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Author Topic: Serving as a lower rank in Orthodoxy  (Read 1809 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 30, 2013, 01:40:46 PM »

I know bishops can serve as presbyters, I've also recently read something like "deacon X. served as a subdeacon to bishop Y.". Is the latter common. Can for example presbyter be vested as deacon and serve as deacon?
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 01:50:19 PM »

I know bishops can serve as presbyters, I've also recently read something like "deacon X. served as a subdeacon to bishop Y.". Is the latter common. Can for example presbyter be vested as deacon and serve as deacon?

Huh, I always was taught that was an old Eastern Catholic thing.

When ACROD's Cathedral was consecrated back in 1954 - before my memory - (There is a movie of it in the diocesan online media archives.), the two 'deacons' are actually young priests - my dad and a classmate - who served that function for the ceremony since the rank of Deacon was pretty much extinguished over the years under the Unia. (I can say it in that context.)

Of course today, in both the North American Orthodox world and in the world of the Eastern Catholics, a robust diaconate has been restored.

We stopped that practice of priests vesting as deacons maybe fifty years or more ago as we were led to believe it was a Latinization. Deacon Lance weighed in on this a few years back if I recall on another forum, perhaps he might recall the context from the ECC point of view.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 01:50:31 PM »

I don't know how common it is, but I suppose it can be done.  But I think they'd vest in their rank, not in the rank in which they are functioning.  So bishops may "serve" as priests do and not hierarchically, but they still use episcopal vestments, priests may perform diaconal functions at hierarchical Liturgies without deacons, but they are vested as priests, etc.

The Roman rite, and perhaps other Western rites, allowed you to serve in an inferior rank and vest accordingly.  In "traditional" communities, it still happens.  
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 01:52:37 PM »

So bishops may "serve" as priests do and not hierarchically, but they still use episcopal vestments,

Not really since the only episcopal vestment they wear is omophorion. No sakkos, no mitre.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 01:53:26 PM »

I don't know how common it is, but I suppose it can be done.  But I think they'd vest in their rank, not in the rank in which they are functioning.  So bishops may "serve" as priests do and not hierarchically, but they still use episcopal vestments, priests may perform diaconal functions at hierarchical Liturgies without deacons, but they are vested as priests, etc.

...

Yes, I believe this is how it works.
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 01:56:41 PM »

So bishops may "serve" as priests do and not hierarchically, but they still use episcopal vestments,

Not really since the only episcopal vestment they wear is omophorion. No sakkos, no mitre.

The omophorion is the episcopal vestment par excellence.

And that's besides the use of a panagia and the staff (I'd have to search for the photos, but I've seen bishops use the staff even when serving in this way).  Use of the mitre seems uncommon, but not unheard of, as is the use of other pontificals.    
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 01:57:16 PM »

Corresponding question: Who does the elevation at (normal) hierarchical Liturgy where there is no deacon present?
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 01:59:12 PM »

A priest.
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 02:01:39 PM »

Huh, I always was taught that was an old Eastern Catholic thing.

"Deacon as subdeacon" was from the OCA website.
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 02:22:34 PM »

Huh, I always was taught that was an old Eastern Catholic thing.

"Deacon as subdeacon" was from the OCA website.

Don't forget where their roots are from way back as well.
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 02:30:24 PM »

I have seen a deacon serve as a subdeacon once in my parish at a vigil.  There were already 2 deacons serving at this vigil, and there was only one subdeacon available.  Because the bishop was serving, and the third deacon knew the role of a subdeacon inside and out from his years in this order, the third deacon served as a subdeacon until the end of the vigil where he took a litany as a deacon.  When you think about it, a deacon serving as a subdeacon is not that weird.  The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon, and the subdeacon never gets to wear cuffs) and the subdeacons basically do "lesser" deaconly-type things that deacons are too busy to do.
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 03:37:04 PM »

The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon,

Presbyters wear orarion with both ends hanging in the front...

BTW does changing the orarion wearing way after "Holy of Holies" before entering the altar and communing has to do with this?
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 03:42:05 PM »

The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon,

Presbyters wear orarion with both ends hanging in the front...

