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The Rite of Ordination of a Patriarch

by Bishop Mettaous

+ After the official procedures for the selection of the Patriarch, whether nominations, elections and temple lot and others, the Rite of Inauguration of the winner of; patriarchy if he is a bishop , or Rite of Ordination if he is a hegmon, is as follows:

+ His ordination must be on a Sunday.

+ Rite of Ordination of the Patriarch is considered an ordination and an inauguration at the same time.

+ One of the bishops performs the offertory of the Lamb as usual. Chapters for 17the Hatoor are read (commemoration of repose of St. John Chrysostom Patriarch of Constantinople) and chapters of reading of this whole day is about shepheredhood and service.

+ Pauline: 2Tim 3:1 – 24, 4: 1-22

This chapter is about the struggle of our teacher St. Paul in service and shepherdhood and includes pastoral advices to his disciple Timothy, bishop of Ephesus.

 

+ Catholic Epistle: -I Peter 5: 1-14

 

Our teacher St. Peter advises the shepherds: “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly, not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”… etc.

+ Praxis: - Acts 20: 17-38

Includes examples of the struggle of our teacher St. Paul in the service…. “serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me ….. And how I kept nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you….. But none of these things move me, nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus….. For three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears….. I have coveted neither one’s silver nor gold or apparel…. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, “It is more blessed to give then to receive”.

The chapter includes many commandments to Shepherds, …… “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own Blood…. Therefore WATCH …..”.

+ Psalm 73: 23, 24, 28

“You hold me by my right hand, You will guide me with your counsel and afterwards receive me to glory, but it is good for me to draw near to God, I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works”.

NOTE:

This is the Patriarch’s impression at the start of his

ordination, asking God to hold his right hand, Who holds the seven stars (seven bishops) in His right hand, walking in the midst of the seven lampstands (seven churches). He also asks God to guide him and lead him by His blessed good Counseling in managing His Church and shepherding his holy flock, and accept him in His Eternal Glory at the end of his life, with the Apostles and Pastors who served the Lord faithfully. “As if the New Patriarch says: ”as for me it is good for me to stay to the Lord and rely on Him to help me in this difficult task, and I do not rely on my power or wisdom to shepherd the congregation of God….etc.”

+ Gospel: John 10: 1-16

Gospel of the Good Shepherd as the Patriarch has to resemble Christ the Good Shepherd since the day of his ordination.

+ “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep”.

+ “I am the Good Shepherd, and I know My sheep and am known by My own”.

+ “I am the door of the sheep”.

+ “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture”.

+ “I lay down My life for the sheep”.

+ “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; then also I must bring and will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd”. As if the Church places a comprehensive program of shepherhood and service before the new Patriarch, through the readings of the ordination day.

+ After the Praxis reading (Book of Acts of the Apostles) and Synaxarium (Saintly stories), they start the ordination procedures. As the Patriarch’s service is a continuation of the apostolic service recorded in the Book of Acts of the Apostles, so you notice the Book of Acts does not end by the word Amen. This is a proof that it is open to comprise the service of Patriarchs, successors of the Apostles everywhere, at all times, and the procession is continuous and does not stop until the Second Coming of Christ. Also the Patriarch’s service is a continuation of the saintly Patriarchal service, whose manners are recorded in the Synaxarium.

+ The priests come out to the Patriarchal location with their censers, and the deacons with the crosses of the procession, where there are the metropolitans and bishops, with the selected one for the Patriarchal See, to bring them along in an ecclesiastical joyful procession to the Cathedral.

+ The Cathedral door is closed and the keys are given to the archdeacon , to stand by the door awaiting the new Patriarch to give him the keys.

+ The procession starts from the Patriarchal location, preceded by the deacons, priests, then metropolitans and bishops by their

priestly vestments, surrounding the new Pope who wears his black monastic vestments.

