During the Divine Liturgy on Tuesday to Wednesday night, November 29 to 30/ December 12 to 13, 2017, the Hagiotaphite Monk Patrick, who has graduated the Patriarchal School of Zion, was ordained a Deacon. The ordination was held by Geronda Sacristan, Most Reverend Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis.
Before the ordination the Archbishop addressed and congratulated the ordained for his forthcoming ministry in the Church of the Resurrection in Fatherly words as follows;
“Dearest Subdeacon Patrick,
Today our Holy Church honours the memory of St. Andrew the first-called Apostle. He and his brother Peter are the first Apostles who accepted the Lord’s invitation: ““Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people”. There was no need for a second word, because “at once they left their nets and followed him” (Matt. 4:19-20).
This day was chosen by His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos and the Holy and Sacred Synod to call you to follow the footsteps of the Holy Apostles and serve the Church of Christ. They have honoured you especially, by placing you at the centre of our faith, the All-holy Church of the Resurrection of our Lord.
Here, you will be strengthened by the power of the Sacred and Life-giving Cross in the Horrendous Golgotha and the All-holy and Life-giving Tomb will shed its grace upon you. You will serve the incoming noble pilgrims in a spirit of humility, you will stand firm and defend the rights of our Brotherhood as a faithful guardian, in self-denial against the heretic wolves who come in sheep’s clothing. You will be vigilant and keep the prayer in a clean heart and a contrite spirit, “for our sins and the for the ignorance of the people”.
The top priority of your ministry will be your participation in the great Sacrament of the Eucharist, with which you will be sanctified and give sanctification to those who proceed nigh in fear of God, faith and love.
You cannot succeed in all the above if you don’t prepare and furnish yourself with the appropriate spiritual supplies. The arena of the spiritual fight that is before you is not easy at all. The malicious devil will set many traps for you. You owe to be ready to recognize and avoid them, without any spiritual harm.
The only way to achieve this is the daily study, first of all of the Holy Bible, so that you will be enlightened and shown the example of the great and infinite love of God towards us, His ultimate humility and eternal care to re-establish us in the paradise of bliss.
Moreover, you will study the writings of the Holy Fathers of our Church, setting as your priority the Ladder of St. John of Sinai, so that your will practically learn the acquisition and keeping of the virtues and the avoidance of sin.
You will also study the history of the Church of Jerusalem, to learn the struggles of the previous Hagiotaphite Fathers, many of whom shed their blood as martyrs in the altar of the ministry of the All-holy Shrines.
The study will help you examine yourself better and progress in the spiritual life. The cultivation of obedience will be the basis for the acquisition of the holy humility. The memory of death will strengthen you towards the acquisition of apathy. The prayer which will be in contrition of heart and hope in God will strengthen your faith and comfort you in times of temptation.
The grace of the Holy Spirit which you are about to receive in your ordination as a deacon, will change you, and it will give you the strength to minister the Holy Altar in fear of God.
His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch along with the Holy and Sacred Synod will council and guide you, they will advise and stand by you in every step you take.
All the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood participates in today’s joy and wishes you to increase the “bags of gold” (in Greek “talanto”) which you are about to receive, to receive and offer sanctification to others.”
The ordained was escorted by Hagiotaphite Fathers, Archbishops, Hieromonks, Deacons, Monks, Nuns, and noble pilgrims who hailed “Axios” to him.
After the ordination and the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy the newly-ordained Deacon offered a reception to all who honoured him at the office of Geronda Sacristan.