Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/Episcopal Services/Ordination of a Deacon
Concerning the Service
When a bishop is to confer Holy Orders, at least two presbyters must be present.
From the beginning of the service until the Offertory, the bishop presides from a chair placed close to the people, and facing them, so that all may see and hear what is done.
The ordinand is to be vested in a surplice or alb, without tippet or other vesture distinctive of ecclesiastical or academic rank or office.
When the ordinand is presented, his full name (designated by the symbol N.N.) is used. Thereafter, it is appropriate to refer to him only by the Christian name by which he wishes to be known.
At the Offertory, it is appropriate that the bread and wine be brought to the Altar by the family or friends of the newly ordained.
After receiving Holy Communion, the new deacon assists in the distribution of the Sacrament, ministering either the Bread or the Wine, or both.
The family of the newly ordained may receive Communion before other members of the congregation. Opportunity is always given to the people to communicate.
Additional Directions are on page 552.
The Ordination of a Deacon
A hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.
The people standing, the Bishop says
|||Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.|
|People||And blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.|
In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost
|Bishop||Alleluia. Christ is risen.|
|People||The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.|
In Lent and on other penitential occasions
|Bishop||Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins.|
|People||His mercy endures for ever.|
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The bishop and people sit. A Priest and a Lay Person, and additional presenters if desired, standing before the bishop, present the ordinand, saying
N., Bishop in the Church of God, on behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of N., we present to you N.N. to be ordained a deacon in Christ’s holy catholic Church.
Has he been selected in accordance with the canons of this Church? And do you believe his manner of life to be suitable to the exercise of this ministry?
We certify to you that he has satisfied the requirements of the canons, and we believe him qualified for this order.
The Bishop says to the ordinand
Will you be loyal to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them? And will you, in accordance with the canons of this Church, obey your bishop and other ministers who may have authority over you and your work?
I am willing and ready to do so; and I solemnly declare that I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of The Episcopal Church.
The Ordinand then signs the above Declaration in the sight of all present.
All stand. The Bishop says to the people
Dear friends in Christ, you know the importance of this ministry, and the weight of your responsibility in presenting N.N. for ordination to the sacred order of deacons. Therefore if any of you know any impediment or crime because of which we should not proceed, come forward now and make it known.
If no objection is made, the Bishop continues
Is it your will that N. be ordained a deacon?
The People respond in these or other words
Will you uphold him in this ministry?
The People respond in these or other words
The Bishop then calls the people to prayer with these or similar words
In peace let us pray to the Lord.
All kneel, and the Person appointed leads the Litany for Ordinations, or some other approved litany. At the end of the litany, after the Kyries, the Bishop stands and reads the Collect for the Day, or the following Collect, or both, first saying
|The Lord be with you.|
|People||And also with you.|
Let us pray.
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Ministry of the Word
Three Lessons are read. Lay persons read the Old Testament Lesson and the Epistle.
The Readings are ordinarily selected from the following list and may be lengthened if desired. On a Major Feast, or on a Sunday, the Bishop may select Readings from the Proper of the Day.
Old TestamentJeremiah 1:4‑9,or Ecclesiasticus 39:1‑8
Epistle2 Corinthians 4:1‑6,or 1 Timothy 3:8-13,or Acts 6:2-7
The Reader first says
A Reading (Lesson) from_______________.
A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.
After each Reading, the Reader may say
|The Word of the Lord.|
|People||Thanks be to God.|
or the Reader may sayHere ends the Reading (Epistle).
Silence may follow.
A Psalm, canticle, or hymn follows each Reading.
Then, all standing, the Deacon or, if no deacon is present, a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying
|The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to____________.|
|People||Glory to you, Lord Christ.|
Luke 12:35‑38, or Luke 22:24‑27
After the Gospel, the Reader says
|The Gospel of the Lord.|
|People||Praise to you, Lord Christ.|
The Congregation then says or sings the Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
All are seated except the ordinand, who stands before the Bishop. The Bishop addresses the ordinand as follows
My brother, every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ, serving God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood directly under your bishop. In the name of Jesus Christ, you are to serve all people, particularly the poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely.
