The 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 surplice or alb, without stole, tippet, or other
vesture distinctive of ecclesiastical or academic or order.

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 and 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.

536    Ordination:  Deacon

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.
PeopleAnd blessed be his kingdom, now and for ever. Amen.

In place of the above, from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost

BishopAlleluia. Christ is risen.
PeopleThe Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

In Lent and on other penitential occasions

BishopBless the Lord who forgives all our sins.
PeopleHis mercy endures for ever.

The Bishop then says

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.

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The Presentation

The bishop and people sit. A Priest and a Lay Person, and additional
presenters if desired, standing before the bishop, present the ordinand,

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 to be 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.

538    Ordination: Deacon

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

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

It is.


Will you uphold him in this ministry?

The People respond in these or other words

We will.

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
PeopleAnd also with you.

Ordination: Deacon    539

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 being 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 Testament     Jeremiah 1:4-9,    or Ecclesiasticus 39:1-8
Psalm     84,     or 119:33-40
Epistle     2 Corinthians 4:1-6,     or 1 Timothy 3:7-13,     or Acts 6:2-7

The Reader first says

A Reading (Lesson) from _____________.

A citation giving chapter and verse may be added.

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After each Reading, the Reader may say

 The Word of the Lord
PeopleThanks be to God.

or the Reader may say     Here ends the Reading (Epistle).

Silence may follow.

A Psalm, canticle, or hymn follows each Reading.

Then, all standing, a Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying

 The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
according to _____________.
PeopleGlory to you, Lord Christ.
 Luke 12:35-38,   or Luke 22:24-27

After the Gospel, the Reader says

 The Gospel of the Lord
PeoplePraise to you, Lord Christ.

The Sermon

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.

Ordination: Deacon    541

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 worshipped 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.

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The Examination

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?

AnswerI believe I am so called.
BishopDo you now in the presence of the Church commit
yourself to this trust and responsibility?
AnswerI do.
BishopWill you respect and be guided by the pastoral
direction and leadership of your bishop?
AnswerI will.

Ordination: Deacon    543

BishopWill you be faithful in prayer, and in the reading
and study of the Holy Scriptures?
AnswerI will.
BishopWill you look for Christ in all others, being ready to
help and serve those in need?
AnswerI will.
BishopWill 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?
AnswerI will.
BishopWill you in all things seek not your glory but the
glory of the Lord Christ?
AnswerI will.
BishopMay 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

A period of silent prayer follows, the people still standing.

544    Ordination: Deacon

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 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 respond     Amen.

The new deacon is now vested according to the order of deacons.

The Bishop then 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

Ordination: Deacon    545

The Peace

The Bishop then says to the congregation

 The peace of the Lord be always with you.
PeopleAnd also with you.

The Bishop and the Clergy 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.

After Communion

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

546    Ordination: Deacon

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

 Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the
power of the Spirit.
PeopleThanks be to God.

From Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost, “Alleluia, alleluia,” may
be added to the dismissal and to the response.

Ordination: Deacon    547

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