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Author Topic: Serving with more than 1 deacon  (Read 2049 times) Average Rating: 0
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monkvasyl
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« on: August 03, 2009, 08:58:10 AM »

This coming Sunday, our seminarian, Ivan, will be ordained a deacon by His Eminence, Archbishop Antony, in Portland, Oregon (his family lives there).  Ivan will be returning to Boston to complete his studies at Holy Cross.  So this means, besides myself, we will have another deacon.  Then on Sept. 13th, His Eminence will come to Boston to ordain our sub-deacon, Borislav, a deacon.  So that gives us 3 deacons at St. Andrew's.  Does anyone have rubrics for serving with more than 1 deacon.  We would really appreciate your help.  Thanks.
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 09:03:04 AM »

Double censing! Yeah!

I won't even try to give you the rubrics since I only served thrice as a deacon with other deacons and Greeks tend to wing some parts while Russians seem to have each part calculated and actually enforce it, but I do love the double censing!
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 09:30:09 AM »

There are no universal rubrics, I would suggest you contact Archdeacon Kirill at St. Vladimir's Theological School. They serve with multiple deacons all the time there and their tradition should be close to yours.

Just some things I have noticed over the years that might help you divide it up properly. DO NOT SPLIT LITANIES, one deacon does the whole litany. Since you have 3 deacons I believe you will find this universal, the senior deacon does the Great Litany, the next senior deacon does the first little litany and the junior deacon does the second little litany. Everything after that is up in the air.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 09:43:30 AM »

As far as I saw the newly ordained Deacon acts as the senior one.
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 09:50:13 AM »

Double censing! Yeah!

I won't even try to give you the rubrics since I only served thrice as a deacon with other deacons and Greeks tend to wing some parts while Russians seem to have each part calculated and actually enforce it, but I do love the double censing!

I do too, Father.  For a parish that never saw any ordinations, this is coming as a special treat.
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 10:07:42 AM »

As far as I saw the newly ordained Deacon acts as the senior one.
Only on the day of his ordination, same goes for presbyters.
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2009, 10:17:38 AM »

same goes for presbyters.

Slightly off topic: When a newly ordained priest celebrates daily liturgy for 40 days after his ordination, does he always act as the chief celebrant?
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 10:44:27 AM »

same goes for presbyters.

Slightly off topic: When a newly ordained priest celebrates daily liturgy for 40 days after his ordination, does he always act as the chief celebrant?
He is usually the only celebrant with other clergy standing by offering their critiques and laughing at his mistakes.
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 11:19:35 AM »

same goes for presbyters.

Slightly off topic: When a newly ordained priest celebrates daily liturgy for 40 days after his ordination, does he always act as the chief celebrant?
He is usually the only celebrant with other clergy standing by offering their critiques and laughing at his mistakes.

Sounds like when I was ordained a deacon.  It was on a Saturday, so my friends from other jurisdictions, as well as from my juridiction.  The next day, Sunday, was our archbishop's birthday, so he stayed.  I joked with him that he was staying to test me.  His Eminence was wonderful, he kept giving me directions and made me feel so at ease. 
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« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 01:24:58 PM »

same goes for presbyters.
Slightly off topic: When a newly ordained priest celebrates daily liturgy for 40 days after his ordination, does he always act as the chief celebrant?
As far as I saw,newly ordained priest do this "sarantaleitourgo" somehow in a way like RC' "private mass"——celebrate with only one chanter in a chapel when all others have liturgy in the main church.Oftenly a senior priest play the role of chanter——to correct the newly ordained priest.
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« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 04:16:30 PM »

same goes for presbyters.
Slightly off topic: When a newly ordained priest celebrates daily liturgy for 40 days after his ordination, does he always act as the chief celebrant?
As far as I saw,newly ordained priest do this "sarantaleitourgo" somehow in a way like RC' "private mass"——celebrate with only one chanter in a chapel when all others have liturgy in the main church.Oftenly a senior priest play the role of chanter——to correct the newly ordained priest.


Now you stumped me: what's sarantaleitourgo?
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« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2009, 04:26:12 PM »

Now you stumped me: what's sarantaleitourgo?

Literally "40 Liturgies."  The tradition (t) that a priest serves 40 Divine Liturgies on 40 consecutive days immediately following his ordination.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2009, 08:57:26 PM »

Here is one thing:  it is the Eastern Slav practice (I am not sure about Greeks, Antiochians, Romanians etc.) to have the second deacon read the epistle when more than one deacon is serving, and not a reader or layman.  This is the case except when a subdeacon is serving who is going to be ordained deacon at that lliturgy; then I believe he reads the epistle.
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« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 06:35:09 AM »

For a while we had two deacons at my parish, until one reposed.

