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RUBRICS FOR THE

CELEBRATION OF AN

ARCHIERATICAL LITURGY

 

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If a Metropolitan or Bishop is to celebrate the Divine Liturgy the Priest will not say the Preparation service known as “Kairon” (Time). This will be said by the celebrant who in this case is the Bishop. The Priest will vest himself with full vestments and Cross (if he has that dignity) and begin the Oblation (Prothesis). He will take out the Lamb, put the wine and water into the Chalice and take out the particles for the Mother of God and the ranks of saints and the particle for the Metropolitan (Bishop) but will not commemorate any other living and departed as he would usually do.     

It is customary for the Bishop to enter the Church at Mattins and begin singing the Katavasia, thus the Priest must calculate beforehand the time needed for Mattins up to that point so that everything will have been said before the Bishop arrives. In Greek Parishes where it is customary to omit the reading or singing of the Canons, the service up to that point needs at least 45minutes. 

The Priest will then take up the Gospel Book and wait for the Bishop to arrive at the western doors. When the Bishop arrives he will first be dressed with the “Mandias” and then the Priest will offer the Gospel Book for him to venerate. Simultaneously the Priest will kiss his right hand. The Priest then leads the way into the Church and will place the Gospel back in its customary place on the Altar. As the Bishop comes down the aisle and stands in the centre of the Church the Choir sing:

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

The Bishop will bless the congregation and then go to the Throne. The Priest (and Deacon) will receive his blessing and enter the Sanctuary by the Royal Doors. The Choir will also receive his blessing and return to their places.

The Bishop then begins singing the Katavasia. 

Before the Ninth ode, the Deacon will say:

Let us honour in hymns and magnify the Theotokos and Mother of the Light.

And the Bishop will begin singing the Magnificat and/or the ninth ode according to the rubrics for the day.

My soul doth magnify the Lord…     More honourable than the cherubim…

During this, the Deacon will take up the censer and go before the Throne to have it blessed by the Bishop. He will then cense the Bishop 3 times by 3 and then cense the Iconostasis and people in the usual way. He will then cense the Bishop again, the Royal entrance, the Icons of Christ and the Mother of God and enter the sanctuary by the south door and cense the Holy Altar, Prothesis, and all the Sanctuary. 

After the Magnificat and/or the ninth ode, the Deacon will say the short litany:

Again and again in peace…  

At the doxology of the short litany the Priest will say:

For all the powers of heaven praise Thee…

Note that before every occasion that the Priest or Deacon will say something during the Service, they must first bow their heads to the Bishop and receive his blessing and also after having finished.

The Bishop will then sing the Hymns of Light (Usually the first and the Third) If it be a Sunday then before the Hymns of Light the following is sung:

Holy is the Lord our God [2]

Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; for He is holy.

After the Hymns of Light, the Choir then sing:  

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord...

Praise the Lord from the heavens…

Having finished singing “Praise the Lord from the heavens…” the choir then sing very slowly:

Our Master and High Priest, do thou O Lord keep safe, unto many years O Master.  

As the choir sing “Our Master…” as above, the Bishop will come down from his throne and standing before the Iconostasis will say the order of Preparation (Kairon) together with the Deacon and possibly also with the Priest. He will then kiss the Icons on the screen and finish the preparation as usual. He will then take up the two candles (dikeri)  and the three candles (trikeri) known as “dikerotrikeron” and bless the people. The Choir will sing:   

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

Then the Bishop will enter the Sanctuary if he is to be vested there or return to the Throne if he is to be vested in the centre of the Church. If he enters the Sanctuary he will be vested silently by the Deacon and Priest and they will come out to the centre of the Church just before the beginning of the Great Doxology. The rubrics that follow are for when the Bishop will be vested outside of the Sanctuary.   

The Choir sing the Praises. Before the Great Doxology begins the Bishop comes down from the throne and stands in the middle of the Church. The Deacon will exclaim:

Priests come out (3).

The Priest or Priests holding the High-Priest’s vestments will come out of the Sanctuary and stand according to their rank on each side of the Bishop. The Bishop will now be vested. As the Deacon takes each vestment he will sing the appropriate verse and the second Deacon or the Priest will say at the end of each:

Always now and for ever, world without end.  

When the Archpriest is fully vested, the Deacon, standing before him and holding the dikeri and trikeri will exclaim:

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2nd Deacon or Priest:

Always now and for ever, world without end. 

The Deacon will then give the candles to the High-Priest who will bless the people during which the choir will sing:

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

The Bishop will then return to the Throne and the Choir begin the Great Doxology. During the Singing of the Great Doxology the Bishop together with the Deacon and Priest, who are standing by his side, will say all the closing prayers of Mattins in a low voice. When the Bishop says:

By the prayers of our holy fathers…

the Priest will say:

By the prayers of our holy Master…

At the Holy God, Holy and Strong… of the Great Doxology, the Bishop, Priest and Deacon will also repeat the Trisagion in a low voice and then say the Preparatory verses for the start of the Divine Liturgy. 

O heavenly King and Comforter, Spirit of truth…

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. [3]

O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth Thy praise. [2]

O Lord, Lord, open to us the gate of Thy mercy.

The Priest will then make a bow to the Bishop and enter the Sanctuary. The Deacon also will make a bow and go to his customary place before the Holy Doors and say:

Master, give the blessing.