+ While walking in the procession, the deacons say the hymn of Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord….Hosanna (Save us)… Before the archbishop, one of the archdeacons walks carrying the Gospel, and the procession walks to the door of the Cathedral, then the archdeacon precedes the new Pope and gives him the Cathedral keys.

His Holiness opens the door of Cathedral while saying: “Open to me the gates of righteousness, I will go through them and I will praise the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous shall enter. I will praise You for You have answered me and have become my salvation” Psalm 118: 19-21. The gates of the Church is the gate of righteousness and the gate of the Lord through which we enter to the Church to thank the Lord and praise Him for His uncountable blessings.

+ Upon opening the door, the Cathedral bells are rung to welcome the new Pope and rejoice for his arrival.

+ The procession enters to the Cathedral and the deacons say the hymn of “O Only begotten Son of God” until the procession reaches the gate or door of the temple and all kneel before the holy temple.

+ The Pope stands before the temple between two bishops while the metropolitans and bishops ascend to the temple and the priests and deacons take their specified places.

+ The archbishop stands before the temple’s door, facing east and prays the Litany of the Gospel, specifically this one: “O Master Lord Jesus Christ our God who sent His saintly disciples and pure Apostles to all the world, to preach His Kingdom and teach all nations the true knowledge. We ask You Our King to open our hearts to hear the words of Your Holy Gospels through the prayers of Your saints.”

The deacon says: “Pray for the Holy Gospel.”

The congregation says: “Lord have Mercy”.

The archbishop completes: “Open the senses of our souls, bodies and spirits to become worthy not only to hear but to act according to Your Holy commandments according to the Will of Your Good Father….etc”.

NOTE:

The archbishop begins the ordination prayers by this Litany, as the new Patriarch is an example of the Apostles, whom Lord Jesus sent to the entire world to preach the Kingdom and teach all nations the knowledge of God and His worshipping. As He said to them: “Go into the entire world and preach the Gospel to every creatures”. Mark 16:15, and also “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” Matthew 28:19, 20. He also asks God to open his heart and all the attendants and the senses of their souls, bodies and spirits to hear and act according to the Holy Commandments of God , which are the constitution of our salvation and the light that guides our feet in the way of peace.

+ The archbishop hands over the recommendation signed by all the metropolitans and bishops and all the members of the Holy Synod, to one of the archdeacons to read it on the pulpit (now the metropolitans and bishops read it).

This is the text of the recommendation: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The inseparable Holy Trinity One God Our Lord, we the Orthodox Christians.

We rely on Him to the last breath, and send to Him on High Glory and honor forever.

We the metropolitans and bishops and priests and deacons and the entire congregation who love Christ, in the cities of Alexandria, Cairo and all provinces of Egypt.

After we were stricken by the affliction of the orphanhood by the passing away of His Holiness Pope….. to the heavenly paradise, who gained all the holy promises and passed to God Who loved him so he heard the joyful voice saying: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”

When we were orphaned, and the Holy Church of God which he shepherded by His teaching, was widowed, we supplicated to God to lead us to a person worthy of the great leadership of priesthood, to shepherd us into the Way of the Lord and guide us to the harbor of salvation. So by heavenly love and the Holy Spirit’s work, we all agreed in good heart to elect the worshipper of God…. From the monks of the monastery of…a Pope and Patriarch and ruler of bishops for the Apostolic See of St. Mark the Evangelist, preacher of Egypt, Ethiopia, Nuba, Sudan and five Western cities (Pentapolis) and all the provinces of the Markan preaching in Africa, Asia, Europe, America and Australia.

We selected him because he worships God, loves strangers, with understanding and knowledge, pure, perseveres on keeping the Church Rites, Faith, Dogma and tradition, and we present him as a ruling pastor, Pope and Patriarch for Holy House of God to shepherd it with meekness and compassion.

That is why we wrote this recommendation and have signed it with gratitude to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit One God Amen.

