The Sacred Writings of Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions

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For neither is it any profit to us to cast out demons , but to those who are so cleansed by the power of the Lord; as the Lord Himself somewhere instructs us, and shows, saying: Rejoice not because the spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice , because your names are written in heaven. It is not therefore necessary that every one of the faithful should cast out demons , or raise the dead, or speak with tongues; but such a one only who is vouchsafed this gift, for some cause which may be advantage to the salvation of the unbelievers, who are often put to shame, not with the demonstration of the world, but by the power of the signs; that is, such as are worthy of salvation : for all the ungodly are not affected by wonders; and hereof God Himself is a witness , as when He says in the law: With other tongues will I speak to this people, and with other lips, and yet will they by no means believe.

Nor were the former shamed by the rod which was turned into a living serpent, nor by the hand which was made white with leprosy , nor by the river Nile turned into blood; nor the latter by the blind who recovered their sight, nor by the lame who walked, nor by the dead who were raised. The one was resisted by Jannes and Jambres, the other by Annas and Caiaphas.

Thus signs do not shame all into belief, but only those of a good disposition; for whose sake also it is that God is pleased, as a wise steward of a family , to appoint miracles to be wrought, not by the power of men , but by His own will. Now we say these things, that those who have received such gifts may not exalt themselves against those who have not received them; such gifts, we mean, as are for the working of miracles. For otherwise there is no man who has believed in God through Christ, that has not received some spiritual gift: for this very thing, having been delivered from the impiety of polytheism , and having believed in God the Father through Christ, this is a gift of God.

And the having cast off the veil of Judaism , and having believed that, by the good pleasure of God , His only begotten Son, who was before all ages, was in the last time born of a virgin , without the company of a man , and that He lived as a man , yet without sin , and fulfilled all that righteousness which is of the law; and that, by the permission of God , He who was God the Word endured the cross , and despised the shame; and that He died, and was buried, and rose within three days; and that after His resurrection , having continued forty days with His apostles , and completed His whole constitutions, He was taken up in their sight to His God and Father, who sent Him: he who has believed these things, not at random and irrationally, but with judgment and full assurance, has received the gift of God.

So also has He who is delivered from every heresy. Let not, therefore, any one that works signs and wonders judge any one of the faithful who is not vouchsafed the same: for the gifts of God which are bestowed by Him through Christ are various; and one man receives one gift, and another another. For perhaps one has the word of wisdom, and another the word of knowledge ; another, discerning of spirits; another, foreknowledge of things to come; another, the word of teaching; another, long-suffering; another, continence according to the law: for even Moses , the man of God , when he wrought signs in Egypt , did not exalt himself against his equals: and when he was called a god, he did not arrogantly despise his own prophet Aaron.

Nor did Joshua the Son of Nun , who was the leader of the people after him, though in the war with the Jebusites he had made the sun stand still over against Gibeon, and the moon over against the valley of Ajalon, because the day was not long enough for their victory, insult over Phineas or Caleb. Nor did Samuel, who had done so many surprising things, disregard David the beloved of God: yet they were both prophets , and the one was high priest , and the other was king. Yet neither did Elijah despise Obadiah the steward, who feared God , but wrought no signs; nor did Elisha despise his own disciple when he trembled at the enemies.

Wherefore let none of you exalt himself against his brother, though he be a prophet , or though he be a worker of miracles : for if it happens that there be no longer an unbeliever, all the power of signs will thenceforwards be superfluous. For to be pious is from any one's good disposition; but to work wonders is from the power of Him that works them by us: the first of which respects ourselves; but the second respects God that works them, for the reasons which we have already mentioned.

Wherefore neither let a king despise his officers that are under him, nor the rulers those who are subject.

Apostolic Constitutions

For where there are none to be ruled over, rulers are superfluous; and where there are no officers, the kingdom will not stand. Moreover, let not a bishop be exalted against his deacons and presbyters , nor the presbyters against the people: for the subsistence of the congregation depends on each other. For the bishops and the presbyters are the priests with relation to the people; and the laity are the laity with relation to the clergy. And to be a Christian is in our own power; but to be an apostle , or a bishop , or in any other such office, is not in our own power, but at the disposal of God , who bestows the gifts.

And thus much concerning those who are vouchsafed gifts and dignities. We add, in the next place, that neither is every one that prophesies holy , nor every one that casts out devils religious: for even Balaam the son of Beor the prophet did prophesy, though he was himself ungodly; as also did Caiaphas , the falsely-named high priest.

