I had the honor of witnessing the ordination of a new deacon. I had never seen this before...and it was rather moving.
So, the deacon from the altar calls him forward three times. Each time he prostrates and moves forward, until he reaches the altar.
(Sorry for the "fogginess" of some of these photos. By this point, the entire place is filled with incense.)
Once inside the Altar, he is led by two priests around the Altar Table, stopping to kiss each of the 4 corners.
Once he been led around 3 times and bowed before the bishop, he is now ready for the next step.
I was moved to realize that the Gifts have at this point been miraculously changed, and he in fact, stands not just before the congregation, the priest and the bishops, but, before Christ Himself.
At this point the bishop lays his hands upon him and reads a number of prayers.
Once concluded, he now gives him a final lesson and some inspiring words.
...and now Bishop Daniel presents the new deacon to the faithful.
He vests him.
Then he presents the "tools of the trade".... as His Grace yells out Axios. The Axios is then picked up in swirling chords by the faithful and the choir....echoing off the walls and sending chills of awe up and down one's spine. It was really, really cool.
I once read that the deacon does represent an angel, and therefore the presentation of the ripida is quite moving in its symbolism.
...and finally he presents to deacon. Axios!
Whom, after a few words, Bishop Daniels sends in to the crowd to greet his family, as they are also a part of his new mission, and are in fact sacrificing their husband and father for the Church.
...and then he is escorted back in to the Altar to serve God.
...and the Liturgy continues with the Lord's Prayer.