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Re: [orthodox-readers] Pending tonsuring as reader

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  • Reader Michael Bishop
    I ve served in both OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions when men were tonsured as Readers and I have seen no differences between the two. What Stephen wrote
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 9, 2004
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      I've served in both OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions when men were tonsured as Readers and I have seen no differences between the two. What Stephen wrote below is what I have seen in every case except for the Reader phelonion. We did not use one when I was tonsured a Reader. That could had been because the Bishop did not bring one with him.

      In my case, immediately after I was tonsured a Reader, Yaroslav was ordained a Subdeacon and I was vested as a Subdeacon. We both now have the right to wear the Subdeacon's orarion whenever we serve. As this was happening, the late Bishop Basil was also present and he commented, "Gee, I did not know that you could make a Bishop a Subdeacon."

      Reader Michael


      Reader Michael Bishop
      570 St Mary St
      Baltimore MD 21201-1936
      410-225-7743

      Personal e-mail address: Reader@...
      Web sites: http://www.ReaderMichael.com and http://www.Michael-Bishop.com


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Stephen Parsons
      To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Thursday 09 December 2004 15:03
      Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Pending tonsuring as reader


      Michael wrote:

      > I was hoping that
      > someone could describe in some detail what will actually happen
      > during the tonsuring service - i.e. the order of the service, what
      > will be expected of me, etc.

      Here's what happened with me a few years back (with pictures!). The
      service starts with the bishop in the center of the nave and you back in
      the altar in your cassock. At the appropriate time, they bring you out
      and stand you in front of the royal doors facing the bishop, and they
      guide you in making three prostrations, taking a step toward the bishop
      between each one. (Preparing for first prostration:
      http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure2.jpg ) Then when you're
      standing before the bishop, he says the prayers and does the actual
      hair-cutting. (Tonsuring: http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure3.jpg
      ) You're handed a sticharion, which you present before the bishop to get
      his blessing to serve, and you vest. Atop that, they put a "reader's
      phelonion" on you (basically a truncated phelonion that just covers your
      torso), the bishop hands you the Epistle book, picks a spot, turns you
      around, and commands "read". (First official reading:
      http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure4.jpg ) You read until he says
      to stop, then they take the phelonion off, turn you back around, and the
      bishop finishes the tonsuring service. (Finishing:
      http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure5.jpg ) Finally you go back and
      do whatever you're supposed to be doing at that point while the larger
      service gets underway. There may be other details in there I've
      forgotten; what I've written here is mostly narrative to explain the
      photos, plus a little extra I remembered.

      > I don't know if
      > it makes a difference in rubrics for the service between
      > jurisdictions, but I attend an Antiochian parish;

      I don't know either. Mine was with the OCA's Archbishop Dmitri.

      > in addition, is
      > there anything specific that I need to do to prepare myself for the
      > service? My main concern to is to fulfill everything that is
      > expected of me, and not to make an embarassment of myself before the
      > bishop ;)

      No doubt he's performed the service many, many times, and if something
      could go wrong, he's already seen it. Whatever servers he's brought with
      him (subdeacons, etc.) should be able to guide you through. A couple
      tips though: Make sure you can do the prostrations without stepping on
      your cassock (which applies anytime really); being 'guided' down and up
      restricts your ability to manage where your hem falls, such as under
      your heels. Be able to read impromptu; you'll probably be nervous, but
      you'll get through it. Remember to kiss the bishop's hand when you're
      getting his blessing to serve with the sticharion, even if his hand is
      hidden so far off the edge that you can't see it there. And don't
      necessarily expect the bishop to give you the blessing to finish serving
      and to remove your sticharion at the end; any priest there can do it.
      Oh, and when the bishop asks you your name at the beginning, he wants
      your Christian/baptismal name.

      > I would appreciate your prayers, specifically that God
      > may guide me in service to the Church.

      Congratulations in advance, Michael, and many years!

      -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John Congdon
      Seconding what Reader Michael has said, with a few additional notes. When I was tonsured, there was no reader s phelonion; the Bishop didn t have one with him.
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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        Seconding what Reader Michael has said, with a few additional notes.

