Many things in life are “years in the making”. This particular event is one of those. My husband was just a boy when he announced that he wanted to become a Priest. His desire to help people and bring Christ love to them has never gone away. Not only has it not gone away but it has grown. He has grown.
In preparation for the elevation, the candidate shall have a cassock and his sticharion and orarion by the day of the elevation. On the eve of his elevation, the candidate shall attend Vespers, and, after having a light supper, begin his Eucharistic Fast. During that time, he shall interact as little as possible with anyone and spend that time praying and preparing himself for the elevation. Married candidates shall refrain from marital relations during this time. He shall have his confession heard either after Vespers or during Matins on the day of the elevation.
On the day of elevation, the candidate shall be in his cassock. Following the Great Doxology, but before the Troparion before the Divine Liturgy, the candidate is led by the Bishop’s Assistant to the center of the solea in front of the Bishop. He makes three (3) prostrations toward the Holy Altar. Then, he turns and makes one (1) prostration toward the Bishop and stops on his knees. The Bishop lays his hand on the candidate head.
The Orthodox church takes it’s Minor and Major Holy Orders very seriously. I remember being a young girl when my father one day had become a deacon in our church. Yes, it was a position held with high esteem but the journey to become a deacon in our church was a path traveled by many and not many were prepared by the church for this responsibility.
So many thoughts went through our head about this new blessing we were about to embark on. Will he be ready? What things about our lives will we have to change? How will our families respond?
Looking back I know that prayer is the only thing that brought him to the place of “Yes”. This was not a choice made lightly. This was a request he was obedient to. This was him honoring his earliest desire to be used by God so many years ago. This was not for him but for his family, his church and His salvation.
I am proud of who he has become and who he will become.
Axios, my husband!