Ordination to the Priesthood

The Holy Sacrament of Ordination to the Priesthood


During the Divine Liturgy, after the completion of the Cherubic Hymnfollowing the Great Entrance, two priests exit, and bring the deacon before the bishop.  They stand on the solea, facing the bishop who stands in the Royal Doors.

1st Priest: Command.

2nd Priest: All Command.

1st Priest: Command, holy Master, the one who is now being presented to you.

Bishop: In the name of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  (3)

The deacon addresses the bishop, then the bishop counsels the bishop. Afterwards, the deacon is brought into the sanctuary, and led by the priests, circles the altar three times while the clergy sing:

Clergy: Hear us, you martyred Saints who have fought the good fight and received crowns, entreat the Lord, to have mercy on our souls.

Glory to you, Christ our God, the Apostles’ boast and pride, the
Martyrs’ fervent joy whose preaching is the consubstantial Trinity.

O Isaiah dance with joy, for the Virgin is indeed with child and
brought forth a son, Emmanuel.  Who came both as God and man, Day-at-the-Dawn is his name, and by magnifying him, we call the Virgin blessed.

They bring the candidate to the bishop, who makes the sign of the cross three times over his head.  The deacon kneels before the altar placing his hands on the altar and his head upon his hands.  After the 1st deacon proclaims, “Let us be attentive!” the bishop places his hand on the head of the deacon and recites the prayer, “The Divine grace …”

Deacon: Let us be attentive.

Bishop: The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon (name) to the office of Priest.  Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.

The clergy in the Holy of Holies say:

Clergy: Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

Bishop: O God without beginning or end, Who are before every created thing, and Who honors with the title of Presbyter those whom You deem worthy to serve the word of Your truth in the divine ministry of this order: You, the same sovereign Master, preserve in purity of life and in unswerving faith this man whom You have been pleased to ordain through me by the laying on of hands, graciously imparting to him the great grace of Your Holy Spirit, making him wholly Your servant, well-pleasing to You in all things, and worthily exercising this great honor of the Priesthood which You conferred upon him by the power of Your wisdom.

For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and always, and to the ages of ages.

Chanters: Amen.

The senior priest recites the following petitions in a low voice while the clergy in the Holy of Holies slowly respond “Lord, have mercy.”

1st Priest: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

For the peace from above and the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

For peace in the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all, let us pray to the Lord.

For our Archbishop (Name), and our Bishop (Name) for his priesthood, sustenance, sojourn, peace, health, salvation, and for the works of his hands, let us pray to the Lord.

For the servant of God (Name of the new presbyter), who has now been ordained a presbyter, and for his salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

That God who loves mankind will grant to him a pure and blameless priesthood, let us pray to the Lord.

For this parish and this city, for every city and country, and for the faithful who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.

For our deliverance from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord.

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

Commemorating our all-holy, pure, most-blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commit ourselves and one another and all our life to Christ our God.

Chanters: To You, O Lord.

Bishop: For to You belong all glory, honor, and worship, to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always, and to the ages of ages.

Chanters: Amen.

While the Senior Priest intones the petitions, the Hierarch reads thefollowing prayer with his hand still on the new presbyter’s head:

Bishop: O God, great in might and inscrutable in wisdom, marvelous in counsel above the sons of men: You the same Lord, fill with the gift of Your Holy Spirit this man whom it has pleased You to advance to the degree of Priest; that he may become worthy to stand in innocence before Your altar, to proclaim the Gospel of Your kingdom, to minister the word of Your truth, to offer to You spiritual gifts and sacrifices; to renew Your people through the font of regeneration, that when he shall go to meet You, at the second coming of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son, he may receive the reward of good stewardship in the order given to him, through the plenitude of Your goodness.

For blessed and glorified is Your all-holy and majestic name, of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now, and ever and to the ages of ages.

Chanters: Amen.

Everyone stands.  The bishop proclaims the newly-ordained priest “Axios!” (“worthy”) to which the congregation responds “Axios!”

The bishop will hold up each item of the Priest’s vestments and againproclaim “Axios!” each time to which the congregation also responds “Axios!” and vests the new priest.

After the consecration of the Eucharist, the bishop places the body of Christ into the new priest’s hands with the following admonition:

Bishop: Receive this Divine Trust, and guard it until the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, at which time He will demand It from you.




