The 12th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum: July 15 – 18, 2018

Intense liturgical training is the focus of this 4–day program to be held from Sunday, July 15–Wednesday, July 18, 2017, on the campus of St. Vladimir's Seminary. Participants are asked to arrive after 4 p.m. (no earlier than 3 p.m.) on Sunday, July 15; the last day of the practicum, July 18, includes morning Divine Liturgy, a closing discussion, and brunch. Participants may leave campus at noon for 3 p.m. and later flights from area airports.

Travel and airport service information available HERE.

(For those buying airline tickets to any event, flight insurance is recommended.)

Course Description

Practical liturgical training for deacons and lay diaconal candidates will be centered on celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other services. Intensive workshops aim to provide participants with the skills needed to serve effectively in the Orthodox Church as an attentive server, deacon, or priest. Attention will be given to the liturgical patterns of movement that inform the entire rite of the Church. Participants will also receive guidance on concelebrations and hierarchical celebrations so that they can effectively prepare for such occasions. In addition to practicums, focused presentations by faculty will augment the deacon's understanding of his place in the liturgical life of the Church and the deacon's broader vocation as a symbol to the faithful of the diakonia (ministry) of Christ our Lord. Instruction in speaking about the faith and vocal technique will also be offered.

This practicum is held in conjunction with the Orthodox Church in America's Diaconal Vocations Program (DVP) and is highly recommended for participants in the Church's program and other diaconal formation programs by the Holy Synod. Liturgical workshops led by Archpriest Kirill Sokolov, director of the Diaconal and Late Vocations of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), will aim to provide participants with skills needed to serve effectively in the Orthodox Church as an attentive server, deacon, or priest. Particular focus will be given to the typical celebration of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by one priest and one deacon.

Registration and Fees:

  • Practicum, lodging & meals—double occupancy ($450.00)
  • Practicum and meals onlylodging off-campus ($350.00)
  • Practicum, lodging & meals—single occupancy ($500.00)
  • Practicum, lodging & meals—participant & spouse ($700.00)
  • Additional night stay—$35.00 ea.

On–Campus Accommodations

On-campus housing is in non-smoking, air conditioned dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms. Because there are a limited number of single rooms, they will be given to the first registrants. Staying on-campus includes meals at the refectory, which are catered, without individual meal options. The seminary staff will provide sheets and towels. Please bring your own personal items (such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and small fans.) Wireless access is available throughout the campus, but cannot be guaranteed in every room.

Preparation & FAQs

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 Archpriest Kirill to discuss the matter:

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.
  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 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.

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(Updated June 11, 2018)