Yes, but they wear other vestments as well.

Quote
BTW does changing the orarion wearing way after "Holy of Holies" before entering the altar and communing has to do with this?

I don't know what "this" you are referring to, but my understanding is that the change is made in order to keep the orarion out of the way for the Communion rites.  It doesn't have to do with subdiaconate except that it's the same "look". 
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 03:47:04 PM »

"This" was referring to deacon serving as a subdeacon.

I had the theory that they do that because of the fact "role of deacon was fulfilled and there was nothing more for a deacon to do" or something like that but your Okham's razor seems reasonable.
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 04:17:58 PM »

This is as good a place as any to ask this question:  Does anyone have a link to a source that lists all the 'ranks' in the Orthodox Church, whether in ascending or descending order?  I don't have any idea who all these people/positions are or who they are in relation to each other.  All I remember of ranks was from the army.  You had private, private first class, corporal, sergeant, etc.  Where does a deacon fit in there?  What's a subdeacon?  Can I get fries with that?
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 04:19:29 PM »

I had the theory that they do that because of the fact "role of deacon was fulfilled and there was nothing more for a deacon to do" or something like that but your Okham's razor seems reasonable.

Well, there's the Communion of the clergy, the Communion of the people, and the post-Communion rites, including a litany and an instruction, and the cleansing of the vessels...still plenty of deaconing to do after adjusting the orarion the first time.  
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2013, 04:35:20 PM »

I had the theory that they do that because of the fact "role of deacon was fulfilled and there was nothing more for a deacon to do" or something like that but your Okham's razor seems reasonable.

Well, there's the Communion of the clergy, the Communion of the people, and the post-Communion rites, including a litany and an instruction, and the cleansing of the vessels...still plenty of deaconing to do after adjusting the orarion the first time. 

That's why I asked the question, dude.
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2013, 04:54:53 PM »

This is as good a place as any to ask this question:  Does anyone have a link to a source that lists all the 'ranks' in the Orthodox Church, whether in ascending or descending order?  I don't have any idea who all these people/positions are or who they are in relation to each other.  All I remember of ranks was from the army.  You had private, private first class, corporal, sergeant, etc.  Where does a deacon fit in there?  What's a subdeacon?  Can I get fries with that?
Preface of saying that each is their own rank into and of itself with each having their own duties and honours

Minor Clergy
Reader
Subdeacon

Major Clergy
Deacon
Priest
Bishop
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2013, 04:55:04 PM »

This is as good a place as any to ask this question:  Does anyone have a link to a source that lists all the 'ranks' in the Orthodox Church, whether in ascending or descending order?  I don't have any idea who all these people/positions are or who they are in relation to each other.  All I remember of ranks was from the army.  You had private, private first class, corporal, sergeant, etc.  Where does a deacon fit in there?  What's a subdeacon?  Can I get fries with that?

You can start here, but I don't think they include fries.  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 05:14:20 PM »

This is as good a place as any to ask this question:  Does anyone have a link to a source that lists all the 'ranks' in the Orthodox Church, whether in ascending or descending order?  I don't have any idea who all these people/positions are or who they are in relation to each other.  All I remember of ranks was from the army.  You had private, private first class, corporal, sergeant, etc.  Where does a deacon fit in there?  What's a subdeacon?  Can I get fries with that?

You can start here, but I don't think they include fries.  Smiley


That's perfect--thanks!
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2013, 06:03:42 PM »

I know bishops can serve as presbyters, I've also recently read something like "deacon X. served as a subdeacon to bishop Y.". Is the latter common. Can for example presbyter be vested as deacon and serve as deacon?

Huh, I always was taught that was an old Eastern Catholic thing.

When ACROD's Cathedral was consecrated back in 1954 - before my memory - (There is a movie of it in the diocesan online media archives.), the two 'deacons' are actually young priests - my dad and a classmate - who served that function for the ceremony since the rank of Deacon was pretty much extinguished over the years under the Unia. (I can say it in that context.)