Nay, the devil foretells many things, and the demons , about Him; and yet for all that, there is not a spark of piety in them: for they are oppressed with ignorance , by reason of their voluntary wickedness. It is manifest, therefore, that the ungodly, although they prophesy, do not by their prophesying cover their own impiety; nor will those who cast out demons be sanctified by the demons being made subject to them: for they only mock one another, as they do who play childish tricks for mirth, and destroy those who give heed to them.

And indeed Balaam the prophet , when he had corrupted Israel by Baal-peor, suffered punishment; and Caiaphas at last was his own murderer; and the sons of Sceva, endeavouring to cast out demons , were wounded by them, and fled away in an unseemly manner; and the kings of Israel and of Judah, when they became impious, suffered all sorts of punishments. It is therefore evident how bishops and presbyters , also falsely so called, will not escape the judgment of God.

For it will be said to them even now: O you priests that despise my name, I will deliver you up to the slaughter, as I did Zedekiah and Achiah, whom the king of Babylon fried in a frying-pan, as says Jeremiah the prophet. We say these things, not in contempt of true prophecies, for we know that they are wrought in holy men by the inspiration of God , but to put a stop to the boldness of vainglorious men; and add this withal, that from such as these God takes away His grace : for God resists the proud , but gives grace to the humble.

Now Silas and Agabus prophesied in our times; yet did they not equal themselves to the apostles , nor did they exceed their own measures though they were beloved of God. Now women prophesied also. Wherefore if among you also there be a man or a woman , and such a one obtains any gift, let him be humble , that God may be pleased with him. For says He: Upon whom will I look, but upon him that is humble and quiet, and trembles at my words?

We have now finished the first part of this discourse concerning gifts, whatever they be, which God has bestowed upon men according to His own will; and how He rebuked the ways of those who either attempted to speak lies, or were moved by the spirit of the adversary; and that God often employed the wicked for prophecy and the performance of wonders. Wherefore we, the twelve apostles of the Lord, who are now together, give you in charge those divine constitutions concerning every ecclesiastical form, there being present with us Paul the chosen vessel, our fellow-apostle, and James the bishop , and the rest of the presbyters , and the seven deacons.

In the first place, therefore, I Peter say, that a bishop to be ordained is to be , as we have already, all of us, appointed, unblameable in all things, a select person, chosen by the whole people, who, when he is named and approved, let the people assemble, with the presbytery and bishops that are present, on the Lord's day , and let them give their consent.

And let the principal of the bishops ask the presbytery and people whether this be the person whom they desire for their ruler. And if they give their consent, let him ask further whether he has a good testimony from all men as to his worthiness for so great and glorious an authority; whether all things relating to his piety towards God be right; whether justice towards men has been observed by him; whether the affairs of his family have been well ordered by him; whether he has been unblameable in the course of his life. And if all the assembly together do according to truth , and not according to prejudice, witness that he is such a one, let them the third time, as before God the Judge, and Christ , the Holy Ghost being also present, as well as all the holy and ministering spirits, ask again whether he be truly worthy of this ministry, that so in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

And silence being made, let one of the principal bishops , together with two others, stand near to the altar, the rest of the bishops and presbyters praying silently, and the deacons holding the divine Gospels open upon the head of him that is to be ordained , and say to God thus :—. Pour down, by us, the influence of Your free Spirit, through the mediation of Your Christ, which is committed to Your beloved Son Jesus Christ ; which He bestowed according to Your will on the holy apostles of You the eternal God.

Grant by Your name, O God , who search the hearts, that this Your servant, whom You have chosen to be a bishop , may feed Your holy flock, and discharge the office of an high priest to You, and minister to You, unblameably night and day; that he may appease You, and gather together the number of those that shall be saved, and may offer to You the gifts of Your holy Church. Grant to him, O Lord Almighty, through Your Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit , that so he may have power to remit sins according to Your command; to give forth lots according to Your command; to loose every bond, according to the power which You gave the apostles ; that he may please You in meekness and a pure heart, with a steadfast, unblameable, and unreprovable mind; to offer to You a pure and unbloody sacrifice , which by Your Christ You have appointed as the mystery of the new covenant, for a sweet savour, through Your holy child Jesus Christ , our God and Saviour, through whom glory , honour , and worship be to You in the Holy Spirit , now and always, and for all ages.

