From the Ordination Program



to the

Holy Priesthood


Deacon Ivan Synevskyy


His Eminence, Archbishop Antony

at the

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy


Saturday, the Fifth of June


St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Woonsocket, RI


May God grant to His newly ordained servant,

Father Ivan,
to his wife

Pani Matka Oksana,

and to their son


Many Blessed Years!!!



Welcome to the God-Loving and God-Protected Parish of St. Michael’s!

We are happy that you have come to celebrate the Holy Ordination of Deacon Ivan with us today.  This is a blessed day for our parish – not only is our deacon being ordained to the priesthood and one of our tonsured readers and indefatigable toilers, Reader Paul Cherkas,  being raised to the rank of subdeacon, but most especially, we rejoice in the presence of our Archpastor and Heir to the Apostles, His Eminence Archbishop Antony.

The bishop, together with the Eucharist he offers to his people “on behalf of all and for all”, constitutes the life of the Church; they are the very incarnation of Christ on Earth.  Nothing is more fitting for the Orthodox parish than to have its bishop presiding before its members at the altar.  The priest who serves in the absence of his bishop is really just a steward, doing his best to keep things in order while the master/vladyka is away.  Today we rejoice that the master has come home!

The Church has put reminders of these truths throughout her Liturgy (e.g. the many prayers for the bishops and the presence and ritual use of the antimins) but the best reminder is the Episcopal “visit” and Hierarchical Liturgy itself (I use apostrophes here because the bishop never “visits” us any more than we “visit” our homes)!

It is in recognition of this and as an affirmation of our commitment to the Holy Orthodoxy that we welcome our beloved archpastor, as we kiss his right hand, entreat his blessing, and sincerely beseech him to come as often as his demanding schedule allows. 


Notes on the Order of Service

The Procession from the Rectory to the Church.  The choir sings “From the Rising of the Setting Sun” at the entrance to the church.

Greeting the ArchbishopThe Holy Doors and curtain are open.  The fully vested priests are near the entrance, arranged as at the altar. The first two deacons, holding the trikiri and dikiri and their censers stand between the priests, with the candle-bearer between them, all facing the church entrance.  The bishop receives the gifts of the laity, then moves to the Eaglet where he is offered the tray with blessing Cross.  All clergy make the Sign of the Cross, and bow to the bishop, who in turn blesses them. The pastor greets the bishop, then all clergy kiss the cross.

After receiving the bishop’s blessing, the priest with the cross enters the altar through the northern door and places it upon the Holy Altar. The candle-bearer follows the priest and stops at the foot of the Ambon in front of the Theotokos icon. The deacons follow the candle-bearer; the priests follow them.  the bishop follows, and stops on the Eaglet at the foot of the Ambon.

The Entrance Prayers (and Vesting Prayers, if necessary).  The choir begins slowly singing “It is truly meet” as the bishop passes the tetrapod.  At the end of the prayers, the choir sings TON DESPOTIN as the bishop offers his blessing.

The Tonsuring/Ordination of Subdeacons.  After the ordination, the newly ordained subdeacon washes the bishop’s hands as the deacon reads the appropriate prayer.  If there are clergy in the altar, all come out now (using both deacon doors), arrange themselves as at the altar, make the Sign of the Cross and bow toward the altar three times, turn, and bow together to the bishop.  If the censing has not yet been accomplished, the deacons do it now.  The Hours may also be read.


The Beginning of the Divine Liturgy.  The bishop leads the preparatory prayers, then blesses the senior priest and then the deacons.  The senior priest enters the altar through the southern deacon door, kisses the Holy Altar then stands before it.  The first deacon climbs the solea and prepares for the Divine Liturgy.  The remaining deacons line up behind the bishop. The senior priest and first deacon bow as one to the bishop for his blessing.  After being prompted by the first deacon, the senior priest intones the blessing; “Blessed is the Kingdom…”

The Great Litany, Antiphons, and Little Litanies.  The first deacon leads the Great Litany.  The other deacons lead the Little Litanies.  During the singing of the antiphons, the remaining priests pairwise get the bishop’s blessing, enter the altar, kiss the Holy Altar, bow to the bishop, and take their places at the Altar. 

The Little Entrance. The senior priest makes the Sign of the Cross and bows at the Altar, turns, and bows as one with the first deacon to the bishop. He then gives the Gospel to the first deacon, who goes to the High Place and faces West. The priests kiss the Altar, bow to the bishop and follow the Gospel in single-file.  All exit from the altar for the Entrance in this order: Candle-bearer(s), Staff-bearer, deacons with censers, subdeacons with trikiri and dikiri, first deacon with the Gospel, and then the priests, according to rank.

The procession circles the bishop, with the priests peeling off as necessary so that they end up arranged as at the altar.  All face East.  The bishop blesses the Entrance and kisses the Gospel.  The first deacon raises the Gospel above his head, makes Sign of the Cross and proclaims: “Wisdom! Let us attend!”, then turns to face the bishop.  The bishop blesses with trikiri and dikiri.  The deacon censes the Gospel and the bishop.