As a deacon in the Church, you are to study the Holy Scriptures, to seek nourishment from them, and to model your life upon them. You are to make Christ and his redemptive love known, by your word and example, to those among whom you live, and work, and worship. You are to interpret to the Church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world. You are to assist the bishop and priests in public worship and in the ministration of God’s Word and Sacraments, and you are to carry out other duties assigned to you from time to time. At all times, your life and teaching are to show Christ’s people that in serving the helpless they are serving Christ himself.
My brother, do you believe that you are truly called by God and his Church to the life and work of a deacon?
|Answer||I believe I am so called.|
|Bishop||Do you now in the presence of the Church commit yourself to this trust and responsibility?|
|Bishop||Will you be guided by the pastoral direction and leadership of your bishop?|
|Bishop||Will you be faithful in prayer, and in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures?|
|Bishop||Will you look for Christ in all others, being ready to help and serve those in need?|
|Bishop||Will you do your best to pattern your life [and that of your family, or household, or community] in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to all people?|
|Bishop||Will you in all things seek not your glory but the glory of the Lord Christ?|
|Bishop||May the Lord by his grace uphold you in the service he lays upon you.|
The Consecration of the Deacon
All now stand except the ordinand, who kneels facing the bishop.
The hymn, Veni Creator Spiritus, or the hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus, is sung.
A period of silent prayer follows, the people still standing.
The Bishop then says this Prayer of Consecration
O God, most merciful Father, we praise you for sending your Son Jesus Christ, who took on himself the form of a servant, and humbled himself, becoming obedient even to death on the cross. We praise you that you have highly exalted him, and made him Lord of all; and that, through him, we know that whoever would be great must be servant of all. We praise you for the many ministries in your Church, and for calling this your servant to the order of deacons.
Here the Bishop lays hands upon the head of the ordinand, and prays
Therefore, Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to N.; fill him with grace and power, and make him a deacon in your Church.
The Bishop then continues
Make him, O Lord, modest and humble, strong and constant, to observe the discipline of Christ. Let his life and teaching so reflect your commandments, that through him many may come to know you and love you. As your Son came not to be served but to serve, may this deacon share in Christ’s service, and come to the unending glory of him who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.
The People in a loud voice respondAmen.
The new deacon is now vested according to the order of deacons.
The Bishop gives a Bible to the newly ordained, saying
Receive this Bible as the sign of your authority to proclaim God’s Word and to assist in the ministration of his holy Sacraments.
The Bishop then says to the congregation
|The peace of the Lord be always with you.|
|People||And also with you.|
The Bishop and the Clergy present now greet the newly ordained.
The new Deacon then exchanges greetings with family members and others, as may be convenient.
The Clergy and People greet one another.
At the Celebration of the Eucharist
The liturgy continues with the Offertory.
The newly ordained Deacon prepares the bread, pours sufficient wine (and a little water) into the chalice, and places the vessels on the Lord’s Table.
The Bishop goes to the Table and begins the Great Thanksgiving.
In place of the usual postcommunion prayer, the following is said
Almighty Father, we thank you for feeding us with the holy food of the Body and Blood of your Son, and for uniting us through him in the fellowship of your Holy Spirit. We thank you for raising up among us faithful servants for the ministry of your Word and Sacraments. We pray that N. may be to us an effective example in word and action, in love and patience, and in holiness of life. Grant that we, with him, may serve you now, and always rejoice in your glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Bishop blesses the people, after which the new Deacon dismisses them
|Celebrant||Let us go forth into the world,|
rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
|People||Thanks be to God.|
From Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost, “Alleluia, alleluia” may be added to the dismissal and to the response.