Monday, September 27, 2010


I was surprised by his Grace, the Rt Rev Bishop MARK of Toledo and the Midwest to be tonsured a Reader and elevated as a Subdeacon this past Sunday. I am not worthy, and I am thankful that God makes His servants worthy to stand before Him and serve Him.

I say "surprised" because there was not advanced notification. (This has been hard for some people to understand.) It seemed good to his Grace at the time he spoke with me to do this, which happened to be the evening before the tonsuring and elevation. Glory to God for His mercy toward sinners!

Below is the prayer of chirothesis (ordination to minor orders) used to make a Reader (first) and then a Subdeacon (second) in the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America:

The Reader:

Bishop: O Lord who enlightenest all created beings with the light of thy wonders, and knowest the intent of every man before it is formed, and strengthenest those who are desirous of serving thee: Do thou, the same Lord, array in thy fair and spotless vesture this thy servant (NAME), who desireth to become a Reader before thy holy mysteries, that he may be illuminated, and that attaining unto the age to come he may receive the incorruptible crown of life, and rejoice with Thine elect in bliss everlasting. For blessed is thy name and glorified is thy Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

The Subdeacon:
Bishop: O Lord our God, who, through one and the same Holy Spirit distributing gifts of grace to each one of those whom thou hast chosen, hast given to thy Church diverse Orders; who, through Thine inscrutable providence hast appointed degrees of ministry therein, for the service of thy holy and immaculate mysteries; and who, through Thine ineffable foreknowledge, hast ordained this thy servant (NAME) to be worthy to serve in thy Holy Church: Do thou, the same Lord, preserve him uncondemned in all things. And grant that he may love the beauty of thy house, stand before the doors of thy Holy Temple and kindle the lamps in the Tabernacle of thy glory. And make him thy perfect servant in the time of thy Second Coming, that he may receive the recompense of those who are well-pleasing in thy sight. For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory, of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.

The full rite for each can be found at the Antiochian Archdiocese Web site. Each is linked above.


orrologion said...

This is similar to the way in which my priest refers to his 'call'. He received his call one Sunday afternoon... The phone rang, it was the Bishop: "you will be ordained next Sunday". He adds, "Only crazy people hear voices calling them". I believe much the same was true of his tonsure into monasticism.

Were you tonsured both Reader and Subdeacon yesterday?

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

Many years, Subdeacon!

oruaseht said...

Congratulations! I like Christopher's comment about crazy people hearing voices. Hehehheehe...... All who seek office should take note. :)

Sbd. Benjamin Harju said...


I was tonsured Reader and immediately elevated to Subdeacon.

Tim said...

Congratulations, and many years! Now, what is the proper way of addressing you? Reader? Subdeacon? I strive to make every effort to afford respect to a person and their office.

Trent said...

Many Years, Benjamin.

Trent Sebits

Sbd. Benjamin Harju said...

I believe you can just call me Benjamin (or Ben). If you want to be formal, I suppose it would be Subdeacon Benjamin.

Ezekiel said...

Many years, Benjamin! It is constantly amazing to me, the blessings given by Holy Mother Church!