Re: [orthodox-readers] Digest Number 129
- Subdeacon John:
Subdeacons have another purpose, depending on how large your diocese is. A
primary function of a subdeacon is to tend to the bishop when needed,
especially when he visits local parishes and serves a heirarchical Liturgy.
When the bishop is present, the tasks of the subdeacon are many, from
assisting in the altar, to acting as a "cane" by walking next to him in case
he stumbles or has trouble ascending steps. When our diocese meets for
larger gatherings, the subdeacons are always by the bishop's side as well.
Sometimes in larger parishes, there may be a few readers (as in the case of
my parish). I've known bishops to tonsure a subdeacon to oversee the
readers so that the priest can concentrate on other things, and so there is
no confusion, disorder, or rivalry among the readers.
St. Tikhon's Seminary Press has a book called the Subdeacon's Manual,
listing all the duties and appropriate functions. You might want to look
into purchasing it.
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