Of course today, in both the North American Orthodox world and in the world of the Eastern Catholics, a robust diaconate has been restored.

We stopped that practice of priests vesting as deacons maybe fifty years or more ago as we were led to believe it was a Latinization. Deacon Lance weighed in on this a few years back if I recall on another forum, perhaps he might recall the context from the ECC point of view.

No more priests vesting and serving as deacons, that was stopped sometime ago, but at hierarchal liturgies deacons will sometimes hold dikeri, mitre, etc
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2013, 06:16:26 PM »

When I was 9 or 12 or something I was the only one altar server during the weekday DL. A vicar vested only in cassock (and the cross) was serving as fellow altar server. Not sure if that counts.
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2013, 08:47:43 PM »

I think that it is pretty common for Readers to serve as regular Servers, particularly if you have more than one.
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 09:17:05 PM »

I have seen Archimandrites function as Subdeacon, they however remained in their exorasso and never put on any liturgical vestment. When a deacon is not present it is often the case that Presbyters do the parts that are normal to a Deacon, that being the litanies, but they are still vested as Presbyters.

Even if a Deacon was functioning liturgically as a Subdeacon he is still a Deacon.
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2013, 11:40:33 PM »

So if a Bishop serves as a priest what vestments would he wear besides the omphorion?
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« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2013, 12:22:22 AM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 
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« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2013, 06:51:46 AM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 

Given that there is a priestly rank of mitred protopriest, bestowed on married priests of long and distinguished service, I imagine a bishop serving as a priest would be able to wear a mitre at the appropriate times during a service.
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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2013, 12:41:22 AM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 

Given that there is a priestly rank of mitred protopriest, bestowed on married priests of long and distinguished service, I imagine a bishop serving as a priest would be able to wear a mitre at the appropriate times during a service.
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Usually the bishop does not wear the crown when serving as a priest, instead he wears his hat and vail.
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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2013, 01:53:14 PM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 

Given that there is a priestly rank of mitred protopriest, bestowed on married priests of long and distinguished service, I imagine a bishop serving as a priest would be able to wear a mitre at the appropriate times during a service.
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Usually the bishop does not wear the crown when serving as a priest, instead he wears his hat and vail.

Bishops here do not wear klobuks.
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« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2013, 05:51:48 PM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 

Given that there is a priestly rank of mitred protopriest, bestowed on married priests of long and distinguished service, I imagine a bishop serving as a priest would be able to wear a mitre at the appropriate times during a service.
.
Usually the bishop does not wear the crown when serving as a priest, instead he wears his hat and vail.

Bishops here do not wear klobuks.

Then what do they wear?
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« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2013, 05:54:30 PM »

Sacerdotal vestments and the omophorion.  Maybe the mitre, but not necessarily. 

Given that there is a priestly rank of mitred protopriest, bestowed on married priests of long and distinguished service, I imagine a bishop serving as a priest would be able to wear a mitre at the appropriate times during a service.
.
Usually the bishop does not wear the crown when serving as a priest, instead he wears his hat and vail.

Bishops here do not wear klobuks.

Then what do they wear?


Mitres. I mean during Liturgy.
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« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2013, 09:58:42 PM »

So if a Bishop serves as a priest what vestments would he wear besides the omphorion?

In my expeience, priestly vestments plus Omophor, Epigonation and Panagia.
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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2013, 12:14:12 AM »

So if a Bishop serves as a priest what vestments would he wear besides the omphorion?

In my expeience, priestly vestments plus Omophor, Epigonation and Panagia.

My priest wears the Epigonation as a matter of normal liturgical wear.
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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2013, 10:37:23 AM »

So if a Bishop serves as a priest what vestments would he wear besides the omphorion?

In my expeience, priestly vestments plus Omophor, Epigonation and Panagia.

My priest wears Te Epigonation as a matter of normal liturgical wear.

