I was ordained a Subdeacon today by His Grace Bishop Athanasios Akunda of the Diocese of Kisumu and Western Kenya. That I could see this day should give one some indication of what the grace of God is all about. In addition to His Grace, I am grateful for the prayers, help and example of my friend and brother Archimandrite Fr. John Wangaru, my friend and brother James Mukuria the newly ordained priest Fr. Ietheros, Fr. Robert Holet of my home American parish St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Virginia, my friend and colleague Fr. Evangelos Thiani of Nairobi, His Eminence Makarios Metropolitan of Nairobi, who opened the way for me to return to Kenya in 2015, His Grace Bishop Innocentios of Rwanda and Burundi who was my first spiritual father when I moved to Nairobi in 2008, and so many others.
A Subdeacon serves at the altar and helps the Bishop or presiding priest and deacon by facilitating the liturgy, making sure the censor or the candles are in the right hands, and that whatever is needed by the Bishop or priest is there at the right time. It requires being familiar with all aspects of the Liturgy, not just the Divine Liturgy, but Orthros and Vespers as well as other special services. While the subdiaconate is a minor order, the subdeacon is the head server, coordinating the other servers assisting with the service. For many becoming a subdeacon is a stepping stone for further service in the Church as a deacon and then a priest.
Pray for me. It's like mastering a new language. And already I have made some funny mistakes. But since everybody else around me has had the same process of learning, there is a lot of grace and good humor that comes to the aid of a neophyte like me.
My friend and colleague at the Sts Anargyroi chanting stand, George from Kabiria in Nairobi, took these pictures of my ordination.
|I've been taken by the hand by two deacons and led to the Bishop.|
|The Bishop laying on hands and praying the prayer of ordination for a subdeacon.|
|The Bishop presenting me with the vestments of the subdiaconate.|
The new subdeacon is vested with the help of the deacons and priests
|The new subdeacon is presented to the Faithful by the Bishop|
|And he is immediately put to work in the service. |
This is during the Little Entrance of the Divine Liturgy.
|With His Grace Bishop Athanasios Akunda, after the service.|
|With the Bishop and my friend James who was ordained a priest (Fr. Ietheros) during the same service.|
It was a big day.