+ Then the metropolitans and bishops stand before the temple for the ordination of the Patriarch, so the elected person kneels on his knees and the archbishop prays the Thanksgiving Prayer, raises the incense and says this prayer:

“O Lord God of hosts who qualified us for this holy service…. We approach You and supplicate to you to grant the grace of the high leadership of Priesthood to Your servant … standing here awaiting your heavenly gifts….”.

+ The archdeacon says the following supplications:[15] and the singers respond after every supplication saying: “Lord have mercy: -

Let us all say ,God answer us and have mercy on us for the reign of peace in the Holy House of God.”

+ There are five supplications and the singers say Lord hear us by the tune, Lord have mercy Lord bless us, or Kerye-Eleyson, Kerye-Eleyson, Kerye-Eleyson, at the end of each supplication.

+ The archbishop says this prayer: O Master Lord God the Pantocrator, Lord of all…. Grant Your servant….grace. Grant him wisdom to shepherd Your Church purely in justice, Dominion and honor due to You….. .

+ The archdeacon says: From the Lord we ask and the singers say: Lord have mercy.

+ The archbishop places his hand on the chosen candidate (if he was a hegomen) and does not place it if the candidate was a bishop.

+ The archdeacon says this declaration:

The divine grace that heals sickness and accomplished deficiencies, and gathers the scattered led us to know the worshipper of God… to present him Pope and Patriarch for the two cities of Cairo and Alexandria and all provinces of Egypt and all the Markan preached areas instead of the late blessed …. Who passed away in blessed age and left to God.

Let us pray then begging the Lord of grace to dwell on him the grace of the Holy Spirit and let us all say: Lord have mercy.

+ The singers say: Lord have mercy.

+ Then the archbishop places his hand on the chosen candidate’s head (if he is a hegemon) saying: Yes Lord make him worthy for the call of high priestly leadership, to become worthy to pastor Your congregation with purity and righteousness to win the share of the saints. By the mercy of Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, blessed art You with Him and the Consubstantial Holy Spirit, now…..

Then says: Peace be with all. Irini-pasi. And the singers respond: and with your spirit.

+ The archdeacon says: Stand well. Stand in purity, Stand in reverence and quietness and let us all say: Lord have mercy.

The singers say: Lord have mercy thrice.

+ The archdeacon says: Come on gathering metropolitans and bishops and place your hands on our father chosen by God (if he was a hegomen), or pray for our father chosen by God (if he was a bishop).

+ If he was a hegomen, the metropolitans and bishops place their hands on his shoulders and ,arms but the archbishop places his right hand on his head . If the chosen candidate is a bishop who was already laid hands on, then the metropolitans and bishops stand around him without laying on of hands, even the archbishop does not lay hands on him.

+ The leader of metropolitans prays this prayer of ordination: O Master Lord God of all, source of all compassion…. We ask and entreat Your goodness O Philanthropic One for Your servant….. Whom You chose a high priest for Your Church to become ruler over Your congregation and a pastor for them. Shine on him Lord by the light of Your Countenance to enlighten his heart by the spring of Your glory, to know Your Holy Mysteries.

+ Pour on him the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, the spirit of perfect comfort whom You gave to Your saintly Apostles and pure prophets. Lord grant him the spirit of wisdom, understanding, power and counsel, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. God fill him with Your fear to judge Your congregation with justice and defend the True Orthodox Faith. Adorn him by the vestment of Your Holy Glory and place a crown on his head and anoint him by the oil of joy, of Your Goodness to become Your high priest, faithful over Your House, to glorify You without blame all the days of his life. By pure sacrifices, and faultless prayers and a bright spirit, by fasts and good deeds, love, meekness, faith without hypocrisy, and offers oblations for the ignorance of Your congregation and rescue them from the traps of sin and return them to Your holy fold. God grant Your congregation peace and grant Your servant.… the Spirit of Your Holiness to undo every bond of the enemy, and gather the children of the Church to become one flock for one pastor, and keep his priesthood blameless to the end, to serve You by spiritual sacrifices at all times like the rank of the Great High Priest in heaven Jesus Christ our Lord, Glory and dominion due to Him…..