And when he has prayed for these things, let the rest of the priests add, Amen ; and together with them all the people. And after the prayer let one of the bishops elevate the sacrifice upon the hands of him that is ordained, and early in the morning let him be placed in his throne, in a place set apart for him among the rest of the bishops , they all giving him the kiss in the Lord. And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, and our Epistles, and Acts, and the Gospels , let him that is ordained salute they Church, saying, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ , the love of God and the Father , and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost , be with you all; and let them all answer, And with Your Spirit.

And after these words let him speak to the people the words of exhortation; and when he has ended his word of doctrine I Andrew the brother of Peter speak , all standing up, let the deacon ascend upon some high seat, and proclaim , Let none of the hearers, let none of the unbelievers stay ; and silence being made, let him say:—. You catechumens , pray , and let all the faithful pray for them in their mind , saying: Lord, have mercy upon them. Let us still earnestly put up our supplications for them, that they may obtain the forgiveness of their transgressions by their admission, and so may be thought worthy of the holy mysteries , and of constant communion with the saints.

Rise up, you catechumens , beg for yourselves the peace of God through His Christ, a peaceable day, and free from sin , and the like for the whole time of your life, and your Christian ends of it; a compassionate and merciful God ; and the forgiveness of your transgressions. Dedicate yourselves to the only unbegotten God , through His Christ. Bow down your heads, and receive the blessing. But at the naming of every one by the deacon , as we said before, let the people say, Lord, have mercy upon him; and let the children say it first.

And as they have bowed down their heads, let the bishop who is newly ordained bless them with this blessing: O God Almighty, unbegotten and inaccessible, who only art the true God , the God and Father of Your Christ, Your only begotten Son; the God of the Comforter, and Lord of the whole world; who by Christ appointed Your disciples to be teachers for the teaching of piety ; do Thou now also look down upon Your servants, who are receiving instruction in the Gospel of Your Christ, and give them a new heart, and renew a right spirit in their inward parts, that they may both know and do Your will with full purpose of heart, and with a willing soul.

Vouchsafe them a holy admission, and unite them to Your holy Church, and make them partakers of Your divine mysteries , through Christ, who is our hope , and who died for them; by whom glory and worship be given to You in the Holy Spirit forever. And after this, let the deacon say: Go out, you catechumens , in peace. And after they are gone out, let him say: You energumens , afflicted with unclean spirits, pray , and let us all earnestly pray for them, that God , the lover of mankind , will by Christ rebuke the unclean and wicked spirits, and deliver His supplicants from the dominion of the adversary.

Let us still pray earnestly for them. Save them, O God , and raise them up by Your power. Bow down your heads, you energumens , and receive the blessings. And let the bishop add this prayer , and say:—.


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And let the deacon say: Go out, you energumens. And after them, let him cry aloud: You that are to be illuminated, pray. Let all us, the faithful , earnestly pray for them, that the Lord will vouchsafe that, being initiated into the death of Christ , they may rise with Him, and become partakers of His kingdom, and may be admitted to the communion of His mysteries ; unite them to, number them among, those that are saved in His holy Church.

Save them, and raise them up by Your grace. And being sealed to God through His Christ, let them bow down their heads, and receive this blessing from the bishop :—. And let the deacon say: Go out, you that are preparing for illumination. For He knows our frame. For who can glory that he has a clean heart? And who can boldly say, that he is pure from sin?

Let us all still earnestly say on their account: Lord, have mercy upon them. Save them, O God , and raise them up by Your mercy. Rise up, and bow your heads to God through His Christ, and receive the blessings. Let the bishop then add this prayer :—. Almighty, eternal God , Lord of the whole world, the Creator and Governor of all things, who hast exhibited man as the ornament of the world through Christ, and gave him a law both naturally implanted and written, that he might live according to law, as a rational creature; and when he had sinned , You gave him Your goodness as a pledge in order to his repentance: Look down upon these persons who have bended the neck of their soul and body to You; for You desire not the death of a sinner, but his repentance, that he turn from his wicked way, and live.

For with You there is propitiation. And restore them to Your holy Church, into their former dignity and honour , through Christ our God and Saviour, by whom glory and adoration be to You, in the Holy Ghost , forever. Then let the deacon say, Depart, you penitents; and let him add, Let none of those who ought not to come draw near. All we of the faithful , let us bend our knee: let us all entreat God through His Christ; let us earnestly beseech God through His Christ.