        When I was tonsured, there was no reader's phelonion; the Bishop
        didn't have one with him. When one of my friends was tonsured about
        a year later by the same bishop, the archdeacon (imported for the
        occasion) threw one over his (my friend's) head, almost as an
        afterthought. I got the impression that he (the archdeacon) had
        brought it with him and that the Bishop didn't usually use one.

        You should know that it appears to be the current practice in most
        places to only use the reader's phelonion at the tonsuring service,
        although I do not know when the practice of using it every time came
        to an end. Reader Michael, any thoughts? (I believe this is your
        field.)

        Another interesting point is that the expression "to tonsure someone
        a reader" is not technically correct. The tonsure is what is
        sometimes called the "clerical tonsure" and is a necessary
        preliminary to ordination; this is what "sets apart" someone for
        service in the church. This is similar to monastic tonsure,
        althought the monastic tonsure does not set one aside for clerical
        service; a monk is still a layman unless otherwise ordained. You
        become a reader at the prayer that the Bishop says after the tonsure
        and the vesting ("God almighty, elect this thy servant, sanctify him,
        and grant unto him, in wisdom and understanding, to practise the
        study and reading of thy divine words [etc].") and before he gives
        you the book to read.

        In any event, congratulations! Whether you remain a reader or
        advance to higher degrees, may all your service be to the glory of
        God and the building up of his people!

        In Christ,
        Subdeacon John

        --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Reader Michael Bishop"
        <Arch@R...> wrote:
        > I've served in both OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions when men were
        tonsured as Readers and I have seen no differences between the two.
        What Stephen wrote below is what I have seen in every case except for
        the Reader phelonion. We did not use one when I was tonsured a
        Reader. That could had been because the Bishop did not bring one
        with him.
        >
        > In my case, immediately after I was tonsured a Reader, Yaroslav was
        ordained a Subdeacon and I was vested as a Subdeacon. We both now
        have the right to wear the Subdeacon's orarion whenever we serve. As
        this was happening, the late Bishop Basil was also present and he
        commented, "Gee, I did not know that you could make a Bishop a
        Subdeacon."
        >
        > Reader Michael
        >
        >
        > Reader Michael Bishop
        > 570 St Mary St
        > Baltimore MD 21201-1936
        > 410-225-7743
        >
        > Personal e-mail address: Reader@M...
        > Web sites: http://www.ReaderMichael.com and http://www.Michael-
        Bishop.com
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Stephen Parsons
        > To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Thursday 09 December 2004 15:03
        > Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Pending tonsuring as reader
        >
        >
        > Michael wrote:
        >
        > > I was hoping that
        > > someone could describe in some detail what will actually happen
        > > during the tonsuring service - i.e. the order of the service,
        what
        > > will be expected of me, etc.
        >
        > Here's what happened with me a few years back (with pictures!).
        The
        > service starts with the bishop in the center of the nave and you
        back in
        > the altar in your cassock. At the appropriate time, they bring
        you out
        > and stand you in front of the royal doors facing the bishop, and
        they
        > guide you in making three prostrations, taking a step toward the
        bishop
        > between each one. (Preparing for first prostration:
        > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure2.jpg ) Then when you're
        > standing before the bishop, he says the prayers and does the
        actual
        > hair-cutting. (Tonsuring:
        http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure3.jpg
        > ) You're handed a sticharion, which you present before the bishop
        to get
        > his blessing to serve, and you vest. Atop that, they put
        a "reader's
        > phelonion" on you (basically a truncated phelonion that just
        covers your
        > torso), the bishop hands you the Epistle book, picks a spot,
        turns you
        > around, and commands "read". (First official reading:
        > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure4.jpg ) You read until
        he says
        > to stop, then they take the phelonion off, turn you back around,
        and the
        > bishop finishes the tonsuring service. (Finishing:
        > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure5.jpg ) Finally you go
        back and
        > do whatever you're supposed to be doing at that point while the
        larger
        > service gets underway. There may be other details in there I've
        > forgotten; what I've written here is mostly narrative to explain
        the
        > photos, plus a little extra I remembered.
        >
        > > I don't know if
        > > it makes a difference in rubrics for the service between
        > > jurisdictions, but I attend an Antiochian parish;
        >
        > I don't know either. Mine was with the OCA's Archbishop Dmitri.
        >
        > > in addition, is
        > > there anything specific that I need to do to prepare myself for
        the
        > > service? My main concern to is to fulfill everything that is
        > > expected of me, and not to make an embarassment of myself
        before the
        > > bishop ;)
        >
        > No doubt he's performed the service many, many times, and if
        something
        > could go wrong, he's already seen it. Whatever servers he's
        brought with
        > him (subdeacons, etc.) should be able to guide you through. A
        couple
        > tips though: Make sure you can do the prostrations without
        stepping on
        > your cassock (which applies anytime really); being 'guided' down
        and up
        > restricts your ability to manage where your hem falls, such as
        under
        > your heels. Be able to read impromptu; you'll probably be
        nervous, but
        > you'll get through it. Remember to kiss the bishop's hand when
        you're
        > getting his blessing to serve with the sticharion, even if his
        hand is
        > hidden so far off the edge that you can't see it there. And don't
        > necessarily expect the bishop to give you the blessing to finish
        serving
        > and to remove your sticharion at the end; any priest there can do
        it.
        > Oh, and when the bishop asks you your name at the beginning, he
        wants
        > your Christian/baptismal name.
        >
        > > I would appreciate your prayers, specifically that God
        > > may guide me in service to the Church.
        >
        > Congratulations in advance, Michael, and many years!
        >
        > -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • James Morgan
        Someone once referred to the shortened phelonion as the holy donut ..... Rdr. James Olympia, WA ... From: Reader Michael Bishop
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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          Someone once referred to the 'shortened phelonion' as the 'holy donut'.....