As the bishop blesses the people, the clergy all sing; “Prijdite, poklonimos I pripadimo do Christa.*** Spasi nas, Synu Bozhi, slavimij u svyatykh, Tvoijkh: spivajemo Tobi: Alleluia!”

The Choir joins in singing at ***.  The priests follow the bishop pairwise into the altar, venerating the appropriate icon.  The trio sings “IS POLLA…” while the bishop and deacon sense the altar.

Tropars and Kondaks.  The choir sings the first hymns, then the clergy sing “now and ever…” and the last hymn.


Trisagion (Holy God…).  The choir sings it the first time, then the clergy, then the choir.  The bishop goes to the amvon to pray and alternates with the ladies trio.  The clergy then sing “Holy God…” once more.  The choir sings “Glory… now and ever… and finishes the Trisagion.

The Epistle and Gospel Readings.  After the readings, the bishop blesses the people with the dikiri and trikiri as the choir sings IS POLLA once.

Litanies of Supplication, Departed, Catachumens, and the Faithful.

The Great Entrance.  The bishop goes out the Holy Doors.  The subdeacon (or priest candidate) washes his hands.  The bishop returns and completes the Proskomedia prayers and offerings.  The procession is as follows: candle-bearer(s), staff bearer, deacon with miter, deacon with censer, subdeacons with trikiri and dikiri, servers with fans, first deacon with diskos, senior priest with chalice, priests arranged from senior to junior.  The priest candidate comes last with the aer on his head.  During the Entrance, the servers and priests break out symmetrically to end up with the senior priests nearest the altar.  The first deacon commemorates the presiding bishop.  The bishop takes the diskos and chalice in turn, offering his own commemorations.  The first deacon goes into the altar; the senior priest joins the other priests outside.  The priests then follow the bishop into the altar.  The bishop blesses the people with dikiri and trikiri as the choir sings “IS POLLA”.

The Ordination of Priests.  At the conclusion of the Cherubimic Hymn and IS POLLA, the subdeacons place the Cathedra before and to the left of the Holy Altar.  The deacons take the aer and lead the priest-candidate towards the altar and through the Holy Doors.  The bishop blesses him.  The senior priest leads him around the altar thrice as the clergy and choir alternate singing the verses of “O Holy Martyrs”: 

O Holy Martyrs, / who fought the good fight and have received your crowns: //
Entreat ye the Lord that our souls may be saved.

Glory to Thee, 0 Christ-God, / the Apostles' boast, the Martyrs' joy, // 
whose preaching was the consubstantial Trinity.

Rejoice, O Isaiah! / A Virgin is with child, / and shall bear a Son, Emmanuel, both God and man: /
and Orient is His Name; // whom magnifying we call the Virgin blessed.


The bishop then lays his hands on the candidate and prays for his ordination.  As the candidate is thus being ordained, the senior priest reads the Litany of Peace in a quiet voice, with the remaining clergy softly singing the responses.  The bishop then vests the priest, with all the people repeating his proclamation of “Axios!”.

The Litany of the Offering and Creed.

The Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer).  The bishop blesses the people with the trikiri and dikiri saying “The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…” The anaphora proceeds as usual.  The people should kneel (unless it be a time when such is not called for).  After the bishop commemorates his hierarch, the senior priest commemorates the bishop; ““Remember, O Lord, our [bishop’s title and name] and grant that he may rightly administer unto Your holy churches the Word of Your Truth, in peace, safety, honor, and length of days."

The deacon follows this with a longer commemoration of his own.  The choir responds: “And all mankind” to each commemoration.

Litany and the Lord’s Prayer.  The people may kneel for the Lord’s Prayer (unless it be a time when such is not called for).

Communion of the Clergy and of the Faithful.  The choir may sing pious hymns during the Communion of the clergy.  A homily may also be offered.  Clergy are communed in order of rank, with the newly ordained priest going right after the senior priest.  Before the Gifts are offered to the people, the bishop may lead them in the Prayer before Communion (i.e. if it has not already been prayed).

Benediction and Homily.  The bishop blesses the people with the dikiri and trikiri, proclaiming “O God, save Your people and bless Your inheritance.”  The people respond with “IS POLLA” and “We have seen the True Light…”  The newly ordained priest offers the Prayer before the Amvon.  The Divine Liturgy concludes and the bishop offers his homily.

The Many Years. The deacons offer petitions for our Church, hierarchs, clergy, and people; our countries and their peoples; and the newly ordained and their families.


The Ordination is Over… Now what?!

Now that we have participated in the ordination of Father Ivan, we are obliged to place him, his wife Pani Oksana, their son Maxim, and their ministry to Christ’s Church foremost in our love and in our prayers.

The priesthood brings many new challenges and temptations, some which are well known among the laity and others less so.  It is always a blessing, but it can be hard.

Our prayers will help sustain and strengthen Fr. Ivan as he is sent deeper behind enemy lines to battle with the forces of the Evil One, and to provide comfort and healing to those who suffer from their vicious and tireless assaults.

May God bless you all and strengthen you as you do His will,

Rev. Anthony Perkins, pastor