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Instructions for Deacons Serving in the Divine Liturgy

Blessing of the “Tunics”

The “tunic” should be blessed before the “Matins Raising of Incense”. In case some deacons come late, the “Tunic” can be blessed before the “Agpia”, after the “Agpia” or before the “Absolution of the Servants”. The “Tunic” should not be blessed after the “Absolution of the Servants”.

Lighting and Holding the Candles inside the Altar during the “Anaphora”

Candles should not be lit while kneeling; therefore, candles should be lit as follows:

  • At the beginning of the “sanctification prayers” (Institution) until the deacon responds, “Worship God in fear and trembling”.
  • At the beginning of the “Fraction” prayer until its end. Candles should not be lit before the fraction, e. g. when the priest prays saying: “the Holy Body” (for we should be kneeling down).
  • When the priest prays, saying, “The Holies for the holy” until the beginning of the Confession “Amen, Amen, Amen. I believe, I believe, I believe”.
  • During the Confession all deacons should kneel down except for the deacon who prays the “Confession”. This deacon stands across the altar facing the priest holding the cross in his right hand, a candle in his left hand and a Corporal (lefafa) in between.

The Deacons in Receiving the Holy Communion

  • The deacon who prays the “Confession” should take Communion immediately after the priests, then he stands at the main entrance of the Altar (The Royal Door), facing the Altar. After all of the deacons receive communion, he then walks (backwards) in front of the priest so that he is facing the “Holy Body”.
  • Chanting the distribution hymns outside the altar is no excuse for delaying to receive the “Holy Communion”.

The Deacons’ Tunic

Saints’ pictures should not be printed on the deacons’ tunics, they should have crosses only.

Giving Communion to a Sick Person

Outside of the Altar If the priest must go to a sick person outside the Altar, a deacon, carrying a candle, must escort him.

The deacon who prayed the “Confession” should remain guarding the “Holy Body” and carrying the cross, the candle, and the corporal in between.

The Response of “Amen” while Receiving Communion: As the priest gives Communion he says “The Body of Emmanuel our God.” The person receiving the Communion (not the deacon standing by the priest) should reply saying, “Amen”.

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

April 9, 2009