All I can really recall is that they kind of took turns on the different litanies (one would do this Litany, another would do that Litany), during the Litany for the Cathechumens they would alternate (one would say "Catechumens depart" another would say "Depart catechumens" and so on, which sounded really cool when they got the timing right) and for Communion, similar with priests, the senior-most deacon would receive first.
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« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 08:30:19 AM »

You should be able to find extensive rubrics for serving with more than one deacon in the Diakonikon (the book, not the location). You could probably get your hands on a copy in the seminary's library in Brookline.

Otherwise, I know a priest in the Boston area who, when he himself was a deacon, compiled a guidebook on how to serve as a deacon (with reference to many liturgical books). PM me if you want contact info.
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« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2010, 08:18:43 AM »

It seems to me that most things have been covered here.  The litanies are shared but not divided, with the first three at Liturgy being done in order of seniority.  I think that the Litany of Thanksgiving after Communion is done by the most junior deacon. The dismissal of the catechumens is indeed split between the two, with the first deacon going first, then the second, then the first continuing with 'Let none of the catechumens remain.  As many as are of the faithful...'  Yes, the second deacon reads the Apostle.  After he has received a blessing to do so, he kisses the Holy Table on his way out of the north door, which a reader obviously would not do.

The double censing seems daunting but is really quite straightforward.  The main thing to remember is that it follows the same order as a normal censing with one deacon, only it is done symmetrically.  When censing the Holy Table, both deacons cense the west side, then they part and one censes the north while the other does the south, then they both cense the east side.  Whichever deacon is on the north side of the altar also censes the Oblations Table, while his brother deacon waits for him.  Then, while censing the icons and people in the altar, instead of working from one side to the other, both start in the middle (at the High Place) and work outwards.  They leave by nthe north and south doors and cense the iconostas in the same way, then the people: starting in the middle and working outwards, symmetrically.  Everything else follows the usual order.  When censing the icons and people in the nave, one starts at the north side while the other on the south and work their way around the church.  They meet in the middle at the west end of the church and together proceed directly to the central icon, which they cense together, before proceeding back to the solea, where they together cense the Royal Doors, the deacon to the south censes the icon of the Saviour on the iconostas while the deacon to the north censes that of the Mother of God.  They enter the altar, cense the west side of the Holy Table together, then the priest together, and they give up the censers to a server.  Of course, all the while, they say quietly psalm 50 and the troparia of compunction as a deacon would if he were serving alone.

At the Lesser Entrance, the first deacon takes the Gospel, while any other deacons carry the censer(s).  Whether they cense the Gospel once in place before the Royal Doors, I'm afraid my memory fails me.  Certainly they do at an Hierarchical Liturgy but I don't know otherwise.

At the Great Entrance, the second deacon carries the censer to the priest and receives the aer on his shoulder while the first deacon is the one who kneels at the Oblations Table to receive the diskos.  Instead of carrying the censer over his shoulder as a deacon serving alone would do, the censer is carried aloft before him by the second deacon, (not walking backwards and censing the diskos unless it is a Presanctified Liturgy).  The first deacon with the diskos makes the first commemoration for the hierarchy as usual, during the procession, and both deacons immediately enter the altar, the one with the diskos kneeling at the south-west horn of the Holy Table and the one with the censer positioning himself ready for when the priest needs it.  There they wait for the priest to finish the commemorations and re-enter the altar.

At the epiklesis, I have seen different things.  In one case, both deacons joined in the verses of psalm 50 'Create in me a clean heart...' and 'Cast me not away from thy presence', while on another occasion they took one each.  From memory, only the first deacon then says, 'Bless, master, the holy Bread' and so forth, but I am willing to be corrected on this point.  Certainly, they all join in the triple Amen and join the rest of those in the altar in making the prostration.  Afterwards, (and immediately before the beinning of the Liturgy, which I failed to mention above), the customary requests, 'Remember me, holy master', 'pray for me, holy master', and so forth, are given in the plural, ('Remember us...').

I know all of this only for two reasons.  The first is that it was I who put together the altar book for my parish and ended up studying the rubrics of the Liturgy from various sources in great detail in order to convey them clearly.  The second is that my wonderful parish priest teaches me these things.  He knows that his rigorous diaconal training was quite unusual and he is very grateful for it but he knows that not all deacons have been taught to the same standard.  In the Greek Archdiocese, a number of the priests were deacons for no more than one day so they do not necessarily have the experience to pass on to their deacons.  My priest was trained at a monastery where, if he made a mistake in a litany, when he went back into the altar, he would be punched on the arm and sent back out to do it again.  He tells the story that, on one occasion, he made a mistake three times in one litany and the superior of the monastery sent him out and made him prostrate himself before the people, asking their forgiveness for disrupting their worship.  This may seem harsh but the result is that I have a priest who gives great care to the offering of the services and knows what he's doing.  So he teaches me diaconal service in case one of these other deacons ever visits our parish and find that he needs help so I can direct them without him being distracted from his priestly duties.