Let us pray for the peace and happy settlement of the world, and of the holy churches; that the God of the whole world may afford us His everlasting peace, and such as may not be taken away from us; that He may preserve us in a full prosecution of such virtue as is according to godliness. Let us pray for the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church which is spread from one end of the earth to the other; that God would preserve and keep it unshaken, and free from the waves of this life, until the end of the world, as founded upon a rock; and for the holy parish in this place, that the Lord of the whole world may vouchsafe us without failure to follow after His heavenly hope, and without ceasing to pay Him the debt of our prayer.

Let us pray for every episcopacy which is under the whole heaven, of those that rightly divide the word of Your truth. And let us pray for our bishop James, and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Clement, and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Euodius, and his parishes; let us pray for our bishop Annianus, and his parishes: that the compassionate God may grant them to continue in His holy churches in health, honour , and long life, and afford them an honourable old age in godliness and righteousness.


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And let us pray for our presbyters , that the Lord may deliver them from every unreasonable and wicked action, and afford them a presbyterate in health and honour. Let us pray for all the deacons and ministers in Christ , that the Lord may grant them an unblameable ministration. Let us pray for the readers, singers, virgins , widows , and orphans. Let us pray for those that are in marriage and in child-bearing, that the Lord may have mercy upon them all.

Let us pray for the eunuchs who walk holily. Let us pray for those in a state of continence and piety. Let us pray for those that bear fruit in the holy Church, and give alms to the needy. Let us pray for our brethren newly enlightened, that the Lord may strengthen and confirm them.

Let us pray for our brethren exercised with sickness, that the Lord may deliver them from every sickness and every disease, and restore them sound into His holy Church. Let us pray for those that travel by water or by land. Let us pray for those that are in the mines, in banishments, in prisons, and in bonds, for the name of the Lord.

Let us pray for those that are afflicted with bitter servitude. Let us pray for our enemies, and those that hate us. Let us pray for those that persecute us for the name of the Lord, that the Lord may pacify their anger , and scatter their wrath against us. Let us pray for those that are without, and are wandered out of the way, that the Lord may convert them. Let us be mindful of the infants of the Church , that the Lord may perfect them in His fear , and bring them to a complete age.

Let us pray one for another, that the Lord may keep us and preserve us by His grace to the end, and deliver us from the evil one. Let us pray for every Christian soul. Save us, and raise us up, O God , by Your mercy. Let us rise up, and let us pray earnestly, and dedicate ourselves and one another to the living God , through His Christ. And let the high priest add this prayer , and say:—.

O Lord Almighty, the Most High, who dwellest on high, the Holy One, that restest among the saints , without beginning, the Only Potentate, who hast given to us by Christ the preaching of knowledge , to the acknowledgment of Your glory and of Your name, which He has made known to us, for our comprehension, do Thou now also look down through Him upon this Your flock, and deliver it from all ignorance and wicked practice, and grant that we may fear You in earnest, and love You with affection, and have a due reverence of Your glory.

Be gracious and merciful to them, and hearken to them when they pray unto You; and keep them, that they may be unmoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable, that they may be holy in body and spirit, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that they may be complete, and none of them may be defective or imperfect. O our support, our powerful God , who does not accept persons , be the assister of this Your people, which You have redeemed with the precious blood of Your Christ; be their protector, aider, provider, and guardian, their strong wall of defense, their bulwark and security.

Sanctify them by Your truth : for Your word is truth. And after this let the deacon say, Let us attend. And let the bishop salute the church, and say, The peace of God be with you all. And let the people answer, And with your spirit; and let the deacon say to all, Salute one another with the holy kiss. And let the clergy salute the bishop , the men of the laity salute the men, the women the women. And let the children stand at the reading-desk; and let another deacon stand by them, that they may not be disorderly.

And let other deacons walk about and watch the men and women , that no tumult may be made, and that no one nod, or whisper, or slumber; and let the deacons stand at the doors of the men, and the sub- deacons at those of the women , that no one go out, nor a door be opened, although it be for one of the faithful , at the time of the oblation. But let one of the sub-deacons bring water to wash the hands of the priests , which is a symbol of the purity of those souls that are devoted to God.

And I James, the brother of John, the son of Zebedee, say, that the deacon shall immediately say, Let none of the catechumens , let none of the hearers, let none of the unbelievers, let none of the heterodox, stay here. You who have prayed the foregoing prayer , depart.

Let the mothers receive their children; let no one have anything against any one; let no one come in hypocrisy; let us stand upright before the Lord with fear and trembling, to offer. When this is done, let the deacons bring the gifts to the bishop at the altar; and let the presbyters stand on his right hand, and on his left, as disciples stand before their Master.

