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Service For The Reception Of Converts


The Priest vests in Epitrachelion, Phelonion, and cuffs., comes out of the Sanctuary and goes to the Narthex of the Church where the Sponsors and the Candidate await him, shoes removed.

Priest: Do you desire to enter into and abide in the unity of the holy orthodox catholic Faith?

Candidate: I so desire.

The Priest breathes gently thrice in the face of the Candidate. He makes the Sign of the Cross thrice upon the Candidate’s forehead and breast, and lays his right hand upon the Candidate’s head.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: In Your Name, O Lord, God of truth, and in the Name of Your Only-begotten Son, and of Your holy Spirit, I lay my hand upon Your servant, ______, who has been found worthy to flee unto You, and to take refuge under the shelter of Your wings. Remove far from him (her) his (her) former delusion, and fill him (her) with the faith, hope and love which are in You; that he (she) may know that You are the only true God, with Your Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and Your Holy Spirit. Enable him (her) to walk in all Your commandments, and to fulfill those things which are well-pleasing to You; for by doing these things, he (she) shall find life in them. Inscribe him (her) in Your Book of Life, and unite him (her) to the flock of Your inheritance. And may Your holy Name be glorified in him (her), together with that of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of Your life-creating Spirit. Let Your eyes ever regard him (her) with mercy, and let Your ears attend to the voice of his (her) supplication. Make him (her) rejoice in the works of his (her) hands, and in all his (her) generation; that he (she) may render praises unto You, may sing, worship and glorify Your great and exalted Name always, all the days of his (her) life.

For all the Powers of Heaven sing praises unto You, and Yours is the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: O Lord our God, we implore You and beseech You, that the light of Your countenance may shine upon Your servant, ______, and that the Cross of Your only-begotten Son may be engraved in his (her) heart and in his (her) thoughts; that he (she) may flee from the vanity of the world and from the evil snare of the enemy and may follow after Your commandments. And grant, O Lord, that Your holy Name may never be rejected by him (her) and that he (she) may be united, in due time, to Your holy Church, and that the awesome mysteries of Your Christ may be administered to him (her); that having lived according to Your commandments and having preserved without flaw the seal of Your Holy Spirit, he (she) may receive the joy of the elect in Your kingdom: through the grace and love towards mankind of Your only-begotten Son, with Whom You are blessed, together with Your all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: Will You renounce the errors and false doctrines of the ______ Confession?

Candidate: I will.

Priest: Do you desire to enter into and remain in the holy Orthodox Catholic Church of Christ?

Candidate: I desire it with all my heart.

The Bishop (or Priest) signs the Candidate with the Sign of the Cross:

Priest: + In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Bishop (or Priest) lays his hand on the bowed head of the Candidate.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: In Your Name, O Lord God of truth, and in the Name of Your Only-begotten Son, and of Your Holy Spirit, look upon Your servant, ______, whom You have graciously enabled to come to Your Holy Orthodox Church, and to take refuge under the shadow of her wings. Remove far from him (her) his (her) former errors, and fill him (her) with Your true faith, hope, and love. Enable him (her) to walk in all Your commandments, and to fulfill those things which are well-pleasing to You; for if a man do these things, he shall also find life in them. Inscribe him (her) in Your Book of Life, and unite him (her) to the flock of Your inheritance. And may Your holy Name be glorified in him (her), together with that of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of Your life-creating Spirit. May You always look upon him (her) with mercy, and always receive the voice of his (her) supplication. Make him (her) rejoice in the work of his (her) hands, and in all his (her) generation, that he (she) may confess You, worshipping You and glorifying Your great and exalted Name, and magnify You always, all the days of his (her) life.

For all the Powers of heaven sing praises to You, and Yours is the glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Priest: Have you renounced all ancient and modern heresies and false doctrines that are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church?

Candidate: I have.

Priest: Do you desire to be united to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church?

Candidate: I desire it with all my heart.

Priest: Do you believe in one God, glorified and worshipped in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: and do you worship Him as your King and your God?

