We announce with pleasure that the following Altar Servers will be elevated to the rank of Tbir of the Armenian Church by his Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church in a 6:00 pm service on Saturday, March 19, 2016:
In addition to the three orders of the sacramentally ordained clergy, there exist minor orders which are bestowed upon those for service in the Church. Typically, the four minor orders of doorkeeper (trnaban), reader (untertsogh), exorcist (yertm’netsootsich), and candle-bearer (momagal) are conferred at one time and the candidate becomes a clerk (tbir).
The first act is the administering of the Tonsure. Though not an order, it symbolizes the entering into a special role in the Church. Here, the bishop cuts the hair of the candidate in the form of a cross, signifying the cutting away of earthly desires and reminding the candidate to carry the cross of suffering in the likeness of Christ, who wore the crown of thorns upon His head while on the cross. Then, the candidate is given the Book of Psalms and a broom.
During the special prayers and blessings for the four orders, the bishop will present the candidate with a symbol of the new ministry to be served. The doorkeeper receives a key; the reader receives the apostolic and prophetic writings; the exorcist receives the Mashdotz (“Book of Rituals”); and the candle-bearer receives a candle and cruet. It is the duty of those who have the four orders to light the candles and lanterns of the Church and to prepare the wafer for the Holy Eucharist and fill the cruet with wine.
Some clerks are granted permission by the bishop to wear the stole (thus being called ooraragir), authorizing them to perform some of the duties of the subdeacon and deacon.
It is both a great honor and responsibility to be granted the Holy Orders and to serve the Lord and His Church.