NOTE:

This is a very important prayer that includes all the responsibilities of the Patriarch who is:

(1) Spiritual ruler of the congregation.

(2) Pastor of pastors.

(3) Judges the congregation in justice and uprightness.

(4) Protector of the True Orthodox Faith against heresies and deviations.

(5) Offers oblations and prayers to intercede for the congregation before God.

(6) Rescues sinners from fire of sin and evil.

(7) Returns the lost to the holy yard of faith.

(8) Works and prays for the salvation of the congregation.

(9) Gathers the scattered, children of God to one.

(10) Gives absolution and forgiveness to all repentants who are tied by the devil by sin and its horrific bonds.

+ The leading metropolitan faces west praying: “Lord look upon us and upon our service, purify us from all blemish and send Your grace of leadership of priesthood of Your servant…. To be worthy to please You and shepherd Your congregation without blame, because You are merciful and righteous … glory ….due to You ….

+ Then he turns his face and faces west towards the chosen candidate and signs his forehead by his thumb (if he was a hegomen) saying: “We call you Anba ….. Pope and Patriarch and leader of bishops of the Markan See.

Likewise he says the three signs and the hymnists say Amen, every time.

NOTE:

By these three signs and pronunciation the ordination is accomplished actually and the chosen candidate becomes the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark by the dwelling of the Holy Spirit upon him.

+ Then they dress him the tunic and seat him on a small chair in the middle while the metropolitans and bishops sit around him and the deacons chant St Mark’s doxology.

+ The archbishop read the tradition specific for the Patriarch Pope. This is a text of the tradition[16] of Anba ……. Head of bishops of the great Alexandria. From the bishops gathering to all those who love God: hegemons, priests, deacons, epodeacons, ognastoses, hymnists, the fatherly monks and all the believers and the Orthodox congregation in the great city of Alexandria which loves Christ and the congregation of Cairo and all Egypt and all the congregations of the See of St. Mark that love Christ.

We (the metropolitans) and bishops who gathered by the mercy of God, say to you: sing by the harp in a festival day for you, how exceedingly rich is God

and His wisdom and knowledge , as He is our Master and true God Jesus Christ Who knows everything before existence, Examiner of hearts, Who still is with the Father and the Holy Spirit the counseling true Judge, Who has the hidden treasures of wisdom, the True God, and God accepted the spirit of the good works our father the Patriarch Anba … who gained the inheritance of the saints and the share of the righteous. Necessity obliged us to gather according to the Apostolic Canons by one agreement, we the metropolitans and bishops of Egypt and the clergy and all the congregation of the great city of Alexandria and leaders of Egypt. So we counseled supplicating to God to manifest His good will in the choice of whoever is worthy of the great leadership of priesthood , to shepherd us in the Lord’s way and guide us to the harbor of salvation. So we decided to fulfill the Will of God and supplicate His Providence and entreat His Compassion and Goodness, perseveringly asking Him to guide us to the worthy person for the greatest leadership of priesthood rank and the grace of God led us to the worshipper of God … from the monastery of …..

Who was brought up by saintly fathers and gained their grace like Elisha with Elijah the Tishbite regarding the angelical eskeem, as written by the apostle: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined … these He also called, whom He called, these He also justified, and whom he justified, these He also glorified”. Rom 8: 28-30 and He said also: “And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was” Hebrew 5:4. So we promoted him to this eminent rank of the greatest leadership of priesthood to become a father and shepherd to shepherd us in the fertile meadows of true knowledge, that is why we lifted him to the succession of the evangelist theologian St Mark the apostle, full of all spiritual graces, when he gained the gift of the Paraclete by apostolic voices, as we dressed him the vestment of the greatest leadership of priesthood from God and His pure apostles, and became a high priest, shepherd and teacher.