Μετὰ τὸ πληρωθῆναι τὸν Χερουβικὸν ὕμνον, ἵσταται ἐν τῆ Σολέα ὁ μέλλων χειροτονεῖσθαι Πρεσβύτερος καὶ έξερχόμενοι δύο Διἀκονοι λαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν ἐξ ἑκατέρου μέρους, καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἄχρι τῶν ἁγίων θυρῶν ἐκεῖ δὲ ἀπολύουσιν αὐτὸν οἱ Διἀκονοι καὶ λαμβάνουσιν αὐτὸν δύο Πρεσβύτεροι, ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ δεὐτερος.  Καὶ τοῦ Ὰρχιερέως ἱσταμένου πρὸτῆς ὡραίας Πύλης ἐκφωνεῖ ὁ πρῶτος τῶν Ἱερέων:

1ος ΠρεσβύτεροςΚέλευσον.

Καὶ ὁ δεὐτερος:

2ος Πρεσβύτερος:  Κελεύσατε.

Και πάλιν ὁ πρῶτος:

1ος ΠρεσβύτεροςΚέλευσον Δέσποτα Ἅγιε, τὸν νῦν προσφερόμενόν σοι.

Καὶ πάλιν ὁ Ἀρχιερεὺς ὑποδέχεται αὐτὸν καὶ σφραγίζων τρὶς τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ, λέγει:

ἈρχιερέαEἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος (τρίς)

Καὶ εἰσάγουσιν αὐτὸν οἱ Πρεσβύτεροι εἰς τὸ Θυσιαστήριον καὶ κυκλοῦσι τρὶς τὴν ἁγίαν Τράπεζαν ἀπὸ τῶν δεξιῶν πρὸς τὰ ἀριστερά, ψάλλοντες τά « Ἅγιοι Μάρτυρες…, Δόξα σοι Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός…,» καὶ τὸ « Ἡσαἶα χόρευε…»

ΨάλτηςἍγιοι Μάρτυρες, οἱ καλῶς ἀθλήσαντες καὶ στεφανωθέντες, προσβεύσατε πρὸς Κύριον, ἐλεηθῆναι τὰς ψυχὰς ἡμῶν.

ΨάλτηςΔόξα σοι Χριστὲ ὁ Θεός, Ἀποστόλων καύχημα, Μαρτύρων ἀγαλλίαμα, ὦν τὸ κήρυγμα.  Τριὰς ἡ ὁμοούσιος. 

Ἦχος πλ. α᾿. 

Ψάλτης:  Ησαῒα χόρευε.  ἡ Παρθένος ἔσχεν ἐν γαστρί, καὶ ἔτεκεν Υἱὸν τὸν Ἐμμανουήλ, Θεόν τε καὶ ἄνθρωπον.  Ἀνατολὴ ὄνομα αὐτῶ.  ὅν μεγαλύνοντες, τὴν Παρθένον μακαρίζομεν.

Ἰστέον δὲ ὅτι, ὅταν ψάλλωνται τὰ ἀνωτέρω, κάθηται ἔμπροσθεν τῆς ἁγίας Τραπέζης ὁ Ἀρχιερεὺς εἰς θρονίον, καὶ ἐκεῖ ὅπου κυκλοῦσι γύρωθεν, ἀσπάζεται ὁ χειροτονούμενος τὰ τέσσαρα κέρατα τῆς ἁγίας Τραπἐζης καί ὅταν ἔρχωνται ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως, ποιοῦσι μετάνοιαν καὶ ὁ χειροτονούμενος ἀσπάζεται τὴν χεῖρα καὶ τὸ ἐπιγονάτιον αὐτοῦ.  Μετὰ δὲ τὴν τρίτην περιφορὰν τὰς ἁγίας εἰκονας κατὰ τάξιν.

Εἶτα ἀνισταμένου τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως, προσέρχεται αύτῶ ὁ χειροτονούμενος καὶ ἵσταται κατὰ τὸ δεξιὸν μέρος αὐτοῦ καὶ θέτει τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τῆς ἁγίας Τραπέζης σταυροειδῶς καὶ ἐρείσας τὸ μέτωπον τῆ ἁγία Τραπέζη, κλίνει ἀμφότερα τὰ γόνατα.  Καὶ ἐκφωνεῖ ὁ Ἀρχιδιάκονος:


δὲ Ἀρχιερεὺς θέτει τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ ὠμοφορίου ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς τοῦχειροτονουμένου καὶ ἐπιθέτων τὴν δεξιὰν ἐκ φωνεῖεἰς ἐπή κοονπάντων:

ἈρχιερέαΘεία Χάρις, ἡπάν τοτε τὰ ἀσθενῆ θεραπεύουσα καὶ τὰἐλλείπον τα ἀναπληροῦσα, προχειρίζεται (τὸνδεῖνα) τὸν εὐλαβέστατον Διάκονον εἰς Πρεσβύτερον εὐξώμεθαοὖν ὑπερ αὐτοῦ, ἵνα ἔλθηἐπ αὐτον ἡ χάρις τοῦ Παναγίου Πνεύματος.

