierarch makes the sign of the Cross three times over his head.  After the Deacon proclaims, "Let us be attentive!" the Hierarch places his hand on the head of the Subdeacon and recites the Prayer, "The Divine grace…”

Deacon:  Let us be attentive.

Bishop:  The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Subdeacon (Name) to the office of Deacon.  Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.

The clergy in the Holy of Holies say:

Clergy:  Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.

Deacon:  Let us pray to the Lord.

Bishop:  Lord our God, in Your providence You send your Holy Spirit upon those who are ordained by Your unsearchable power to become servants to minister Your Pure Mysteries, do You Lord, look upon this man whom You have consented to be ordained by me to the service of the Diaconate and preserve him in all humility, that he may hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

Grant to him the grace which You gave to Stephen, Your first martyr, whom You called first to the ministry of Your Diaconate.  Make him worthy to please You as he serves You in the office which you, in your goodness, bestowed upon him.  For those who minister well prepare themselves for good reward; and proclaim him Your perfect servant.

For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, of the Father, the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and always, and to the ages of ages.

Chanters:  Amen.

The first deacon recites the following petitions in a low voice while the clergy in the Holy of Holies slowly respond "Lord, have mercy."

1st Deacon:  In peace let us pray to the Lord.

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

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

For our Archbishop (Name), and our Bishop (Name) for his priesthood, sustenance, sojourn, peace, health, salvation, and for the works of his hands, let us pray to the Lord.

For the servant of God (Name of the new deacon), who has now been ordained a deacon, and for his salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

That God who loves mankind will grant to him a pure and blameless diaconate, let us pray to the Lord.

For this parish and this city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, 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 protect us, O God, by Your grace.

Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most-blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life to Christ our God.

Chanters:  To You, O Lord.

Bishop:  For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always, and to the ages of ages.

Chanters:  Amen.

While the 1st deacon intones the petitions, the bishop reads the following prayer with his hand still on the new deacon's head:

Bishop:  O God our Savior, by your immortal voice You established the office of the diaconate through Your Apostles and showed forth the First martyr Stephen whom You elected first to fulfill the work of a deacon.  It is written in your holy Gospel, "whoever would be first among you, let him be your servant." Lord of all fill this, Your servant, whom you have consented to enter the ministry of a deacon with the totality of faith, love, power, and sanctification by the descent of Your Holy and Life-giving Spirit.  For not through the laying on of my hands, but by the divine visitation of your rich mercies grace is bestowed upon your worthy ones; that he, liberated from every sin, may stand blameless by You in the awesome Day of Judgment and receive the true reward of Your promise.

For You are our God, and to You we ascribe glory, together with the  Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always, and to the ages of ages.

Chanters:  Amen.

Everyone stands and the bishop proclaims the newly-ordained Deacon "Axios!" ("worthy") to which the congregation responds "Axios!"

The bishop will hold up each item of the deacon's vestments and again proclaim "Axios!" each time to which the congregation also responds "Axios!" and vests the new deacon.

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