Author Topic: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)  (Read 3671 times)

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Offline TheMathematician

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Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« on: March 15, 2015, 11:54:07 PM »
So, I've recently started attending a new parish, and the Deacon and sub deacon are, in addition to the priest, administering Communion.

Is this the norm, or wrong, or just something I've never seen before?

I'm used to a single priest giving communion, or two if the parish has them and the need.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 12:03:03 AM »
Deacons can help give communion if there are a lot of people. Deacons can also take communion to the sick. I've never heard of subdeacons giving out communion.

Offline lovesupreme

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 12:03:42 AM »
I would echo what AL said.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 12:04:00 AM »
I've seen a deacon give communion on a very busy Sunday when only one priest is present (we usually have two).  I have not seen a subdeacon do it.  If the priest blesses it, why not?

 Do you have a lot of people communing?
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 12:06:56 AM »
Ahh, okay. And we do have a lot of people communing, which make sense why there would be multiple people, i just never saw it besides. A priest before.

Thank you all.

Also as for the subdeacon, after this week it won't matter because he will be ordained to the diaconate this coming Sunday.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 12:37:36 AM »
What jurisdiction is your new parish? I guessing it's not Serbian or ROCOR.  Yes, deacons are allowed to give communion, but my understanding is that historically they were primarily an extraordinary distributer of communion, primarily to the sick. I personally don't like it... but I am willing to admit that it is because 99% of my experience is in ROCOR and we don't do it. It is not a cause for scandal. Now subdeacons, that sounds very strange to me I've never seen that or read of that of that.

Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 09:23:29 AM »
What jurisdiction is your new parish? I guessing it's not Serbian or ROCOR.  Yes, deacons are allowed to give communion, but my understanding is that historically they were primarily an extraordinary distributer of communion, primarily to the sick. I personally don't like it... but I am willing to admit that it is because 99% of my experience is in ROCOR and we don't do it. It is not a cause for scandal. Now subdeacons, that sounds very strange to me I've never seen that or read of that of that.

I'll say it isn't Serb or ROCOR and leave it at that here, lest someone finds out the parish I attend.

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2015, 10:10:17 AM »
I've never heard of subdeacons giving out communion.

And they shouldn't.  Nor should sub-deacons ever chant the petitions of the litany.  I've seen both, unfortunately, in the Antiochian Archdiocese in America.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2015, 10:42:53 AM »
I've never heard of subdeacons giving out communion.

And they shouldn't.  Nor should sub-deacons ever chant the petitions of the litany.  I've seen both, unfortunately, in the Antiochian Archdiocese in America.

I haven't seen them give communion, but I know a sub-deacon friend of mine has chanted petitions before.  His dad is a venerable old priest from the old country and he himself is an expert in Byzantine chant.  I have no idea of his basis for chanting petitions...just that I'm not comfortable with it.  I think he's only done it a couple of times before.

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2015, 12:05:26 PM »
AFAIK deacons giving Communion is a Greek thing. And the only one instance of ubdeacons doing that I've heard was among EP slavic dioceses.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 01:32:39 PM »
I've never heard of subdeacons giving out communion.

And they shouldn't.  Nor should sub-deacons ever chant the petitions of the litany.  I've seen both, unfortunately, in the Antiochian Archdiocese in America.

I haven't seen them give communion, but I know a sub-deacon friend of mine has chanted petitions before.  His dad is a venerable old priest from the old country and he himself is an expert in Byzantine chant.  I have no idea of his basis for chanting petitions...just that I'm not comfortable with it.  I think he's only done it a couple of times before.

Bishop BASIL of DOWAMA (Antiochian) has said, in a letter, to all priests, deacons, subdeacons and chanters that subdeacons are not permitted to do this despite how prevalent the practice has become.  I'll see if I can find it and post it.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2015, 11:06:29 AM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany. 
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2015, 11:35:55 AM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2015, 11:55:34 AM »
The deacon routinely does this at OCA and ACROD parishes I've been at. Actually, one of the parishioners got so fired up about it at the OCA parish that he went off and started a ROCA parish at his house (now part of the Agafangel group).
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2015, 07:44:34 PM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.

I haven't seen a deacon wrap it to look like a subdeacon.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2015, 11:15:20 PM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.

