Music for the Ordination Services

In preparation for the episcopal ordination of Fr. Kurt Burnette on December 4, 2013, the Council of Hierarchs of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh approved texts and music for the services associated with episcopal ordination and enthronment. (Portions of this music are also used in the wedding service, and so should be learned by all cantors.)

Troparia of Ordination

The following troparia in Tone 7 are sung as the episcopal candidate is led into the sanctuary:

(listen to recorded example)

(listen to recorded example)

and the following irmos in tone 5:

(listen to recorded example)

This irmos should not be sung too slowly! Listen to the Slavonic version for comparison.

"Lord, have mercy" at the imposition of hands

Immediately after the ordaining bishop lays hands on the candidate and says the prayer of ordination, the assisting priests sing "Lord, have mercy" three times, using a melody from page 159 of the Bokshai Prostopinije:

(listen to recorded example)

or a traditional melody from the Galician tradition:

(listen to recorded example)

In the ordination services for a priest or deacon, the cantor and people immediately repeat this response, using the same melody sung by the priests.

"Axios" - "He is worthy"

During the vesting of a newly ordained bishop (or the handing over of the insignia of office to a newly ordained priest or deacon), the presiding bishop announces, "Axios!" - the Greek word meaning "He is worthy!" Then those within the sanctuary sing "Axios!" three times, using either of the following two melodies:

(listen to recorded example)

(listen to recorded example)

Then the cantors and people immediately repeat the three-fold "Axios!", using the same melody sung by the clergy.

Since this is done for each vestment or insignia article, the melodies will usually be alternated. But the cantors should always respond using the melody sung by the clergy.

For the last item being handed over - for the ordination of a bishop, this is the crown - a third, long "Axios!" melody is used:

(listen to recorded example)

After the ordination, if a newly ordained bishop is being enthroned, the presiding bishop announces "Axios!" and the cantor and people immediately respond with a three-fold "Axios!", using either of the first two melodies above.

After the newly-enthroned bishop has exchanged the kiss of peace with his clergy, the presiding bishop gives his his pastoral staff and announces "Axios!", to which the cantor and people immediately respond with a three-fold "Axios!", using the third, longer melody.