Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Armenian Clerks

Men ordained to be Clerks.
(Holy Martyrs Armenian Church) - Ordination of the Holy Orders is one of the sacraments of the Armenian Church. Through Ordination, men receive the power and grace to perform the sacred duties of a clergyman of the Church. Ordination is a sacrament by which the Holy Spirit offers the elected person the right to perform the sacraments and to feed Christ’s flock.

The Sacrament of Ordination is always administered by a Bishop. There are various ranks of clergy within the Church, each with a special service by which each one of these ranks is granted. What is common to all the ranks is the act of “laying of the hands” (tzernatroutiun) by the Bishop onto the ordinate. By placing his anointed right hand on the ordinate, this continues the unbroken Apostolic succession of authority, granted by the Apostles to the first Bishops of the Church, and carried on today through Ordination. Before entering the major ranks of ecclesiastical order of the Armenian Church, a person must have been ordained to the four minor ranks.

Minor Orders

One who receives these four minor ranks is known as a tbir (or clerk). Through the minor orders, the tbir is conferred special privileges which are the foundation of his service to the church as a participant during the worship services. There are four distinct functions of a tbir: doorkeeper (trnaban), reader (untertsogh), exorcist (yertm’netsootsich), and candle bearer (momagal). In receiving these ranks, one becomes an Acolyte. The requirements for ordination to the sub-Diaconate are extensive. The sub-Diaconate is a transitional rank between tbir and full Deacon in which a young man is preparing himself for fuller service to the church.

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