I haven't seen a deacon wrap it to look like a subdeacon.
That's very odd. It is standard practice.
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Offline Theophania

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2015, 11:46:39 PM »
My parish's deacon does give out Communion sometimes if we're missing a priest - generally we have two priests and we need to have two people distributing Communion because it's a large parish. So sometimes it will be a deacon in the one line, and then a priest in the other. But if we have both priests present, the deacon does not do it.

I've never seen either one of our subdeacons do it though. They're always one of the people holding the cloth.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2015, 01:29:38 AM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.

I haven't seen a deacon wrap it to look like a subdeacon.
That's very odd. It is standard practice.
I've yet to see a GOA deacon, so...

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2016, 12:29:28 PM »
Here in our Church, The Ethiopian Orthodox church, Deacons give the Holy Blood of Christ ( i hope u know our community partake the body and the blood of christ separately, well it's not the case for the first deacon who serves on the divine liturgy on that specific day).

Micky

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2016, 01:54:51 PM »
What jurisdiction is your new parish? I guessing it's not Serbian or ROCOR.  Yes, deacons are allowed to give communion, but my understanding is that historically they were primarily an extraordinary distributer of communion, primarily to the sick. I personally don't like it... but I am willing to admit that it is because 99% of my experience is in ROCOR and we don't do it. It is not a cause for scandal. Now subdeacons, that sounds very strange to me I've never seen that or read of that of that.

I'll say it isn't Serb or ROCOR and leave it at that here, lest someone finds out the parish I attend.

Why would that be a problem?
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2016, 04:14:41 PM »
What jurisdiction is your new parish? I guessing it's not Serbian or ROCOR.  Yes, deacons are allowed to give communion, but my understanding is that historically they were primarily an extraordinary distributer of communion, primarily to the sick. I personally don't like it... but I am willing to admit that it is because 99% of my experience is in ROCOR and we don't do it. It is not a cause for scandal. Now subdeacons, that sounds very strange to me I've never seen that or read of that of that.

I'll say it isn't Serb or ROCOR and leave it at that here, lest someone finds out the parish I attend.

Why would that be a problem?

Some people don't like revealing every tidbit of their lives on the internet.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #22 on: January 04, 2016, 05:57:11 PM »
What jurisdiction is your new parish? I guessing it's not Serbian or ROCOR.  Yes, deacons are allowed to give communion, but my understanding is that historically they were primarily an extraordinary distributer of communion, primarily to the sick. I personally don't like it... but I am willing to admit that it is because 99% of my experience is in ROCOR and we don't do it. It is not a cause for scandal. Now subdeacons, that sounds very strange to me I've never seen that or read of that of that.

I'll say it isn't Serb or ROCOR and leave it at that here, lest someone finds out the parish I attend.

Why would that be a problem?

Why are lay Communion distributors a problem in Catholicism?
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Offline mildert

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2016, 10:32:54 AM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.

I haven't seen a deacon wrap it to look like a subdeacon.
That's very odd. It is standard practice.

Simple Deacons in the Russian tradition have the single orarion which is worn in the same way as a subdeacon during reception and distribution of Communion.
In other traditions the Deacon wears a double orarion (which is also an award in the Russian tradition).  This is tied at the side during Communion.

But as Deacon Lance remarked, he is not wearing cuffs, so unless he forgot them, he is a subdeacon. 

I have been told that Deacons need to get a specific blessing from the Bishop to distribute Communion, but perhaps that is just within my jurisdiction.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2016, 10:34:44 AM by mildert »
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2016, 02:34:58 AM »
Vested Subdeacon giving communion at ACROD Christ the Savior Cathedral

How do you know it's a subdeacon and not a deacon with his stole wrapped around his chest in the form of a cross?  Deacons wrap their stoles around them in this way during the Lord's Prayer in preparation for Communion and don't unwrap them until the post-communion litany.

I haven't seen a deacon wrap it to look like a subdeacon.
That's very odd. It is standard practice.

Simple Deacons in the Russian tradition have the single orarion which is worn in the same way as a subdeacon during reception and distribution of Communion.
In other traditions the Deacon wears a double orarion (which is also an award in the Russian tradition).  This is tied at the side during Communion.

But as Deacon Lance remarked, he is not wearing cuffs, so unless he forgot them, he is a subdeacon. 

I have been told that Deacons need to get a specific blessing from the Bishop to distribute Communion, but perhaps that is just within my jurisdiction.