          Rdr. James
          Olympia, WA

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Reader Michael Bishop [mailto:Arch@...]
          Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 7:55 PM
          To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Pending tonsuring as reader


          I've served in both OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions when men were tonsured
          as Readers and I have seen no differences between the two. What Stephen
          wrote below is what I have seen in every case except for the Reader
          phelonion. We did not use one when I was tonsured a Reader. That could had
          been because the Bishop did not bring one with him.

          In my case, immediately after I was tonsured a Reader, Yaroslav was ordained
          a Subdeacon and I was vested as a Subdeacon. We both now have the right to
          wear the Subdeacon's orarion whenever we serve. As this was happening, the
          late Bishop Basil was also present and he commented, "Gee, I did not know
          that you could make a Bishop a Subdeacon."

          Reader Michael
        • Alex Vallens
          ... You also neglected to mention the tonsure at the baptism. So, yes, when one is set apart to any new status in the church, whether it be monastic,
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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            On Dec 10, 2004, at 10:17 AM, John Congdon wrote:

            > Another interesting point is that the expression "to tonsure someone
            > a reader" is not technically correct. The tonsure is what is
            > sometimes called the "clerical tonsure" and is a necessary
            > preliminary to ordination; this is what "sets apart" someone for
            > service in the church. This is similar to monastic tonsure,
            > althought the monastic tonsure does not set one aside for clerical
            > service; a monk is still a layman unless otherwise ordained. You
            > become a reader at the prayer that the Bishop says after the tonsure
            > and the vesting ("God almighty, elect this thy servant, sanctify him,
            > and grant unto him, in wisdom and understanding, to practise the
            > study and reading of thy divine words [etc].") and before he gives
            > you the book to read.

            You also neglected to mention the tonsure at the baptism. So, yes, when
            one is "set apart" to any new status in the church, whether it be
            monastic, clerical, or at baptism, we offer snips of our hair back to
            God to show that we recognize that our whole being, even our body, is
            not our own, but belongs to the Lord.

            The reason that we say the reader is tonsured and not ordained is
            because this is the only order where an act other than the laying on of
            hands is prescribed as the act of ordination. As we know, the order of
            Reader (in modern Russian practice no different than "taper bearer") is
            the first order in the Holy Orders, the Holy Priesthood. Therefore
            being made a Reader has become synonymous with being "set apart" into
            Holy Orders, and thus we have the term "tonsured Reader."