As he gained this authority from God the King of heavenly and earthly creation, it became his right to loose and bind, ordain bishops and clergy, sanctify altars and consecrate new Churches, practice the authority given by our Lord Jesus Christ to His pure apostles and sanctify the Myron. As he is filled by the grace of the Holy Spirit and become a new man by the great rank bestowed upon him by God, Who exalts the lowly and raises the poor and seats him with His congregation. We are filled by joy bestowed on us by Jesus Christ, the Word of God Who incarnated from the Virgin St. Mary, became man, suffered, physically died and rose from the dead on the third day, ascended into heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father and sent the Holy Spirit the comforter to His pure apostles and fulfilled them , holy by the heavenly rank, so they organized the church every where by the unity of faith and gathered the scattered, those worthy by the providence of His goodness.

God Who chose him, bless him by speech on opening his mouth as a benefit for ourselves and become peace for the Church and salvation for all Orthodox people in his time and may He bestow upon us all mercies. By the intercession of our Lady and Queen Theotokos St. Mary and the prayers of our father the beloved St. Mark the pure evangelist … and all the saints acceptable before our Lord Jesus Christ, glory and dominion are due to Him with His good Father and the living consubstantial Holy Spirit, now…… .

This is a message of the tradition of Anba ….. Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of the St. Mark decided by us, metropolitans and bishops, gathering here and performed his blessed ordination and seating him on the See of St. Mark the apostle and evangelist and theologian in the Church of .… according to the canonical tradition and approved it by our handwriting Glory be to God, Amen.

+ Then signatures of all the metropolitans, bishops, abbots of monasteries members of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

+ The archbishop folds the tradition after reading it and hands it to His Holiness the Pope Patriarch and says audibly:

“Receive the tradition of Greatest leadership of priesthood for many peaceful, glorious, dignified years to come”.

The hymnist say: Doxology of His Holiness the Pope. Then the archdeacon says the following supplications[17] “for the peace and harmony and organization of the Holy Church of God. To the Lord we ask”.

The hymnists say: Lord have mercy.

For the congregation of God…etc. at the end, the congregation says: Aksios.

+ The leading metropolitan places the four Gospels on the head of the Pope[18].

The hymnist chant the Aksios hymn. Then the Gospels are lifted from his head while the metropolitans and bishops come forward and kiss them.

+ The archdeacon says:

Pray O father’s righteous metropolitans and bishops. The leading bishops says this prayer on their behalf:

We ask for the beloved by God and his servant Anba ….. Eminence of the rank and steadfastness in worshipping on one, holy universal apostolic Orthodox Church of God that He purchased by His Precious Blood, to establish just judgments, splendid gifts and faithful teachings, to pray for the support of the Church and victory of rulers.

Then the three signs, and the hymnists say Amen at every sign, then they say the hymn of Aksios.

NOTE:

It is nice for the Church to be patriotic with a strong national belonging so it ordains the Pope Patriarch to pray for the victory of the ruler of state and his success in politics and plans for the welfare of the country and happiness of people. In the Church there is a special litany called Litany for the King (chief, where we say: Remember O Lord the ruler of our land, Your servant keep him in peace and justice and power. Let all nations wanting war, submit them to him. Talk to his heart for the peace of Your one, holy universal Apostolic Church. Grant him to think about us in peace, in Your Holy Name so we too may live quietly and abide in righteousness and purity.

+ One of the priests come forward and places the rod of shepherdhood on the altar, near the cross-folded in a linen veil[19] The hymnists say the hymn of Ni-Saf-if-.

+ Metropolitans and bishops starts dressing the Pope Patriarch the vestment of leadership of priesthood:

(1) When they dress him the sticharion (…..) the archdeacon says[20] “Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness, and let Your saints shout for joy” Psalm 132:9.

(2) Then they dress him the stole (Epitrachelion)

and the archdeacon says:

“God be blessed, Who poured of His grace upon His priests like oil upon the head, running down on the beard. The beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Herman” (Psalm 133).

The hymnists say: Now and until the end of all ages, Amen.