That makes sense.  The deacon at my parish has the double orarion, so I never saw that.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2016, 11:02:44 PM »
Redoing the stole in that manner sounds like a hassle, which makes me respect the Diaconate even more for having to deal with that every liturgy...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 11:02:56 PM by wgw »
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2016, 11:26:55 PM »
In the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, we do follow the practice that Deacons can distribute Holy Communion, but NEVER Subdeacons.  AFAIK, this has always been the case.

Dating back to Metropolitan Antony Bashir, the practice of subdeacons intoning the Little Litanies at the beginning of the Divine Liturgy has been a fairly common practice until now.  Metropolitan Joseph forbade the practice in the West back in the late 1990s, and I believe that Bishop Basil may have done something similar in his bishopric.

As most Antiochian clergy are aware, Metropolitan Joseph is keen on bringing the North American parishes back into line with common Patriarchal practices, rather than the 'divergence' of 'local customs' that became prevalent in the last 75 years or so.  Subdeacons intoning litanies will likely be specifically addressed at the next Clergy Symposium, since this is usually the time when liturgical instructions are addressed.   

There may be a few 'hold out' parishes where this practice continues, but I don't believe the newer clergy coming out of seminary these days would go along with it.  Most of the newer clergy I know are more inclined towards doing things 'by the book.'
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2016, 11:45:32 PM »
As most Antiochian clergy are aware, Metropolitan Joseph is keen on bringing the North American parishes back into line with common Patriarchal practices, rather than the 'divergence' of 'local customs' that became prevalent in the last 75 years or so.  Subdeacons intoning litanies will likely be specifically addressed at the next Clergy Symposium, since this is usually the time when liturgical instructions are addressed.   

There may be a few 'hold out' parishes where this practice continues, but I don't believe the newer clergy coming out of seminary these days would go along with it.  Most of the newer clergy I know are more inclined towards doing things 'by the book.'


Glad to hear your insights, Father.

Offline mildert

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2016, 06:27:49 AM »
Redoing the stole in that manner sounds like a hassle, which makes me respect the Diaconate even more for having to deal with that every liturgy...

In fact we do it twice per Liturgy.  Once during Communion, and the second time when consuming the Gifts at the end of the Liturgy.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2016, 02:00:22 PM »
Redoing the stole in that manner sounds like a hassle, which makes me respect the Diaconate even more for having to deal with that every liturgy...

In fact we do it twice per Liturgy.  Once during Communion, and the second time when consuming the Gifts at the end of the Liturgy.

I salute you for it.
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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2016, 02:01:42 PM »
Redoing the stole in that manner sounds like a hassle, which makes me respect the Diaconate even more for having to deal with that every liturgy...

In fact we do it twice per Liturgy.  Once during Communion, and the second time when consuming the Gifts at the end of the Liturgy.

I salute you for it.

It's really not that difficult.
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Offline Bob2

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2016, 04:03:27 PM »
Redoing the stole in that manner sounds like a hassle, which makes me respect the Diaconate even more for having to deal with that every liturgy...

In fact we do it twice per Liturgy.  Once during Communion, and the second time when consuming the Gifts at the end of the Liturgy.

I salute you for it.

It's really not that difficult.

I don't know, some deacons are better at it than others, one deacon we used to have at our parish seemed to always get his twisted, and I always wanted to walk up during the Lord's prayer to straighten it out for him.  He has since been awarded the double orarion, perhaps this is why.

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Re: Deacons giving Communion? (and sub too)
« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2016, 09:21:34 PM »
I get that. Double orarions are a little confusing to put on at first (you need to know which end is the front and which is the back), but crossing it is an easier deal. With single orarions, the biggest thing is not to put it on upside down or forget the pin, which some deacons have done. It probably would be a hassle to return the orarion back to normal deacon configuration after communion for the single orarion in the limited time between "Let our mouths be filled" after the priest does the censing, and when you have to be in place for the litany (right after the singing ends). And it doesn't look good if you walk and talk at the same time. Speaking about communion, for me. a deacon doing it is a little strange, because it is not something under his direct purview. In the Russian tradition, he usually comes out with the chalice and either holds the cloth for the priest during communion itself (more common) or holds the chalice while the priest handles the spoon. For a subdeacon, it will be even weirder, because he does not touch the holy gifts at any time (AFAIK, he only touches the altar to move the dikiri/trikiri set, and hand the spoon/spear/cloths from the Table of Oblation when it is empty). With a deacon, I would accept him doing it if there is no other priest available, and it is normal for his tradition, but it is not something that I would encourage.