Ordination rites

The ordination rites have some elements in common with the Georgian rite, suggesting some common origin at an early stage of development. According to East Syrian tradition, the rites were the work of the patriarchs Mar Aba the Great, Iso'yabh III, Cyprian, Bishop of Nisibis c.767, and Gabriel, Metropolitan of Bassorah c.884.

The rites begin with the standard opening of Gloria and Lord's Prayer, followed by prayer and psalmody. The rite provides for the ordination of readers, with benediction and the laying of the bishop's hand on the head, followed by signing and the giving of a stole. There is a similar rite for subdeacons. The Ordering of Deacons begins with a series of prayers and canons (psalmody), with a prayer requesting the grace of the Holy Spirit to perfect this ministry, with the laying on of the right hand, and a further prayer. The formula says:

N has been set apart, consecrated and perfected to the work of the ministry of the Church, and to the Levitical and Stephanite office, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Canons and prayers follow. The Ordering of Priests has a similar structure, with the ordination prayer reflecting the office of presbyterate. The formula links the order with the Aaronic priesthood. The Ordering of Bishops has a similar structure. There are also rites for an archdeacon, the patriarch's archdeacon, and metropolitan.

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