The ordination of the Monk Anastasios Kirmitzakis to Deacon was observed at the All-night Vigil at the Holy Sepulchre on 1st/14th October 2021.
He has been serving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as a novice monk and having been tested and proven worthy, the Holy and Sacred Synod approved his joining of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood through the Monk’s tonsure, and consequently his receiving the first degree of the Priesthood as a Deacon.
His ordination to Deacon was officiated by the Geronda Sacristan of the Holy Sepulchre, His Eminence Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis.
Before the ordination, His Eminence delivered the following spiritual words regarding Priesthood:
“Most devout subdeacon Anastasios,
Our Holy Church, a little while ago, prayed through my hands to your head and begged the Holy Spirit to claim you with the following gifts:
First: To love the dignity of the house of God.
Second: to stand guard at the gates of the Temple and to light the lamp, that is, the candle on the tabernacle of the Glory of God,
and third: to settle down and take root within the Church and to be cultivated within it, like an olive tree, producing fruits of righteousness, until you are perfected by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and receive the reward that is due to those who please the Lord.
It is certain that you loved the dignity of the house of God because you already serve and take care of the universally unique Holy Temple, the All-holy Church of the Resurrection, which contains the All-holy and Life-giving Sepulchre of our Lord and the Horrendous Golgotha.
The grace of the Holy Spirit led your steps and took you on a journey from the city of Saint Demetrius, the Holy See, the capital of our Macedonia, Thessaloniki, and brought you to the Holy Land.
It made you worthy to stand at the gates of the Holy and Life-giving Tomb and to receive the pious Pilgrims, just as the Angel received the Myrrh-bearers and to announce to them the joyful message that Christ is Risen!
You have already remained vigilant and participated in chanting in the Divine and Holy Liturgy, leading the candle of the Holy Gifts at the Great Entrance, as the prophets preceded and prepared the coming of the Lord God and Word.
The obedience, which you showed, your patience in the difficult times of temptation, your meekness, your willingness to perform your ministry, the love with which you surround your brothers, did not pass unnoticed.
His Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch Theophilos III has been watching your course for a long time and having appreciated your spiritual progress, He decided together with the Holy and Sacred Synod to place you in the bosom of the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood as a Monk, and promote you to the office of the Deacon soon afterwards.
From your new position of the Deacon, you are invited to enter the Holy Altar, to stand next to the Holy Table and to serve the Holy Sacraments.
In your ministry, you will have the living example of the First Deacon and First Martyr Saint Stephen. Just like him, you will find yourself in the midst of various temptations and you will be in danger. For this reason, we ask the Divine Grace to fill you with Faith and spiritual power, so that you may be able to overcome any temptation.
His Beatitude, our Father and Patriarch, the Holy and Sacred Synod and all the Hagiotaphite Fathers will support and help you in this new state, to stand firm in this spiritual struggle to the end with the help of God.
The grace of God will cover you and the Holy Light, which gushes through the Holy and Life-giving Tomb will enlighten you and dissolve the darkness of this world.
And now, bow down your knees and humbly accept the coming of the Holy and Ritual Spirit, Who will alter you and turn you into a vessel of His election.”
The Divine Liturgy and the ordination were attended by Hagiotaphite Fathers, Monks, Nuns and pilgrims, who exclaimed the “Axios” at the ordination.
After Dismissal, Geronda Sacristan, His Eminence Archbishop Isidoros of Hierapolis offered a reception for the ordained and those who honoured him at the Sacristan’s Office.
In the morning, the newly ordained Deacon paid his respect to His Beatitude and asked for His blessing.