Deacon at vigil
This Friday night for the first time I'll be serving as sole deacon during a vigil. I've sung vigils before, and served as second or third deacon; now that it's time to actually do the job I find my notes are missing some important directions. We have always sung the prokeimenon, "God is the Lord," and "Let every breath" from the cantor stand, but I see these are assigned to the deacon in the Russian books.
1. At Vespers, the prokeimenon comes just after the entrance. So I assume the deacon announces the prokeimenon from where he's standing by the high place beside the priests. Is that right?
2. At Matins, I see that the deacon announces "God is the Lord." He's just finished a litany, so does he announce "God is the Lord" and its verses while still facing east at the holy doors?
3. At a weekday vigil, does the priest read the Gospel beside the holy table as on Sunday, or out in the nave? Our clergy have heard of both ways.
4. Depending on the above: Does the deacon announce the Matins prokeimenon and "Let every breath" from within the altar? If the Gospel is to be read from beside the holy table as on Sunday, then we're assuming the deacon stands opposite the priest with a candle. If so, when does he go to that position?
5. After the eighth ode, our priests have always begin censing at the beginning of the Magnificat. I've heard secondhand of a practice where the priest or deacon begins censing at the start of Ode 8, censes the altar and half the iconostas, then waits before the icon of the Theotokos. When it's time for "The Theotokos and mother of the Light..." he announces it, censes her icon 3x3 and then completes censing the temple. Is that normal in ROCOR parishes?
Thanks as always! I greatly appreciate the valuable responses I receive both on- and off-list.
Deacon Silouan Thompson