And the Priest shall lift the Gospel Book and making the sign of the Cross over the Antiminsion shall say: 

Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and for ever: world without end.  

And the Deacon shall say the Great Litany.

At the Little Entrance the Bishop will come down from the Throne and stand in the centre of the Church. The Deacon carrying the Gospel Book and the Priest shall exit the Sanctuary by the North Door. The Deacon shall stand in his customary place having offered the Gospel for the Bishop to venerate and the Priest shall stand to the right of the Bishop. They will sing the introit hymn and towards the finish, the Bishop shall bless the people with the dikeri and trikeri.  

The choir shall sing

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

The choir will then repeat the hymn “Save us O Son of God…”

The Deacon having entered the Sanctuary first, shall immediately take up the censer and cense the Priest and Bishop as they enter the Sanctuary. The Bishop then takes up the censer and censes around the Holy Altar, the Iconostasis and the people singing the first of the Apolytikia Hymns. The choir sing the remaining Apolytikia Hymns and the Bishop will sing the Kontakion with the ending taken up by the left choir.

DEACON:

Let us pray unto the Lord.

BISHOP:

For Thou our God art holy, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever:

DEACON: And world without end.

The Thriceholy Hymn is sung on this wise: 

1) Right choir

2) Left choir

3) Clergy

4) Right choir

5) Clergy

6) Glory… by the left choir

7) Now and for ever… by the right choir

8) Holy and immortal… by the left choir

9) From within the Sanctuary either by the Right Choir or a Priest (who knows music) in four stages. He will first sing O Holy God” and the Bishop holding the dikeri and trikeri will say from the Royal Doors:  

Lord, Lord, look down from heaven and behold and visit this vineyard and perfect that which thy right hand hath planted. (Psalms 79:15-16)

As he blesses with the people, the choir shall sing

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

Then the second part of the Trisagion from the Sanctuary:

Holy and Strong.

Again the Bishop shall say:

Lord, Lord, look down from heaven and behold and visit this vineyard and perfect that which thy right hand hath planted.

As he blesses with the people, the choir shall sing

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

Then the third part of the Trisagion from the Sanctuary:

Holy and Immortal.

Again the Bishop shall say:

Lord, Lord, look down from heaven and behold and visit this vineyard and perfect that which thy right hand hath planted.

As he blesses with the people, the choir shall sing

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) 

Then the fourth part of the Trisagion from the Sanctuary:

Have mercy upon us.

Again the Bishop shall say:

DEACON: 

Power.

10) And the last Trisagion by the right choir.

DEACON: 

O Lord save the pious people. 

This is said three times by the Deacon and at each time it will be repeated first by the Bishop, then the right Choir and then the left.

The Deacon will then say:

And hearken into us.

This is again repeated by the Bishop:

And hearken into us.

The Deacon will then proclaim the Archbishop’s (Metropolitan’s) Anthem (Pheme, Φήμην). If the Bishop celebrating is not a Metropolitan but only an Auxiliary/Titular Bishop then only the anthem of the resident Metropolitan is proclaimed.

This is then sung by the Clergy, by the right choir and by the left choir.  

The following is the Anthem for the Metropolitan of Limassol which can be adapted for other Metropolitans.

Athanasius, the Most-Reverend and God-Appointed Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of Limassol, and chairman of Amathus and Curium, our Father and Chief Shepherd, many years.

Next follows the reading of the Apostle and the Gospel by the Deacon from the Pulpit or the Bishop’s throne. At the end of the Gospel, the choir shall sing:

Glory to thee, O Lord, glory to thee.

And immediately  

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) slowly until the Deacon can come down from the Pulpit and offer the Gospel Book to the Bishop to venerate and then bless the people.

At the end of the Cherubic hymn as the left choir sing Alleluia, the right choir sing:

Eis Polla eti Despota. (Unto many years O Master) slowly.

The Bishop will bless with the trikeri and offer it to the Deacon who shall stand at his appointed place and say the litany:

Let us complete our supplication unto the Lord.

After:  Let us love one another that with one mind we may confess, the choir instead of The Father and the Son… shall sing:

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my firm support, and my refuge, and my deliverer.

At the reciting of the Creed, the Priest and Deacon shall take up the aer and hold it above the Bishop’s head, which is bowed over the sacred gifts, and calmly shake it to and fro. At the words of the CreedAnd ascended into heaven” the Bishop shall kiss the aer and the Priest and Deacon shall move it above and away from his head and having folded it will give it to the Bishop.  

After the epiclesis and the singing ofMeet it is” the Priest shall say:

And remember first, O Lord, our Father and Archbishop [Name], whom do Thou grant to serve Thy Holy Churches in peace, safety, honour, health and length of days that he may rightly divide the word of Thy truth.

But if the Bishop is not a Metropolitan then he shall say the above and the Priest shall say: 

And remember first, O Lord, our Father and  Bishop [Name], whom do Thou grant to serve Thy Holy Churches in peace, safety, honour, health and length of days that he may rightly divide the word of Thy truth.

After the Dismissal, the Bishop having removed his vestments will exit the Sanctuary by the Royal Doors and the choir will sing:

Our Master and High Priest, do thou, O Lord, keep safe, unto many years O Master. 

And blessing the people he shall exit the Church.