It is an honorific, bestowed by his bishop and is indicative of priestly rank.
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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2013, 11:36:21 AM »

When we have Vespers, I generally do not serve and function as the dyak (reader).  There has been a few times I was made to serve a portion of the Liturgy above my rank...when I was a subdeacon and we were in-between priests, we had a visiting priest who spoke no English.  His Eminence had me read the Gospel in English and preach.  Also, when His Eminence would visit He would have me come back into the Altar to help our pastor fan the aer over His head during the Creed.  When I attended my 1st clergy retreat, His Eminence introduced me as the "baby" bishop instead of the "baby" (newest) deacon.  Everyone had a good laugh over that.   Shocked
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« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2013, 10:02:15 PM »

I know bishops can serve as presbyters, I've also recently read something like "deacon X. served as a subdeacon to bishop Y.". Is the latter common. Can for example presbyter be vested as deacon and serve as deacon?

No. However, when there is no deacon present, most of what the Priest does actually belong to a deacon such as intoning the petitions. However, the Priest is vested as a Priest and stands in his proper place at the Holy Table. What they probably meant is that a Priest held the Bishop's staff for him, or carried the candles opposite him as he censed.

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« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2013, 10:06:06 PM »

So if a Bishop serves as a priest what vestments would he wear besides the omphorion?

In my expeience, priestly vestments plus Omophor, Epigonation and Panagia.

My priest wears the Epigonation as a matter of normal liturgical wear.

Different traditions give different meanings to the epigonation. In the Antiochian tradition, if a Priest wears an epigonation, he is authorized to hear Confessions. I was given an epigonation when I was ordained to the Priesthood. In the Russian tradition, it is a reward like a pectoral cross.

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« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2013, 10:12:55 PM »

I don't know how common it is, but I suppose it can be done.  But I think they'd vest in their rank, not in the rank in which they are functioning.  So bishops may "serve" as priests do and not hierarchically, but they still use episcopal vestments, priests may perform diaconal functions at hierarchical Liturgies without deacons, but they are vested as priests, etc.

The Roman rite, and perhaps other Western rites, allowed you to serve in an inferior rank and vest accordingly.  In "traditional" communities, it still happens.  

I have seen Bishops serve as Priests, wearing the vestments of a normal Priest with an omophorion worn over the pholonion.

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« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2013, 08:14:15 AM »

In the Russian tradition, it is a reward like a pectoral cross.

In Russian tradition pectoral cross is not a reward but a part of base set.
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« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2013, 08:17:03 AM »

In the Russian tradition, it is a reward like a pectoral cross.

In Russian tradition pectoral cross is not a reward but a part of base set.

Fr John is not completely incorrect. A silver cross is the "base level" for Russian priest. The gold cross and jeweled cross are rewards for service.
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« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2013, 07:31:18 PM »

I have seen a deacon serve as a subdeacon once in my parish at a vigil.  There were already 2 deacons serving at this vigil, and there was only one subdeacon available.  Because the bishop was serving, and the third deacon knew the role of a subdeacon inside and out from his years in this order, the third deacon served as a subdeacon until the end of the vigil where he took a litany as a deacon.  When you think about it, a deacon serving as a subdeacon is not that weird.  The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon, and the subdeacon never gets to wear cuffs) and the subdeacons basically do "lesser" deaconly-type things that deacons are too busy to do.

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does a sub-deacon do in your tradition that an altar server cannot do? In Antiochian tradition a sub-deacon can do the Great Litany and two Little Litanies during the Divine Liturgy, but otherwise function as senior altar server. An altar server can hold the bishop's staff for him or even hold the candles opposite him when he censes following the Little Entrance and before the Great Entrance. Since the Bishop presides over Vespers from the throne in our tradition, there is really nothing special for a sub-deacon to do. I have only once served at a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with a Bishop following the Russian tradition and noticed that it was much more highly chirographed than it is in the Greek or Antiochian traditions.