But let two of the deacons , on each side of the altar, hold a fan, made up of thin membranes, or of the feathers of the peacock, or of fine cloth, and let them silently drive away the small animals that fly about, that they may not come near to the cups.

Section 2. On the Formation of the Character of Believers, and on Giving of Thanks to God

Let the high priest , therefore , together with the priests , pray by himself; and let him put on his shining garment, and stand at the altar, and make the sign of the cross upon his forehead with his hand, and say: The grace of Almighty God , and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ , and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost , be with you all. And let all with one voice say: And with your spirit.

The high priest : Lift up your mind. All the people: We lift it up unto the Lord. The high priest : Let us give thanks to the Lord. All the people: It is meet and right so to do. For You are eternal knowledge , everlasting sight, unbegotten hearing, untaught wisdom, the first by nature, and the measure of being, and beyond all number; who brought all things out of nothing into being by Your only begotten Son, but begot Him before all ages by Your will, Your power, and Your goodness, without any instrument, the only begotten Son, God the Word , the living Wisdom, the First-born of every creature, the angel of Your Great Counsel, and Your High Priest, but the King and Lord of every intellectual and sensible nature, who was before all things, by whom were all things.

You have also appointed the station of the winds, which blow when commanded by You, and the multitude of the plants and herbs. And You have not only created the world itself, but hast also made man for a citizen of the world, exhibiting him as the ornament of the world; for You said to Your Wisdom: Let us make man according to our image, and according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowls of the heaven. And when You made him, You gave him a law implanted within him, that so he might have at home and within himself the seeds of divine knowledge ; and when You had brought him into the paradise of pleasure, You allowed him the privilege of enjoying all things, only forbidding the tasting of one tree, in hopes of greater blessings; that in case he would keep that command, he might receive the reward of it, which was immortality.

But when he neglected that command, and tasted of the forbidden fruit, by the seduction of the serpent and the counsel of his wife, You justly cast him out of paradise. Yet of Your goodness You did not overlook him, nor allow him to perish utterly, for he was Your creature; but You subjected the whole creation to him, and granted him liberty to procure himself food by his own sweat and labours, while You caused all the fruits of the earth to spring up, to grow, and to ripen.

But when You had laid him asleep for a while, You with an oath called him to a restoration again, loosed the bond of death, and promise him life after the resurrection. And not this only; but when You had increased his posterity to an innumerable multitude, those that continued with You You glorified, and those who did apostatize from You You punished. You are He who delivered Abraham from the impiety of his fore-fathers, and appointed him to be the heir of the world, and discovered to him Your Christ; who aforehand ordained Melchisedec an high priest for Your worship; who rendered Your patient servant Job the conqueror of that serpent who is the patron of wickedness ; who made Isaac the son of the promise, and Jacob the father of twelve sons, and increased his posterity to a multitude, and bring him into Egypt with seventy-five souls.

You, O Lord, did not overlook Joseph, but granted him, as a reward of his chastity for Your sake, the government over the Egyptians. You, O Lord, did not overlook the Hebrews when they were afflicted by the Egyptians , on account of the promises made unto their fathers; but You delivered them and punish the Egyptians. And when men had corrupted the law of nature, and had sometimes esteemed the creation the effect of chance, and sometimes honoured it more than they ought, and equalled it to the God of the universe , You did not, however, suffer them to go astray, but raised up Your holy servant Moses , and by him gave the written law for the assistance of the law of nature, and showed that the creation was Your work, and banished away the error of polytheism.

You adorned Aaron and his posterity with the priesthood , and punished the Hebrews when they sinned , and receive them again when they returned to You. You punished the Egyptians with a judgment of ten plagues, and divided the sea, and bring the Israelites through it, and drown and destroy the Egyptians who pursued after them. You sweetened the bitter water with wood; You brought water out of the rock of stone; You rained manna from heaven, and quails, as meat out of the air; You afforded them a pillar of fire by night to give them light, and a pillar of a cloud by day to overshadow them from the heat; You declared Joshua to be the general of the army, and overthrew the seven nations of Canaan by him; You divided Jordan, and dry up the rivers of Etham; You overthrew walls without instruments or the hand of man.

