Ordination rites

The present ordination rites are attributed to Michael the Syrian, patriarch from 1166 to 1199, and rites are provided for cantor, reader, subdeacon, deacon, presbyter and bishop as well as for the institution of an archdeacon, chorepiscopos, visitor, abbot and abbess. The rite for ordination of a deacon, for example, after introductory prayers, canticles and scripture reading, has a prayer by the bishop and the admonition:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, which always supplies our deficiencies through the will of God the Father, with the power of the Holy Spirit, advances from the order of subdeacons to the rank of deacon this man standing here . . .'

The bishop prays that the candidate will be made worthy and, after touching the communion mysteries, places his hands on the candidate's head, raises and lowers them three times, and prays the ordination prayer, which makes reference to Stephen. After another prayer, the archdeacon and bishop acclaim the candidate as deacon. A prayer of thanksgiving by the bishop, prayed silently, follows. Some of the prayers have parallels in the Byzantine and Melkite rites.

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