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Learn More About Deaconship

“Deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 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 

Chanters Role and Ordination Requirements

  • The main role of the chanter is to learn and chant the hymns of the Church, with understanding and with the Spirit of God (Psa. 46:7, 1 Cor. 14:15).
  • In general, chanting during worship was shared with the whole congregation as well as the Reader
  • In addition to the general requirements listed above, the candidates to be consecrated as a chanter should meet these minimum requirements:
    • While there is no set minimum age for chanter, it is required that a chanter be able to stand reverently throughout the Divine Liturgy and require no assistance.
    • Should have basic proficiency in Coptic letters.
    • Should be able to exhibit talent of learning hymns by chanting basic congregational responses (Agios, Alleluia This is the Day, etc.).

Source: Los Angeles Coptic Orthodox Department of Christian Education

Readers Ordination Requirements

Candidates to be ordained as a reader should meet these minimum requirements:
  • Should have a good reading proficiency and deep understanding of the Holy Scriptures, always increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10).
  • Should have consistent reading and regular studying of the Bible to be able to teach and read to the congregation.
  • should have basic knowledge of the Bible, the liturgical life (including basic hymns), and the fathers.

To test the basic knowledge of the Reader, two different exams are established in the Diocese.
  1. Those interested to serve in Sunday School program, English Youth meetings, and other youth services are required to pass the Servants’ Certification exam. This will allow them, upon the recommendation of their parish priest, to be consecrated as readers.
  2. In the future, for those serving in Arabic Youth Meetings or are not assigned to any non-liturgical service, may take the Readers Exam in Arabic.

Source: Los Angeles Coptic Orthodox Department of Christian Education 

Subdeacons Duties and Ordination Requirements

  • Assisting the deacon at the altar, e.g. washing the hands of the clergy, tending to the church books and clergy vestments. However, he is not allowed to administer the chalice or touch the altar vessels.
  • Preparing the Church for services by attending to the books, filling up oil lamps, preparing the censer, filling up water jugs, etc.
  • Watching the doors of the Church to prevent entry of animals, heretics, and false teachers.
  • Keeping the order in the church during church prayer.
  • Aiding in the distribution of aid to the needy.
  • Serving as a Reader, if necessary.

Those who are nominated for ordination to the rank of Sub-Deacon must meet the following minimum requirements above:

  • He is to be recommended by the people and priest(s), as to his good deeds.
  • He is a good model of virtuous, dedicated, pious Christian.
  • The candidate must be consistent in confession.
  • To test the above candidate must pass the examination provided by the diocese.

Source: Los Angeles Coptic Orthodox Department of Christian Education

Deaconship Vestment (Tunic) General Guidelines

1. They should only have crosses on them.
2. No saints pictures are allowed.
 3. It should always be clean and ironed.
4. It should be kept in good condition.

Stole (Padrashal):
1. It should always be clean.
2. Archdeacons and full deacons wear it on their left shoulder.
3. Readers & sub-deacons should wear the Padrashal crosswise but with different colors. 
4. Chanters do not wear the Padrashal.

Source: Los Angeles Coptic Orthodox Department of Christian Education