We announce with joy that Sub-Deacon Mark Bourghol will be elevated to the Diaconate of the Armenian Church by his Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church during the Divine Liturgy (Soorp Badarak) on Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016.
The Sacrament of Holy Orders (Ordination) takes its name from the fact that bishops, priests, and deacons give order to the Church. They guarantee the continuity and unity of the Church from age to age and from place to place from the time of Christ and the apostles until the establishment of God’s kingdom in eternity.
The Holy Orders are divided into two groups: Major and Minor orders. The three major orders are bishop, priest, and deacon. They are called members of the clergy because, by means of the Mystery of the Holy Orders, they receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit for sacred service in the Church. It is the doctrine of the Church that the clergy must strive to fulfill the grace of the Holy Spirit conferred upon them at ordination.
The bishops are the leading members of the clergy in that they have the responsibility and the service of maintaining the unity of the Church throughout the world by ensuring the truth and unity of faith and practice of their respective churches with all of the others. The word bishop (yebiscobos) means overseer. He is the one who is responsible and answerable before God and man for the life of his particular church and community.
Only a bishop, who can trace the source of his own authority to the apostles, has the authority to ordain. An ordination, while performed by the bishop, also requires the consent of the whole people of God; and so, at a particular point in the service, the assembled faithful acclaim the ordination by saying, “Arjanee eh” (“He is worthy”). For this reason, ordinations to the Major Orders always occur during the Divine Liturgy.
The deacons of the Church originally assisted the bishops in good deeds and works of charity. The diaconate later became associated with assisting at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other Church services. However, a deacon is not only one who serves, but also one who will teach and prepare others. As a member of the Church hierarchy, he is authorized to bring the Gospel Book to the celebrant, read from it, and offer bread and wine so that they may be consecrated as the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. The stole (oorar) signifies the Grace of God which the deacon received in the Mystery of Ordination.