Candidate: I believe in one God, glorified and worshipped in the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and I worship Him as my King and my God.

Then the Candidate kneels, bows his (her) head and recites the Creed:

All: I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made; Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man. And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried. And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets. And in one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Priest: Blessed is God, Who enlightens every man that comes into the world.

Priest: Do you accept the Apostolic and Ecclesiastic Canons framed and established at the Seven Holy Ecumenical and Provincial Councils, and the other Traditions and ordinances of the Orthodox Church?

Candidate: I do.

Priest: Do you acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures must be accepted and interpreted in accordance with the belief which has been handed down by the Holy Fathers, and which the Holy Orthodox Church, our Mother, has always held and still does hold? Candidate: I do.

Priest: Do you believe and confess the Mysteries of the New Testament: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist, Confession, the Priesthood, Marriage, and Unction, instituted by the Lord Christ and His Church, to the end that, through their operation and reception, we may obtain blessings from on high?

Candidate: I believe and confess it.

Priest: Do you believe and confess that in the Divine Liturgy, under the mystical forms of the holy bread and wine, the faithful partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of sins, and unto eternal life?

Candidate: I believe and confess it.

Priest: Do you believe and confess that it is proper to reverence and invoke the Saints who are with Christ, according to the interpretation of the Holy Orthodox Church; and that their prayers and intercessions before God are received unto our salvation: and that it is well-pleasing in the sight of God that we should venerate their relics, glorified through incorruption, as precious memorials of their virtue?

Candidate: I believe and confess it.

Priest: Do you confess that the icons of Christ our Savior; and of the Ever-virgin Mother of God, and of the other Saints are worthy of being possessed and honored; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation thereof, we may increase in piety, and emulation of the deeds of the holy persons represented by these icons?

Candidate: I do.

Priest:Do you confess that the prayers of the faithful which are offered up to God, and more especially when accompanied by the oblation of the bloodless sacrifice, for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favorably received, through the mercy of God?

Candidate: I do.

Priest: Do you believe and confess that power has been given by Christ our Savior to the Orthodox Catholic Church to bind and to loose: and that whatever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven?

Candidate: I believe and confess it.

Priest: Do you believe and confess that the Foundation, Head, and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; and that bishops, pastors and teachers are appointed by Him to rule the Church; and that the Guide and Pilot of this Church is the Holy Spirit?

Candidate: I believe and confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and

The Convert kneels down and bows his (her) head and the Bishop (or Priest) pronounces the absolution:

Rise, brother (sister), and as a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and, together with us, pray to Him that He will count you worthy to receive the grace of the Holy Spirit through the anointing with the holy Chrism.

THE CHRISMATION

All present make three metanias toward the East. The Holy Doors are opened. The Deacon leaves the Sanctuary, passing the High Place, through the North door. He goes before the Holy Doors, and bowing 3 times, prays silently:

Deacon: O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. (3x)

Then he raises his Orarion and exclaims aloud:

Bless, Master.

The Priest kisses the Holy Gospel, lifts it up with both hands, and lowering it, signs the Altar Table crosswise, saying:

Priest: + Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen. O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, You are everywhere and fulfill all things. Treasury of Blessings and Giver of Life, come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One! In Tone 6