            With love in Christ,
            Reader Alexander

            P.S. The order that I have seen done, which is followed by Metropolitan
            Herman and Bishop Tikhon of South Canaan here at St. Tikhon's, is:
            1. After the final exclamation at 6th hour, the candidate exits the
            Holy Altar (wearing a cassock) escorted by subdeacons, bows toward the
            east before the closed Holy Doors, turns and bows to the west (to
            receive blessing from Bishop).
            2. The subdeacons escort the candidate to the Bishop who has already
            been vested and stands on the Episcopal Ambon in the center of the
            church. The subdeacons help the candidate prostrate before the Bishop.
            3. The Bishop reads a prayer over the candidate and then tonsures
            (clips the hair of) the candidate in the sign of the cross.
            4. The Bishop then vests the candidate with the reader's Phelonion,
            opens the Epistle book to a random reading, gives it to the candidate
            and has him read until he tells him to stop.
            5. After the reading the Bishop says another prayer and vests the
            candidate in Stikharion.
            6. The Bishop concludes with an exhortation and any personal words he
            wishes to add.

            See pictures of a tonsuring here:
            <http://www.transfigcathedral.org/gallery/BTAug01/index.shtml>.

            Notes:
            It is not uncommon for the new Reader now to hold the bowl and pour the
            water over the Bishop's hands for the washing, which should be done
            immediately.

            Since he has technically been elevated to the order of Taper-bearer,
            the new Reader should be given the candle and he should stand before
            the icon of the Theotokos on the Soleas if there is enough room, or at
            the foot of the Soleas if there isn't, for the duration of the
            Hierarchical Liturgy. He would reenter the Sanctuary just prior to the
            Little and Great Entrances to participate in the processions; at the
            processions he would return to his place before the icon of the
            Theotokos. However, due to a lack of manpower and space, this is rarely
            done.

            At communion the new Reader should receive with the laity, but first,
            together with all other clergy of the minor orders. He should remain
            vested in his Stikharion, since, as Bishop Tikhon of the West states,
            the Stikharion, not cassock, is the proper "sign" of his office.

            After the dismissal the Bishop will be unvested in the Sanctuary. You
            should receive a blessing from HIM to unvest at this time. It is not
            proper to ask a blessing from a Priest AT ANY TIME a Bishop is present.
            A Priest is only an extension, a representative, a vicar if you will,
            of the Bishop. The Priest has no authority outside of that which the
            Bishop has given him. Thus, whenever a Bishop is present, it would make
            no logical sense to seek a blessing from anyone but the Bishop.
            Remember, the Liturgy was served under the Bishop's authority...

            During the tonsuring you may notice that similarly to a Priest you are
            tonsured and attached to a particular church. This is important to
            note; it is not proper for a Reader to simply float from parish to
            parish on a whim. Rather, it should be his practice to secure a
            blessing from his Rector/Dean to travel to or visit another parish, and
            it might be advisable to bring a letter stating who you are and under
            whose authority you were tonsured. Although most likely overkill, such
            concern is good practice, since it'll certainly help to avoid awkward
            situations of "who are you, and what do you want?" Besides, it makes a
            lot of sense according to standard Orthodox ecclesiology.
          • Stephen Parsons
            ... Indeed, as I recall reader and taper-bearer was used in the prayers at my tonsuring. ... It s been a few years back now, so I may have confused the order
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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              Alex Vallens wrote:

              > As we know, the order of
              > Reader (in modern Russian practice no different than "taper bearer") is
              > the first order in the Holy Orders, the Holy Priesthood.

              Indeed, as I recall "reader and taper-bearer" was used in the prayers at
              my tonsuring.

              > P.S. The order that I have seen done, [...]
              > 4. The Bishop then vests the candidate with the reader's Phelonion,
              > opens the Epistle book to a random reading, gives it to the candidate
              > and has him read until he tells him to stop.
              > 5. After the reading the Bishop says another prayer and vests the
              > candidate in Stikharion.

              It's been a few years back now, so I may have confused the order of
              these two steps. In my photo with the "reader's phelonion" on, I can't
              see what's on underneath it, whether sticharion already or just cassock.
              Thanks for the correction.