Καὶ ψάλλεται παρατεταμένως καὶ ἴσον τῶ ἀκούεσθαι τό Κύριε ἐλέησον (γ΄) παρὰ τῶν ἐν τῶ Βἠματι καὶ παρὰ τῶν ἐκτός.

ΔιάκονοςΤοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.

Ὁ Ἀρχιερεὺς ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα ἐπικειμένην, εὔχεται οὕτω χαμηλοφώνως.

ἈρχιερευςΟ Θεὸς ὁ ἄναρχος καὶ ἀτελεύτητος, ὁ πάσης κτίσεως πρεσβύτατος ὑπάρχων, ὁ τῆ προσηγορία τοῦ πρεσβυτέρου τιμήσας τοὺς ἐν τῶ βαθμῶ τούτω ἀξιωθέντας ἱερουργεῖν τὸν λόγον τὴς ἀληθείας Αὐτός, Δέσποτα τῶν ἁπάντων, καὶ τοῦτον, ὅν εὐδόκησαν ὑποδέξασθαι τὴν μεγάλην ταύτην χάριν τοῦ Ἁγιου σου Πνεύματος, καὶ τέλειον ἀνάδειξον δοῦλόν σου ἐν πᾶσιν εὐαρεστοῦντα σοι, καὶ ἀξίως πολιτευόμενον τῆς δωρηθείσης αὐτῶ ὑπὸ τῆς σῆς προγνωστικῆς δυνάμεως, μεγάλης ταύτῆς ἱερατικης τιμῆς.  «Ὅτι σὸν τὸ κράτος, καὶ σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα, τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.  Ἀμήν.

Καὶ μετὰ τὴν Εὐχὴν ταύτην λέγει ὁ Πρωτοπαπᾶς λεπτῆ τῆ φωνῆ, ὅσον ἀκούειν τοὺς συμπαρόντας καὶ ἀποκρίνεσθαι τὸ « Κύριε ἐλέησον», τὰ διακονικὰ ταῦτα:

 ΠρωτοπαπᾶςἘν εἰρήνη, τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.

Ὑπερ τῆς ἄνωθεν εἰρήνης, καὶ τῆς σωτηρίας τῶν ψυχῶν ημῶν….

Ὑπὲρ τῆς εἰρήνης τοῦ σύμπαντος κόσμου….

Ὑπὲρ τοῦ Ἀρχιεπισκόπου ἡμῶν (τοῦ δεῖνος), ἱερωσύνης, ἀντιλήψεως, διαμονῆς, εἰρήνης, ὑγείας, καὶ σωτηρίας αὐτοῦ, καὶ τοῦ ἔργου τῶν χειρῶν αὐτοῦ, τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.

Ὑπὲρ τοῦ δούλου τοῦ Θεοῦ (τοὺ δεῖνος), τοῦ νυνὶ προχειριζομένου Διακόνου, καὶ τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶ, τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.

Ὅπως ὁ φιλάνθρωπος Θεὸς ἡμῶν , ἄσπιλον καὶ ἀμώμητον αὐτῶ τὴν Διακονίαν χαρίσηται, τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.

Ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως, ταύτης, πάσης πόλεως, χώρας…

Ὑπὲρ τοῦ ῥυσθηναι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πἀσης θλίψεως…

‘Αντιλαβοῦ, σωσον, ἐλέησον…

Τῆς Παναγίας ἀχράντου, ὑπερευλογημένης…

δὲ Ἀρχιερεύς, ἔχων τὴν χεἰρα ἐπικειμένην τῆ τοῦ χειροτονουμένου κεφαλῆ καὶ τοῦ Διακόνου εἰπόντες:

ΔιάκονοςΤοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν

Καὶ πάντων ἀποκριθέντων τὸ «Κύριε ἐλέησον,» ἐπτεύχεται καὶ αὖθις οὕτως.

Ἀρχιερέα:  Ὸ Θεός, ὸ μέγας ἐν δυνάμει, καὶ ἀνεξιχνίαστος ἐν συνέσει, ὁ θαυμαστὸς ἐν βουλαῖς, ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῶν ἀνθρὠπων.  Αὐτός, Κύριε, καὶ τοῦτον, ὅν εὐδόκησας τὸν τοῦ Πρεσβυτέρου ὑπεισελθεῖν βαθμόν, πλήρωσον τῆς τοῦ Ἁγίου σου Πνεύματος δωρεᾶς ἵνα γένηται ἄξιος παρεστάναι ἀμέμπτως τῶ Θυσιαστηρίω σου, κηρύσσειν τὸ Εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας σου, ἱερουργεῖν τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας σου, προσεφέρειν σοι δῶρα καὶ θυσίας πνευματικάς, ἀνακαινίζειν τὸν λαόν σου δία τῆς τοῦ λουτροῦ παλιγγενεσίας ὅπως καὶ αὐτός, ὑπαντήσας ἐν τῆ Δευτέρα ἐπιδημία τοῦ μεγάλου Θεοῦ, καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦ μονογενοῦς σου Υἱοῦ, δέξηται τὸν μισθὸν τῆς ἀγαθῆς οἰκονομίας τοῦ οἰκείου Τάγματος, ἐν τῶ πλήθει τῆς ἀγαθότητός σου.  Ὅτι ηὐλόγηται καὶ δεδόξασται τὸ πάντιμον καὶ μεγαλοπρεπὲς ὄνομά σου, τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ Ἁγίου Πνεύματος, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.  Ἀμήν.

