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Question 55.

Father your blessing!

During a συλλείτουργο (co-celebration) of priests, for example, does only the presiding priest perform the καιρός (i.e. "O Lord, send Thine hand from Thy holy habitation above..."  )? And in the case of a Bishop presiding the Divine Liturgy, do the priests not perform the καιρός, leaving it to the Bishop to perform?

With respect,



Answer to Question 55.

Dear Evangelos,


As there is only one Highpriest (Christ) the Liturgy is performed only by one Priest. During a συλλείτουργο (co-celebration) the Priest first in rank is the officiating Priest and all other Priests are just there to help. Strictly speaking only the officiating Priest and the Deacon should say the Kairos, but it is usual custom for all the Priests to take part if they are present before the officiating Priest begins. The Prayer is only said by the officiating Priest. If a Priest comes after the officiating Priest has finished the Kairos then he should not say it on his own but simple make a prostration before the throne, enter the sanctuary, kiss the Holy Gospel Book and the Holy Altar and get dressed. During the Liturgy all the prayers are said only by the officiating Priest. The other Priests can read them to themselves but they should not be heard except for the doxologies at the end of each prayer which they will take turns in saying according to their rank.
When a Bishop is to preside over the Liturgy then the Priests do not say the Kairos. If there is more than one Priest then the first in rank will put on his vestments and serve the Mattins service. After the Bishop has made his entrance and has made his way to the throne (just before the Katavasias) then the Priests will make a prostration before him and receive his blessing. Then all the Priests enter the Sanctuary and put on their vestments. Just before the verses to the Praises, the Bishop will step down from the throne and begin the Kairos with the Deacon. If there is only one priest he might be asked to take part, but this is not the proper practice.
For the ordering of an Archieratical Liturgy visit the website and go to Services in English Hieratikon - Rubrics for the celebration of an Archieratical Liturgy.


With love in Christ
Fr. Christopher