The Setting Apart of Acolytes
The Blessing of an Acolyte
Near the end of Vespers, during the Hymn of Righteous Symeon the God-receiver, the candidate is led to stand before the Holy Doors, makes three metanias and then comes to stand before the Bishop. After kissing the Bishop’s hand, the candidate kneels before him.
Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
The Bishop blesses the candidate once on the head, and says:
Bishop: O Lord who enlightenest all created beings with the light of thy wonders, and knowest the intent of every man before it is formed, and strengthenest those who are desirous of serving thee: Do thou, the same Lord, array in thy fair and spotless vesture this thy servant (NAME), who desireth to become a Taper-bearer before thy holy mysteries, that he may be illuminated, and that attaining unto the age to come he may receive the incorruptible crown of life, and rejoice with Thine elect in bliss everlasting. For blessed is Thy Name and glorified is thy Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages, Amen.
The Bishop tonsures the candidate cross-wise, saying:
Bishop: In the name of the Father;
Bishop: And of the Holy Spirit.
The new Reader kisses the Bishop’s right hand and stands. The Bishop takes the sticharion, blesses it and, with the help of the Bishop’s Assistant, puts the sticharion on the new taper-bearer.