I hope it's of some use.

Michael
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2010, 11:01:56 AM »

Our archbishop has requested that as only the main celebrant does the anaphora (words of insitution and epiklesis), only 1 deacon does the actions and prayers assigned to the deacon during this sacred time..
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« Reply #17 on: June 25, 2010, 04:23:32 AM »

This coming Sunday, our seminarian, Ivan, will be ordained a deacon by His Eminence, Archbishop Antony, in Portland, Oregon (his family lives there).  Ivan will be returning to Boston to complete his studies at Holy Cross.  So this means, besides myself, we will have another deacon.  Then on Sept. 13th, His Eminence will come to Boston to ordain our sub-deacon, Borislav, a deacon.  So that gives us 3 deacons at St. Andrew's.  Does anyone have rubrics for serving with more than 1 deacon.  We would really appreciate your help.  Thanks.

I attended Divine Liturgy at a Greek Orthodox Parish this past Sunday and there were two deacons and two priests. I recall double censing, but as a Latin, I have no idea how the Byzantine Rite is supposed to work. :p

Here's a fun did you know: the Latin Rite traditionally has a deacon and a subdeacon assist at High Masses, but because we scrubbed our permanent diaconate back in the day and it's only recently come back, it was usually two priests vesting as a deacon and a subdeacon. The subdeacon would read the Epistle and the deacon would read the Gospel. My parish doesn't use the Old Rite, so we don't distinguish between deacons and subdeacons, although in our "High Mass" we have both of them assist. We typically have laity read the Old Testament and the Epistle, whereas one of the deacons chants the Gospel. Also, the same deacon who reads the Gospel chants the litany as well.

Does anyone know if it was standard in the early church to have multiple deacons assist at the Holy Eucharist? My (poor) understanding as of present is that the episkopos typically presided and the presbyteroi assisted.
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« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2010, 10:26:23 AM »

I attended Divine Liturgy at a Greek Orthodox Parish this past Sunday and there were two deacons and two priests. I recall double censing, but as a Latin, I have no idea how the Byzantine Rite is supposed to work. :p

While you're contributing to the thread, may I ask a question?  I was watching papal Vespers from St Peter's a few weeks back on EWTN and was fascinated to see that, at the Magnificat, (being the Evangelical Canticle and so the customary time for the censing), the censing of the altar, clergy, and people was performed by two deacons in symmetry, much as we see in the Byzantine Rite.  I had never before known of this diaconal double-censing in the Roman Rite and wonder whether it is seldom seen because a) there aren't that many deacons in Roman Catholic parishes, b) it is restricted to the papal services, c) Vespers is seldom served in the parishes due to the prevalence of vigil masses, or d) it is a recent innovation by the current papal MC.  Are you able to shed any light on this?  Thank you.

Quote
Here's a fun did you know: the Latin Rite traditionally has a deacon and a subdeacon assist at High Masses, but because we scrubbed our permanent diaconate back in the day and it's only recently come back, it was usually two priests vesting as a deacon and a subdeacon.

I had been aware of this.  Even if a real deacon could be found in a parish, the chances of finding a subdeacon in a parish was next to nil; the reason being that the minor orders, while they were maintained, were not actually real ministries that were exercised in a parish by people with the gifts and calling to those ministries, but rather they were treated merely as a formality on the road to priesthood.  It was rare to find acolytes, lectors, and subdeacons outside of a seminary.  Today in the Roman Catholic church, the subdiaconate has been abolished and lectors and acolytes are no longer minor orders, but are instituted ministries that may be performed by laymen, with explicit note that they are to be seen as a vibrant part of parish ministry.  This seems to have been disregarded and in most places these instituted ministries are reserved to seminarians, much like the old minor orders.  Meanwhile, priests are rushed off their feet doing everything, including the role of minor clergy (if they still existed), and, where they exist, deacons end up performing many traditionally priestly roles rather than exercising a diaconal ministry in the parish.

*I'm aware that the subdiaconate was seen by the Latin church as a major order but this was a late development.  That said, it seems to me that it is not without some sense.  Subdeacons must meet some of the canonical requirements of deacons and priests which are not shared by other minor clergy.  Some Orthodox have now taken to communicating subdeacons at the Holy Table along with the priests and deacons, perhaps for the same reason.