The Great Litany

Deacon: In peace let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace from above and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For the peace of the whole world, for the welfare of the holy churches of God, and for the union of all people, let us pray to the Lord.People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For this holy house and for those who enter it with faith, reverence, and the fear of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: For [his Beatitude] Metropolitan ______; for [his Grace] our Bishop ______; for the honorable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, for all the clergy and the people, let us pray to the Lord. People: Lord, have mercy. Deacon: That through the anointing with the all-holy Chrism, divine power may be given to the servant of God, ______, who is now being united to the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church unto the conquering and trampling of all adverse snares of the devil, and of the assaults which come through the flesh and the world, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may be a valiant and victorious soldier of Christ our God, by the power, effectual operation, grace, and descent of the Holy Spirit, through anointing with the all-holy Chrism, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may be firm and strong and immovable in the Orthodox Faith, in love and in hope, through anointing with the all-holy Chrism, all the days of his (her) life, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That grace may be given to him (her), through anointing with the all- holy Chrism, so that with boldness, without fear, and unashamed, he (she) may confess before all men the Name of Christ our God, and that he (she) may always be ready, for His sake, to lovingly suffer and to die, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may grow in all virtues, and prosper in the commandments of Christ our God, through anointing with the all-holy Chrism, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That with holy fear he (she) may preserve his (her) soul in purity and in truth, through anointing with the all-holy Chrism, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That he (she) may mature unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, by the power, effectual operation, grace, and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: That with us he (she) may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, danger, and distress, and that we may all attain to the unity of the Faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and keep us, O God, by Your grace.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Deacon: Commemorating our most holy, pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and each other, and all our life unto Christ our God.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: For to You belong all glory, honor and worship, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

Deacon: Let us pray to the Lord.

People: Lord, have mercy.

Priest: Blessed are You, O Lord God Almighty, Source of all good things, Sun of Righteousness, shining on those who were in darkness the light of salvation, through the revelation of Your only-begotten Son and our God. You have given to us, unworthy though we be, blessed purification through hallowed water, and divine sanctification through life-giving Chrismation. Now, also, You have graciously regenerated Your servant that has received Illumination, by water and the Spirit, and have granted to him (her) remission of sins, whether voluntary or involuntary. Likewise, O Master, compassionate King of kings, grant to him (her) the seal of the gift of Your holy, almighty, and adorable Spirit, and participation in the holy Body and precious Blood of Your Christ. Keep him (her) in Your sanctification; confirm him (her) in the Orthodox faith; deliver him (her) from the evil one, and from all his workings. Preserve his (her) soul in purity and righteousness, through the saving fear of You; that he (she) may please You in every word and deed, and may be a child and heir of Your heavenly kingdom.

For You are our God, the God Who shows mercy and saves us; and unto You we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Priest dips his fingers (or the brush) into the Holy Chrism and anoints the Candidate, tracing the Sign of the Cross on the forehead, the eyes, the nostrils, the lips, on both ears, the breast, the hands and the feet, and saying each time:

Priest: The seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

People respond each time: Sealed!

Priest: O Lord our God, You have counted your servant, ______, worthy of perfection through the gift of true faith in You, and through the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit by Your holy and most heavenly anointing. O Master of all, preserve him (her) in the true faith, nourish him (her) in righteousness and truth, and adorn him (her) with all Your gifts.

For You are our God, and unto You we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

REMOVAL OF THE HOLY CHRISM

With the sponge the Priest washes the oil and Chrism from the face, the head, the breast and all the other places, saying:

Priest: You are justified. You are illumined. You are sanctified. You are washed: in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.

You are illumined. You have been Chrismated. You are sanctified. You are washed: in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

People: Amen.

Priest: + Peace be unto all.

People: And to your spirit.

Deacon: Let us bow our heads to the Lord.

People: To You, O Lord.

Priest: With us, he (she) who has clothed himself (herself) in You, O Christ our God, also bows his (her) head to You. Keep him (her) ever a warrior, invincible in every attack of those who assail him (her) and us; and make us all victors, even unto the end, through Your incorruptible crown.

For Yours it is to be merciful and to save us; and unto You we send up glory, together with Your Father Who is without beginning, and Your all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People: Amen.

The Dismissal

Priest: Glory to You, O Christ, our God and our hope, glory to You.People: Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

People: Lord, have mercy. (3x) Father, bless.

Priest: May Christ our true God, through the prayers of His most pure Mother; of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles; of St. (of the temple).....; of St. (of the day), whom we commemorate today; of the holy and righteous ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna; and of all the saints: have mercy on us and save us for He is good and loves mankind.

People: Amen.


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