6th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum: Preparation and FAQs


6th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum — Preparation & FAQs
June 10–13, 2012

We often receive questions from potential participants regarding ways to prepare for our Diaconal Liturgical Practicum. This page seeks to answer some of these "Frequently Asked Questions."

I'm just entering the Diaconal Vocations Program. Should I attend?

The Holy Synod believes that everyone studying for the Diaconate should study and practice liturgics in a regular, organic fashion. Attending an annual summer program with experienced faculty and other DVP participants is a very effective aid in preparation for the Diaconate. You will "get something" from the program every year you attend, whether you are new, returning, or already ordained. Participants in the Diaconal Vocations Program are required to attend two Practicums.

I've been a deacon for some time. Is this for me?

Every deacon can benefit from participating in the fellowship, conciliar service, and indeed, a refresher course in liturgical practice. Experienced participants can be a great encouragement to those just beginning their journey to the diaconate. If you are not sure whether you ought to register for the program, please e-mail Archdeacon Kirill to discuss the matter: diaconal2012@svots.edu.

How can I make myself ready for this Practicum?

Everyone comes to our program from different parishes and with different experiences. With that in mind, our practical training seeks to start at a level where everyone can participate and grow. Already-ordained deacons and future candidates are trained in ways appropriate to their experience. Participants can have the best experience by preparing in the following ways:

  1. Seek the guidance of your parish priest and the director of your vocations program.
  2. Experience worship actively.
  3. Pay attention to the Divine Liturgy and other services of the Church in your parish.
  4. Without getting "bogged-down" in a book, follow the outline of the services in service books.
  5. Try to anticipate the liturgical actions of the priest, deacon, and servers before they occur. Are there discernible patterns?
  6. If you are not already a deacon, your priest may invite you to participate in the services as an altar server, reader, or choir member. Be obedient in these matters to your parish priest and try to grow in your abilities under his direction.
  7. You may wish to seek the guidance of a skilled musician, such as your parish's choir director, if you are inexperienced in church reading. Read the excellent essay of one of our instructors, Fr. Sergius Halvorsen, titled, "Church Reading: A Vital Ministry."
  8. Above all, prayerful preparation by faithful participation in the divine services is key.
  9. Come to the Practicum physically rested and mentally alert for a program that will be challenging but, we pray, rewarding.

Should I bring my own vestments?

We ask that deacons bring a complete set of gold or white vestments (stikharion, orarion, and cuffs) to ensure a good fit for serving. It is our practice that deacons vest fully for the reception of Holy Communion in the altar. We will provide vestments for those participants serving as subdeacons and servers.

What translation may I use when serving?

It is the practice of the seminary chapel to use the translation of the Divine Liturgy authorized by the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in 1967. A recent printing utilizing this translation will be available for purchase. For the Divine Liturgy, deacons may utilize either this 1967 edition, or Archbishop Dmitri's Priest's Service Book (as blessed in your diocese). For daily services, a text will be provided.

Last Updated: June 7, 2012. Subject to change, so please check this web page for the latest revision.

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED!  For further queries, e-mail diaconal2012@svots.edu.