Quote
Does anyone know if it was standard in the early church to have multiple deacons assist at the Holy Eucharist? My (poor) understanding as of present is that the episkopos typically presided and the presbyteroi assisted.

A former Catholic, now Anglican friend of mine, who also happens to be a scholar of the development of the Roman Rite and has a healthy fascination with Byzantine Liturgy, commented to me a few months back that the Roman Rite's high mass is anything but high: one priest, one deacon, one subdeacon.  Any surplus would simply sit in choro, (which, for those readers unfamiliar with western liturgics, is the equivalent to non-serving clergy standing on the kliros.  It is quite unique in that respect.  We read of the elaborate rites and uses of the east and west, with a plethora of deacons and subdeacons in the cathedrals all performing their ministry together.  It was so prevalent acorss such differing traditions that it is difficult to imagine it not being early.
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2010, 02:20:02 AM »

While you're contributing to the thread, may I ask a question?  I was watching papal Vespers from St Peter's a few weeks back on EWTN and was fascinated to see that, at the Magnificat, (being the Evangelical Canticle and so the customary time for the censing), the censing of the altar, clergy, and people was performed by two deacons in symmetry, much as we see in the Byzantine Rite.  I had never before known of this diaconal double-censing in the Roman Rite and wonder whether it is seldom seen because a) there aren't that many deacons in Roman Catholic parishes, b) it is restricted to the papal services, c) Vespers is seldom served in the parishes due to the prevalence of vigil masses, or d) it is a recent innovation by the current papal MC.  Are you able to shed any light on this?  Thank you.

Sadly, I'm very uneducated in my own religion. I know much more than many cradle Catholics, but I have not attended very many liturgies (around 125, I believe), and only about half of them have been offered anywhere near traditionally. Typically, at my parish, the censing of the altar is done by the priest. The congregation is censed by one of the altar servers. I've been to one Tridentine Low Mass and an altar server censed the congregation.

Quote
I had been aware of this.  Even if a real deacon could be found in a parish, the chances of finding a subdeacon in a parish was next to nil; the reason being that the minor orders, while they were maintained, were not actually real ministries that were exercised in a parish by people with the gifts and calling to those ministries, but rather they were treated merely as a formality on the road to priesthood.  It was rare to find acolytes, lectors, and subdeacons outside of a seminary.  Today in the Roman Catholic church, the subdiaconate has been abolished and lectors and acolytes are no longer minor orders, but are instituted ministries that may be performed by laymen, with explicit note that they are to be seen as a vibrant part of parish ministry.  This seems to have been disregarded and in most places these instituted ministries are reserved to seminarians, much like the old minor orders.  Meanwhile, priests are rushed off their feet doing everything, including the role of minor clergy (if they still existed), and, where they exist, deacons end up performing many traditionally priestly roles rather than exercising a diaconal ministry in the parish.

Yes, the situation with our orders is very unfortunate. Things got turned upside the last fifty years. I think things will get better, though. It would be cool to see, possibly, the reintroduction of minor orders as parochial functions, and not as stepping stones on the way to priesthood. Although, with most Orders in the West, celibacy has been enforced. We could change that, though. I'm open to it. I think that in more traditional parishes a lot of the laymen would get a kick out of wearing a cassock to do the readings.

Quote
*I'm aware that the subdiaconate was seen by the Latin church as a major order but this was a late development.  That said, it seems to me that it is not without some sense.  Subdeacons must meet some of the canonical requirements of deacons and priests which are not shared by other minor clergy.  Some Orthodox have now taken to communicating subdeacons at the Holy Table along with the priests and deacons, perhaps for the same reason.

That seems a little strange. I mean, yes, they are subdeacons, but it seems weird to communicate a subdeacon as if he had received the fullness of the diaconate. That's just me, though.

Quote
A former Catholic, now Anglican friend of mine, who also happens to be a scholar of the development of the Roman Rite and has a healthy fascination with Byzantine Liturgy, commented to me a few months back that the Roman Rite's high mass is anything but high: one priest, one deacon, one subdeacon.  Any surplus would simply sit in choro, (which, for those readers unfamiliar with western liturgics, is the equivalent to non-serving clergy standing on the kliros.  It is quite unique in that respect.  We read of the elaborate rites and uses of the east and west, with a plethora of deacons and subdeacons in the cathedrals all performing their ministry together.  It was so prevalent acorss such differing traditions that it is difficult to imagine it not being early.
That makes sense. I wish we had more documentation of those times.
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