(3) Then they dress him the waistband (or belt) and the archdeacon says: “God be blessed Who girded my waist by power and made my ways blameless always” The hymnists say: Now and for all…..

(4) Then they dress him the right armlet sleeves and the archdeacon says: “Your right Lord is glorified by power. Your right hand Lord crushed the enemies and by the power of Your arm You perished the deceivers. The right hand of the Lord is exalted. The right hand of the Lord made miracles always” Psalm 118. The hymnists say: Now and forever….. .

(5) Then they dress him the left armlet sleeves and the archdeacon says: “Your hands have made me and fashioned me. Give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments. Those who fear You will be glad when they see Me Psalm 119:10. The hymnist say: Now and forever ……

(6) Then they dress him with the girdles, and the archdeacon says: Gird Your sword upon your thigh, O Mighty One, with your glory and your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility and righteousness and your right hand shall teach me some things” Psalm 45: 3,4 – they hymnists say: Now and forever…..

(7) Then they dress him with the phelonion (Bornos) and the archdeacon says: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior as He dressed me the garment of salvation and joy always” Luke 1: 47. The hymnists say: now and forever……

(8) Then they place for him the crown and the archdeacon says: “The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty … He has girded Himself with strength, Psalm 93:1  “and adorned my head by precious crown.

The hymnists say: “Now and forever

+ After the placement of the crown on the Pope’s forehead, the metropolitans and bishops lift their crown and wear the SHEMLAH and ascend with him to the altar to receive the cross and rod of shepherhood from above the altar. The leading metropolitans looks at him saying:

Receive the rod of shepherd from the Hand of the Great Shepherd of shepherds Jesus Christ the living Son of God , to Shepherd His flock and nourish it by living teaching as He entrusted you to the souls of His flock and from your hands, their blood will be asked for”. The Pope comes forward to the altar and receives the rod of shepherdhood, signs it and places a handful of incense into the censer, and the bishops and metropolitans share with him in the second handful.

Then he signs the third sign and places incense into the censer.

+ The archbishop faces east and prays: “We thank you Lord Pantocrator on every occasion, in every condition and for all things, and we praise and glorify Your Holy Name as You made great things with us and poured Your rich gift onto Your servant Anba ……..

We ask and entreat You Lord hear us with the multitude of Your mercy and walk with the ordination of leading great priesthood that become to Your servant Anba…. The righteous leader of bishops by the dwelling of Your Holy Spirit upon him. Straighten the call of his selection by purity, and choose us with him to work and win the profit of the mites , and get the wages of the wise faithful steward with whoever fulfilled Your will, at the coming of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, for whom is glory… .

+ Then they ascend the Pope to the seat of leadership (having three steps) and while he is ascending the first step, the archbishop says: “We seat the leader of bishops on the seat of the apostle and evangelist Mark in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, then says the first sign in Coptic: “Blessed be God the Father, the Pantocrator.” and the hymnists say: “Amen.”

While ascending the second step, the archbishop says: “We seat the leader of bishops, called from God Anba …. Patriarch on the See of St. Mark. In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Then says the second sign in Coptic: “Blessed is His Only begotten Son.” And the hymnists say: “Amen.”

+ Then they seat him on the seat and the leading archbishop says:

“We seated Anba … Pope and Patriarch on the Apostolic See of St. Mark the Evangelist, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Then he says the third in Coptic: “Blessed is the Holy Spirit….” The hymnists say: “Amen.” Then the hymn of AKSIOS.

+ Then they forward to His Holiness the Pope, the Gospel of St. Mark, he kisses it and holds it so all metropolitans and bishops come and kiss it in his hands, while the deacons are chanting the hymn of: the censer (Tai-shoori ) then the hymn of: Blessed the great, then one of the priests reads a chapter of epistle of our teacher St. Paul to the Hebrews 4:14 – 5: 1-6 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest........”.

NOTE:

It is an appropriate text for the ordination of the high priest to resemble Christ the Great High Priest.

+ The hymnists and congregation say the Trisagon .

