Many of us became deacons in different ranks and didn’t really know what does it take to fulfill our service as deacons. What are my key responsibilities as a deacon? We need to remember that God will ask us one day to give account for this holy service! Every Deacon’s rank has key responsibilities that we all need to strive in order to achieve, so let’s quickly review these responsibilities:
Epsaltos- The Hymnist: As a hymnist you need to:
a. Start memorizing the hymns and learn the basic congregation liturgy responses
b. Know what to do when you enter the church… take off your shoes and bow down before the holy altar, saying “we worship you O Christ with your good Father and the Holy Spirit, for you have come / risen and saved us” then Pray “Our Father….”
c. Learn how to come early to church and stand properly in the Holy Liturgy
Anaghnostos- The Reader
a. This is the next rank and as a reader you can read the Holy Epistles during the Liturgy of the Word.
b. You need to practice reading slowly and clearly for everyone to understand.
c. Practice the liturgical readings from the night before to be ready d. You can wear the Patrasheel (stole) on both shoulders with the cross on the back, as a symbol of serving other.
e. As a reader, you need to read the names of the departed Patriarchs (after the commemoration of the saints)
f. Depends on your age and knowledge of the Holy Bible, a Reader can teach the congregation with the priest permission. Usually ordained after the age of 18.
Epideacon- The Subdeacon- In addition to the above:
a. Assisting the Full Deacon in serving the Altar and in administrative matters
b. Wear the Patrasheel similar to The reader
c. Guard the gates of the church, and welcome new comers guiding
them towards the true faith
d. Care for the books and other equipment of the church, including
the vestments of the priest and other deacons. Care for the censor and candles, ensuring that they are lit when required.
Diakon- The Full Deacon
a. The Greek word Diakon simply means a “Servant”
b. Wears the Stole on the left shoulder, signifying carrying the cross
c. May wear a head covering adorned with crosses and saints
d. Have greater responsibilities in helping the Bishop and Priests and
visiting the sick and needy from the congregation
e. Carefully tested and chosen to meet the Biblical criteria: “must be reverent, not double‐tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.” 1 Tim 3
f. Dispense the Holy Blood from the chalice during communion. This
is done only when necessary and with the permission of the priest or bishop.
The Archdeacon- the highest rank in the order of Deacons !