              > After the dismissal the Bishop will be unvested in the Sanctuary. You
              > should receive a blessing from HIM to unvest at this time. It is not
              > proper to ask a blessing from a Priest AT ANY TIME a Bishop is present.

              That's what I would have thought too, but I was told at some point
              during the service to go to any priest there. Nevertheless, I actually
              sought out the bishop for the blessing to unvest at that time, but for
              whatever reason--he was busy or distracted or whatever--I didn't receive
              it from him and had to go to one of the priests anyhow.

              -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)
            • Stephen Parsons
              BTW for those interested, I just found that there was a short discussion of the reader s phelonion on the typikon Yahoo! Group exactly a year ago, starting
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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                BTW for those interested, I just found that there was a short discussion
                of the "reader's phelonion" on the "typikon" Yahoo! Group exactly a year
                ago, starting around message #11090.
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/typikon/messages
                It was also (very briefly) mentioned on the "ustav" Yahoo! Group in
                August of 2001.

                -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)
              • Reader Michael Bishop
                Unfortunately I donot know when the practice ended of using the small phelonion for Readers. Maybe one day I will run across it. I m curious. Maybe Fr.
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 10, 2004
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                  Unfortunately I donot know when the practice ended of using the small phelonion for Readers. Maybe one day I will run across it. I'm curious. Maybe Fr. James knows, or Fr. John Shaw. Subdeacon Sergius Miller might also know. They all are much more knowledgeable than I.

                  Reader Michael


                  Reader Michael Bishop
                  570 St Mary St
                  Baltimore MD 21201-1936
                  410-225-7743

                  Personal e-mail address: Reader@...
                  Web sites: http://www.ReaderMichael.com and http://www.Michael-Bishop.com


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: John Congdon
                  To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Friday 10 December 2004 10:17
                  Subject: [orthodox-readers] Re: Pending tonsuring as reader



                  Seconding what Reader Michael has said, with a few additional notes.

                  When I was tonsured, there was no reader's phelonion; the Bishop
                  didn't have one with him. When one of my friends was tonsured about
                  a year later by the same bishop, the archdeacon (imported for the
                  occasion) threw one over his (my friend's) head, almost as an
                  afterthought. I got the impression that he (the archdeacon) had
                  brought it with him and that the Bishop didn't usually use one.

                  You should know that it appears to be the current practice in most
                  places to only use the reader's phelonion at the tonsuring service,
                  although I do not know when the practice of using it every time came
                  to an end. Reader Michael, any thoughts? (I believe this is your
                  field.)

                  Another interesting point is that the expression "to tonsure someone
                  a reader" is not technically correct. The tonsure is what is
                  sometimes called the "clerical tonsure" and is a necessary
                  preliminary to ordination; this is what "sets apart" someone for
                  service in the church. This is similar to monastic tonsure,
                  althought the monastic tonsure does not set one aside for clerical
                  service; a monk is still a layman unless otherwise ordained. You
                  become a reader at the prayer that the Bishop says after the tonsure
                  and the vesting ("God almighty, elect this thy servant, sanctify him,
                  and grant unto him, in wisdom and understanding, to practise the
                  study and reading of thy divine words [etc].") and before he gives
                  you the book to read.

                  In any event, congratulations! Whether you remain a reader or
                  advance to higher degrees, may all your service be to the glory of
                  God and the building up of his people!