Fr. John W. Morris
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« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2013, 07:41:08 PM »

I have seen a deacon serve as a subdeacon once in my parish at a vigil.  There were already 2 deacons serving at this vigil, and there was only one subdeacon available.  Because the bishop was serving, and the third deacon knew the role of a subdeacon inside and out from his years in this order, the third deacon served as a subdeacon until the end of the vigil where he took a litany as a deacon.  When you think about it, a deacon serving as a subdeacon is not that weird.  The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon, and the subdeacon never gets to wear cuffs) and the subdeacons basically do "lesser" deaconly-type things that deacons are too busy to do.

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does a sub-deacon do in your tradition that an altar server cannot do? In Antiochian tradition a sub-deacon can do the Great Litany and two Little Litanies during the Divine Liturgy, but otherwise function as senior altar server. An altar server can hold the bishop's staff for him or even hold the candles opposite him when he censes following the Little Entrance and before the Great Entrance. Since the Bishop presides over Vespers from the throne in our tradition, there is really nothing special for a sub-deacon to do. I have only once served at a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with a Bishop following the Russian tradition and noticed that it was much more highly chirographed than it is in the Greek or Antiochian traditions.

Fr. John W. Morris

Hi Father.  He did say "vigil" (Vespers and Matins) not just vespers. 
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« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2013, 07:54:51 PM »

I have seen a deacon serve as a subdeacon once in my parish at a vigil.  There were already 2 deacons serving at this vigil, and there was only one subdeacon available.  Because the bishop was serving, and the third deacon knew the role of a subdeacon inside and out from his years in this order, the third deacon served as a subdeacon until the end of the vigil where he took a litany as a deacon.  When you think about it, a deacon serving as a subdeacon is not that weird.  The vestments are the same (except that the orar is worn crossed over the back in the case of the subdeacon, and the subdeacon never gets to wear cuffs) and the subdeacons basically do "lesser" deaconly-type things that deacons are too busy to do.

Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly does a sub-deacon do in your tradition that an altar server cannot do? In Antiochian tradition a sub-deacon can do the Great Litany and two Little Litanies during the Divine Liturgy, but otherwise function as senior altar server. An altar server can hold the bishop's staff for him or even hold the candles opposite him when he censes following the Little Entrance and before the Great Entrance. Since the Bishop presides over Vespers from the throne in our tradition, there is really nothing special for a sub-deacon to do. I have only once served at a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with a Bishop following the Russian tradition and noticed that it was much more highly chirographed than it is in the Greek or Antiochian traditions.

Fr. John W. Morris

Hi Father.  He did say "vigil" (Vespers and Matins) not just vespers. 

In our tradition, the Bishop presides over Matins from the throne. At a certain point, I do not have my liturgikon here and cannot look it up, he takes Kairon and goes into the Altar where he is vested. He then comes out of the Altar for the Great Doxology. He can lead the Great Doxology from the throne, but usually has a moveable throne placed in the Solea facing the Holy Doors. He enters the Altar at the Little Entrance, and then begins to serve.

Fr. John W. Morris.
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« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2014, 01:54:59 PM »

There is a tradition in the Roman Rite whereby a priest can serve as a deacon or subdeacon for a Mass celebrated by another priest/bishop. However, in the Eastern Rites, this doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, although all priests serve first as subdeacons, then as deacons, before their ordination, it seems more common for deacons and subdeacons to remain in those posts for life, and after priests have been ordained as such, they tend instead to concelebrate. Is serving below one's rank allowed by Orthodox canon law?
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« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2014, 02:02:07 PM »

There is a tradition in the Roman Rite whereby a priest can serve as a deacon or subdeacon for a Mass celebrated by another priest/bishop. However, in the Eastern Rites, this doesn't seem to be the case. Instead, although all priests serve first as subdeacons, then as deacons, before their ordination, it seems more common for deacons and subdeacons to remain in those posts for life, and after priests have been ordained as such, they tend instead to concelebrate. Is serving below one's rank allowed by Orthodox canon law?

This has been discussed in the recent past.  Basically, everyone serves according to their order.  If, for example, there is no deacon, a priest(s) will perform some of the diaconal roles, while others can/may/will be omitted.  But in terms of vesture and precedence, they do this as priests: there is no custom, as in the Roman rite, of having priests vest as deacons and subdeacons. 
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