Author Topic: Vesting Prayers  (Read 1855 times)

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Offline Benjamin the Red

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Vesting Prayers
« on: October 03, 2011, 09:42:16 PM »
Some thoughts and quick questions for you wonderful people.

Recently, I've been studying about clerical vestments, their historical development, theological significance, etc. Most recently, I've been trying to find information about vesting prayers for deacons and minor orders. My questions are as follows:

1. After a deacon gets a blessing to vest, does he ever recite vesting prayers? Particularly, is there a separate prayer for the orarion?

2. Do minor orders ever recite vesting prayers? That is, readers for the sticharion (when serving in the altar) and subdeacons for the stichar and orar?

3. Can/should blessed altar servers, who aren't tonsured, recite a blessing prayer for the stichar?

I appreciate any and all insights. Thanks a million!
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Online Deacon Lance

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Re: Vesting Prayers
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 10:00:06 PM »
1. Yes.  For the orarion the current texts have no prayer.  In the Old Rite the deacon prays:  "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of His glory" when donning the orarion.

2. I see no reason why they can't even though it isn't mentioned.  

3. Same as above.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 10:01:51 PM by Deacon Lance »
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Offline Justinian of Narnia

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Re: Vesting Prayers
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 02:43:35 PM »
I have researched vesting prayers for the minor orders. I have looked at both Eastern  and Western Rites and have found none. The vesting prayers are Old Testament passages with the wording slightly tweaked. I am a subdeacon, and when putting on my vestments it bothered me that there are no prayers to say. I asked senior subdeacons and they told me they say there own prayers. The vesting prayers in part help to focus your mind for services. So I came up with my own prayer and conformed it to what was already in the service book:

Folding Vestments, pray:  O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Bowing to the East, pray:  O God, be gracious unto me the sinner.

With Sticharion and Orarion in hand, bowing to the Priest, say:  Bless, Master.

Vesting with the Sticharion, pray:  Lord have mercy. My soul shall rejoice in the Lord, for he hath clothed me with the garment of salvation, and with the robe of gladness hath he encompassed me, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. {Isaiah 61}

Kissing the Orarion and placing it on the shoulders, pray:  Lord have mercy. Upon the altar they burned incense, the lamps that were upon the candlestand they lighted, that they might give light in the temple, they set the loaves upon the table, and spread out the veils, always, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. {1Maccabees 4}

I have notated where the scripture came from in parenthesis.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Vesting Prayers
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2018, 03:08:12 PM »
Why wouldn’t the vesting prayers for a subdeacon be the same as for a deacon?  They are the same vestments (minus cuffs), just worn differently.  In my own tradition, this is the case: the vesting prayers for readers and subdeacons are the same as for deacons, priests, and bishops to the extent that the sticharion and orarion are the same garment for all these ranks.

Offline Alpha60

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Re: Vesting Prayers
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2018, 07:14:48 PM »
Why wouldn’t the vesting prayers for a subdeacon be the same as for a deacon?  They are the same vestments (minus cuffs), just worn differently.  In my own tradition, this is the case: the vesting prayers for readers and subdeacons are the same as for deacons, priests, and bishops to the extent that the sticharion and orarion are the same garment for all these ranks.

One curious aspect of our vesting prayers is this bit:

Quote
The celebrant takes off his choir robe, saying:

Remove from me, O Lord God, the filthy garments with which Satan has clothed me through the weakness of my evil deeds, and clothe me with the choice garments that befit the service of Your honor and for the glory of Your Holy Name, our Lord and our God, forever.

This seems strange to me, because on many occasions at St. Ephrems Fr. Hanna or Archpriest Shara (who is now semi-retired) would distribute communion after the liturgy wearing a hamnikho (epitrachelion) over their black cassock, which this particular prayer seems to describe in a most unflattering manner.   And is it really right of us to associate with Satan the choir dress of our clergy?  It just doesn’t make sense to me, but Syriac Orthodox priests, in the Western US at least, in the Suroye church, distributing communion with merely the hamnikho over the cassock causes it to make even less sense.  In my view it should probably be chopped, assuming the priests still say it (you can hear them doing the Preparatory Service but since I don’t speak Arabic or Syriac I have no idea what they are saying).

Further to this point, Mor, does your church do this?  The MOSC has a tendency to do things in a more consistent manner, to put it mildly, than the Levantine portion of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate, so I would not be surprised if your jurisdiction were more consistent on this than ours.
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Offline Justinian of Narnia

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Re: Vesting Prayers
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2018, 08:02:38 PM »
In our service book the prayer for the deacon's orarion is: Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth: heaven and earth are full of Your glory. Traditional if there are words on a deacon's orarion it is the thrice holy. However a subdeacon and deacon have different orarions and a subdeacon does not have cuffs. I would not feel comfortable saying the vesting prayers of the deacon. I also cut the part of the prayer for the sticharion to not include being crowned and adorned with jewels. I felt it was presumptuous of me to recite it. This is my personal practice and not a standard.
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