+ One of the priests says the Prayer for the Gospel.

+ The archdeacon says the Psalm in Coptic with a tune.

+ Then the archdeacon says: Stand in the fear of God. Let us listen to the Holy Gospel from His Holiness Anba…., then His Holiness the Pope says the introduction of the Gospel.

+ Then the archdeacon says this warning:

Stand in the fear of God and listen to the Holy Gospel from the mouth of our righteous honorable blessed, father of fathers, shepherd of shepherds, leader and high priest, successor of St. Mark the Apostle, the great of patriarchs, beloved of Christ, our pure father Anba…., the Pope of the great city of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of the Apostle St. Mark. May God in heaven abide him on his seat many years and peaceful times, and may all his enemies submit to him and give him peaceful and joyful times and grant us grace and mercy by his prayers and supplications.

The Holy Gospel, a chapter from the Gospel of our teacher St. John the evangelist and pure disciple may his blessing be upon us all. The hymnists respond: Amen.

+ His Holiness the Pope says in Coptic: “Our Father and our God….”. Then recites the Gospel in Coptic from John 1: 1-16, while standing and at its end, the congregation say: Glory to You O Lord.

+ Then His Holiness reads the Psalm in Arabic Psalm 73: 23, 24 & 28, and its introduction is:

A Psalm of our teacher David the prophet and king may his blessing be upon us all, Amen.

Then he recites the Psalm: “You hold me by my right hand. You will guide me with Your counsel and afterwards receive me to glory. But it is good for me to draw near God. I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works. Alleluia” Psalm 72: 23, 24 & 28.

Then the archdeacons says: “Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders. He makes their families like a flock. The righteous see it and rejoice” Psalm 107: 32, 42 and “ The Lord has sworn and will not relent. You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. The Lord is at your right hand, our father the saint Pope and Patriarch Anba …. May the Lord keep your life. Amen. Alleluia”. Psalm 110: 4, 5.

NOTE:

When his Holiness the Pope recites the Psalm: “You hold me by my right hand as if he supplicates to God saying: “Hold my right hand and lead me in the right way, guide me by Your good, divine, blessed counsel to perform this great responsibility with righteousness and uprightness. Lord let me abide in You, trust in You and do not put confidence in men, or my power or my understanding or knowledge or any one else except You. Help me to praise You by prayers and spread the correct teaching in all the Church (daughter of Zion)”.

+ His Holiness the Pope recites the Gospel in Arabic while standing. It is the Gospel of the Good Shepherd, to resemble Christ the Good Shepherd Who gives His life for the sheep, Who knows His own sheep by name, and Whose voice the sheep know and follow Him, to shepherd then in green pastures which are the evangelical teachings and they drink His living teaching.

+ Every time the Pope says: I am the good shepherd when he reads the Gospel. The hymnists say: Amen.

+ After the end of reading the Gospel in Arabic, the metropolitans and bishops come and kiss the Gospel while the Pope holds it and the hymnists chant the tune of Pi-Epnevma.

+ Then the Pope or whoever delegates for him, says an appropriate word about the Gospel of the Good Shepherd and for that festival.

+ After the sermon the hymnists say the response of the Gospel with the joyful tune characteristic of that day[21] .

+ The Pope, metropolitans, bishops, priests and the archdeacon enter the altar and pray the mass as usual, and all receive the Holy Mysteries and all happily rejoice for this joyous anniversary.

+ At the end of the mass , His Holiness the Pope undresses the service vestments, wears his black vestments and descends in an ecclesiastical procession, preceded by the deacons by tunes to the tomb of St. Mark, preacher of Egypt, and the first of her patriarchs, to follow his steps in the faithful shepherdhood.

+ All are peacefully dismissed, glorifying God and rejoicing for this blessed ordination and the Pope starts practicing his pastoral responsibilities directly.

+ He fasts for one year after the ordination except for the major Lordly feasts.

Deacon's Resources

Responses for Altar Deacons

More Resources Coming Soon