Μετὰ τὸ Ἀμήν, ἀνίστησιν αὐτόν, καὶ φέρει τὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ Ὀραρίου αὐτοῦ τὸ ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ δεξιοῦ μέρους (ἤ περιτίθησιν αύτῶ Ἐπιτραχήλιον) λέγων «Ἄξιος» Καὶ ψάλλουσι τοῦτο οἱ τοῦ Βήματος τρίς.  Εἶτα περιτίθησιν αὐτῶ τὴν ζώνην, λέγων «Ἄξιος» Καὶ ψάλλουσιν αὐτὸ τρὶς οἱ Ψάλται τοῦ α΄χοροῦ.  Καὶ ἐνδύων αὐτὸν τὸ Φελόνιον, ἐκφωνεῖ καὶ αὖθις τό, «Ἄξιος»  Καὶ ψάλλουσιν αὐτὸ τρὶς οἱ Ψάλται τοῦ β΄χοροῦ.

[Εἶτα στρέφων ὁ Ἀρχιερεὺς τὸν χειροτονηθέντα κατενώπιον τοῦ Λαοῦ, λέγει ἐκφώνως «Αὕτη ἡ ἀλλοίωσις τῆς δεξιᾶς τοῦ Ὑψίστου.»  Καὶ ψάλλεται τρίς, ἅπαξ παρὰ τῶν ἐν τῶν Βήματι καὶ παρ’ ἑκατέρου τῶν Χορῶν « Τίς Θεὸς μέγας ὡς ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν; Σὺ εἶ ὁ Θεός, ὁ θαυμάσια μόνος». 

Καὶ δίδωσιν αὐτῶ άγάπην, ἤτοι ἀσπάζεται αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ μέτωπον, ὁ δὲ χειροτονούμενος ἀσπάζεται τὴν χεῖρα τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως καὶ άπερχόμενος ἵσταται εἰς τὸ δεξιὸν μέρος τῆς ἁγίας Τραπέζης μετὰ τῶν λοιπῶν Πρεσβυτέρων, ἀναγινώσκων τὰς εὐχάς. Ὁ δὲ Διάκονος ἵσταται εἰς τὸν συνήθητόπον, λέγων τό:

ΔιάκονοςΠληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῶ Κυρίω…

Ὅταν δὲ τελειωθῶσι τὰ Ἅγια, καὶ μέλλη εἰπεῖν τὸ:

Διάκονος:  Ἐξαιρέτως…

Προσέρχεται ὁ χειροτονηθείς, καὶ ἐπιδίδωσιν αύτῶ ὁ Ἀρχιερεὺς τὸν ἅγιον Ἄρτον λέγων οὕτω” 

Ἀρχιερέα: Λάβε τὴν παρακαταθήκην ταύτην, καὶ φύλαξον αὐτήν, ἕως τῆς δευτέρας παρουσίας τοῦ Κυρίου ἡνῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὅτε παρ’ αὐτοῦ μέλλεις ἀπαιτεῖσθαι αὐτήν.

Ὁ δὲ λαβών, ἀσπάζεται τὴν χεῖρα τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως, καὶ μεθίσταται ἐν ὦ πρότερον ἵστατο τόπω, τὰς μὲν χεῖρας θεὶς ἐπάνω τῆς ἁγίας Τραπέζης, καθ’ἑαυτὸν δὲ λέγων τὸ «Κύριε ἐλέησον,» καὶ τὸ «Ἐλέησον με ὁ Θεός…»

Ὅτε δὲ μέλλει είπεῖν «Τὰ Ἅγια τοῖς Ἁγίοις,» τότε ὁ χειροτονηθεὶς ἀποδίδωσι τὸν ἅγιον Ἄρτον, καὶ παρὰ τοῦ Ἀρχιερέως μεταλαμβάνει πρῶτος τῶν ἄλλων.  Λέγει δὲ αὐτὸς καὶ τὴν ὀπισθάμβωνον Εὐχήν.