Deaconship

“Deacons 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. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 3:8-13

Deacon Ministry Announcements

Deaconship Prerequisites

A deacon is a servant and loving son of God; he is an example of the angels, standing as a soldier for Christ. Deacons should remember they are an example to the entire congregation, and show them how to stand in the presence of God.

The male members of the Coptic Orthodox Church which are presented for ordination to the diaconate ranks must meet the following minimum requirements:

This is not a right; it is a great HONOR and PRIVILEGE.

  1. The candidate must be at least 6 (six) years old (unless the bishop gives an exception).
  2. The candidate must display proper Christian behavior including:
  3. Regular confession, church attendance and communion
  4. Proper attire and general appearance, such as clothes, hair etc.
  5. Is not under the sway of bad habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol
  6. The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in all the congregation and sanctuary responses of the Divine Liturgy.
  7. The candidate must demonstrate an 80% attendance rate in the weekly Divine Liturgies.

The Apostolic Nomination of Deacons

The word Deacon is a Syrian meaning servant. The responsibility of the deacon is to help the priest or bishop perform the religious ministry. The first church appointed seven deacons who were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom to help in service, The twelve summoned the multitude of disciples and said: Seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom whom we may appoint over this business (Acts 6:2,3). When they were chosen, they set them before the apostles and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them (Acts 6:6).

The apostles stipulated the following three conditions for nominating deacons:

▪   They must be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.

▪   The apostles (bishop), through the laying-on of hands with prayers, should appoint them.

▪   They should carry out certain responsibilities in the church.

Characteristics of a Deacon

Our teacher St. Paul also specified the requirements of a deacon, in his First Epistle to Timothy (3:8-13): Likewise deacons must be:

▪   Reverent

▪   Not double tongued

▪   Not given to too much wine (drunkenness)

▪   Not greedy for money

▪   Holding the mystery of faith with a pure conscience

▪   Ruling their children and their houses well

▪   Should be tested first, and then proved and found blameless, so they can be ordained (1 Timothy 3:10)

Deacon Ranks

Although the rank of deacon is the most junior rank of priesthood, St. Paul praises it saying, For those who served well as deacons, obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:13). There are five ranks of deacons:

▪       Epsaltos (chanter)

▪       Agnostos (reader)

▪       Epideacon (sub-deacon)

▪       Deacon (full deacon)

▪       Archdeacon (high deacon)

Links to Seasonal Hymns and Hazzat

Hymns

The chanting of hymns and the leading of the congregation in these hymns, is a major aspect of the role of a chanter (the rank of the vast majority of deacons today and at our church). The following is a set of links to many of the hymns chanted for various seasons throughout the Coptic year.

Annual Hymns

Commemoration of the Heavenly and Saints

Hymns for Fasting periods

Annual Gospel Reading Tone

Holy Week (Several sources)

Major Feasts (Ascension, Epiphany, Nativity, Nativity Paramoun, Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Resurrection)

Minor Feasts (Annunciation, Cana of Galilee…there are other minor feasts whose hymns are not here)

Other Occasions (Bright Saturday, Glorification of St. Mary, Feast of the Cross, Lazarus Saturday, Coptic New Year, Papal Hymns, Weddings)

“Hazzat”

This is an Arabic word that referrers to the movements of the tune while it is being chanted. There are several resources to which one can look for these movements. This site is one online resource that is often used by many deacons. We are also working to upload other hazzat formats that you may be more comfortable with.