                  In Christ,
                  Subdeacon John

                  --- In orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com, "Reader Michael Bishop"
                  <Arch@R...> wrote:
                  > I've served in both OCA and Antiochian jurisdictions when men were
                  tonsured as Readers and I have seen no differences between the two.
                  What Stephen wrote below is what I have seen in every case except for
                  the Reader phelonion. We did not use one when I was tonsured a
                  Reader. That could had been because the Bishop did not bring one
                  with him.
                  >
                  > In my case, immediately after I was tonsured a Reader, Yaroslav was
                  ordained a Subdeacon and I was vested as a Subdeacon. We both now
                  have the right to wear the Subdeacon's orarion whenever we serve. As
                  this was happening, the late Bishop Basil was also present and he
                  commented, "Gee, I did not know that you could make a Bishop a
                  Subdeacon."
                  >
                  > Reader Michael
                  >
                  >
                  > Reader Michael Bishop
                  > 570 St Mary St
                  > Baltimore MD 21201-1936
                  > 410-225-7743
                  >
                  > Personal e-mail address: Reader@M...
                  > Web sites: http://www.ReaderMichael.com and http://www.Michael-
                  Bishop.com
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: Stephen Parsons
                  > To: orthodox-readers@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Thursday 09 December 2004 15:03
                  > Subject: Re: [orthodox-readers] Pending tonsuring as reader
                  >
                  >
                  > Michael wrote:
                  >
                  > > I was hoping that
                  > > someone could describe in some detail what will actually happen
                  > > during the tonsuring service - i.e. the order of the service,
                  what
                  > > will be expected of me, etc.
                  >
                  > Here's what happened with me a few years back (with pictures!).
                  The
                  > service starts with the bishop in the center of the nave and you
                  back in
                  > the altar in your cassock. At the appropriate time, they bring
                  you out
                  > and stand you in front of the royal doors facing the bishop, and
                  they
                  > guide you in making three prostrations, taking a step toward the
                  bishop
                  > between each one. (Preparing for first prostration:
                  > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure2.jpg ) Then when you're
                  > standing before the bishop, he says the prayers and does the
                  actual
                  > hair-cutting. (Tonsuring:
                  http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure3.jpg
                  > ) You're handed a sticharion, which you present before the bishop
                  to get
                  > his blessing to serve, and you vest. Atop that, they put
                  a "reader's
                  > phelonion" on you (basically a truncated phelonion that just
                  covers your
                  > torso), the bishop hands you the Epistle book, picks a spot,
                  turns you
                  > around, and commands "read". (First official reading:
                  > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure4.jpg ) You read until
                  he says
                  > to stop, then they take the phelonion off, turn you back around,
                  and the
                  > bishop finishes the tonsuring service. (Finishing:
                  > http://pages.prodigy.net/arimath1/tonsure5.jpg ) Finally you go
                  back and
                  > do whatever you're supposed to be doing at that point while the
                  larger
                  > service gets underway. There may be other details in there I've
                  > forgotten; what I've written here is mostly narrative to explain
                  the
                  > photos, plus a little extra I remembered.
                  >
                  > > I don't know if
                  > > it makes a difference in rubrics for the service between
                  > > jurisdictions, but I attend an Antiochian parish;
                  >
                  > I don't know either. Mine was with the OCA's Archbishop Dmitri.
                  >
                  > > in addition, is
                  > > there anything specific that I need to do to prepare myself for
                  the
                  > > service? My main concern to is to fulfill everything that is
                  > > expected of me, and not to make an embarassment of myself
                  before the
                  > > bishop ;)
                  >
                  > No doubt he's performed the service many, many times, and if
                  something
                  > could go wrong, he's already seen it. Whatever servers he's
                  brought with
                  > him (subdeacons, etc.) should be able to guide you through. A
                  couple
                  > tips though: Make sure you can do the prostrations without
                  stepping on
                  > your cassock (which applies anytime really); being 'guided' down
                  and up
                  > restricts your ability to manage where your hem falls, such as
                  under
                  > your heels. Be able to read impromptu; you'll probably be
                  nervous, but
                  > you'll get through it. Remember to kiss the bishop's hand when
                  you're
                  > getting his blessing to serve with the sticharion, even if his
                  hand is
                  > hidden so far off the edge that you can't see it there. And don't
                  > necessarily expect the bishop to give you the blessing to finish
                  serving
                  > and to remove your sticharion at the end; any priest there can do
                  it.
                  > Oh, and when the bishop asks you your name at the beginning, he
                  wants
                  > your Christian/baptismal name.
                  >
                  > > I would appreciate your prayers, specifically that God
                  > > may guide me in service to the Church.
                  >
                  > Congratulations in advance, Michael, and many years!
                  >
                  > -- Stephen in NC (Rdr Joseph)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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