For all these things, glory be to You, O Lord Almighty. You do the innumerable hosts of angels , archangels, thrones, dominions, principalities, authorities, and powers, Your everlasting armies, adore. The cherubim and the six-winged seraphim, with two covering their feet, with two their heads, and with two flying, say, together with thousand thousands of archangels, and ten thousand times ten thousand of angels , incessantly, and with constant and loud voices, and let all the people say it with them: Holy, holy , holy , Lord of hosts, heaven and earth are full of His glory : be blessed forever.

Holy also is Your only begotten Son our Lord and God , Jesus Christ , who in all things ministered to His God and Father, both in Your various creation and Your suitable providence , and has not overlooked lost mankind. But after the law of nature, after the exhortations in the positive law, after the prophetical reproofs and the government of the angels , when men had perverted both the positive law and that of nature, and had cast out of their mind the memory of the flood, the burning of Sodom , the plagues of the Egyptians , and the slaughters of the inhabitant of Palestine, and being just ready to perish universally after an unparalleled manner, He was pleased by Your good will to become man, who was man's Creator; to be under the laws , who was the Legislator; to be a sacrifice , who was an High Priest; to be a sheep, who was the Shepherd.

And He appeased You, His God and Father, and reconciled You to the world, and freed all men from the wrath to come, and was made of a virgin , and was in flesh, being God the Word , the beloved Son , the first-born of the whole creation, and was, according to the prophecies which were foretold concerning Him by Himself, of the seed of David and Abraham , of the tribe of Judah.

He arose from the dead the third day; and when He had continued with His disciples forty days, He was taken up into the heavens, and is sat down on the right hand of You, who art His God and Father. This is my body, which is broken for many, for the remission of sins. In like manner also He took the cup, and mixed it of wine and water, and sanctified it, and delivered it to them, saying: Drink all of this; for this is my blood which is shed for many, for the remission of sins : do this in remembrance of me.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you do show forth my death until I come. Being mindful, therefore, of His passion , and death, and resurrection from the dead, and return into the heavens, and His future second appearing, wherein He is to come with glory and power to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works, we offer to You, our King and our God , according to His constitution, this bread and this cup, giving You thanks, through Him, that You have thought us worthy to stand before You, and to sacrifice to You; and we beseech You that You will mercifully look down upon these gifts which are here set before You, O God , who standest in need of none of our offerings.

And accept them, to the honour of Your Christ, and send down upon this sacrifice Your Holy Spirit , the Witness of the Lord Jesus' sufferings, that He may show this bread to be the body of Your Christ, and the cup to be the blood of Your Christ, that those who are partakers thereof may be strengthened for piety , may obtain the remission of their sins , may be delivered from the devil and his deceit, may be filled with the Holy Ghost , may be made worthy of Your Christ, and may obtain eternal life upon Your reconciliation to them, O Lord Almighty. We further pray unto You, O Lord, for your holy Church spread from one end of the world to another, which You have purchased with the precious blood of Your Christ, that You will preserve it unshaken and free from disturbance until the end of the world; for every episcopate who rightly divides the word of truth.

We further pray to You for me, who am nothing, who offer to You, for the whole presbytery , for the deacons and all the clergy , that You will make them wise, and replenish them with the Holy Spirit. We further offer to You also for all those holy persons who have pleased You from the beginning of the world — patriarch, prophets , righteous men, apostles , martyrs , confessors, bishops , presbyters , deacons , sub-deacons , readers, singers, virgins , widows , and lay persons , with all whose names You know.

We further beseech You also for this city and its inhabitants; for those that are sick; for those in bitter servitude; for those in banishments; for those in prison ; for those that travel by water or by land; that You, the helper and assister of all men , will be their supporter. We further also beseech You for those that hate us and persecute us for Your name's sake; for those that are without, and wander out of the way; that You will convert them to goodness, and pacify their anger.

We further also beseech You for the catechumens of the Church , and for those that are vexed by the adversary, and for our brethren the penitents, that You will perfect the first in the faith , that You will deliver the second from the energy of the evil one, and that You will accept the repentance of the last, and forgive both them and us our offenses.

We further offer to You also for the good temperature of the air, and the fertility of the fruits, that so, partaking perpetually of the good things derived from You, we may praise You without ceasing, who gave food to all flesh. We further beseech You also for those who are absent on a just cause , that You will keep us all in piety , and gather us together in the kingdom of Your Christ, the God of all sensible and intelligent nature, our King that You would keep us immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable: for to You belongs all glory and worship, and thanksgiving, honour and adoration, the Father , with the Son , and to the Holy Ghost , both now and always, and for everlasting, and endless ages forever.

And let all the people say, Amen. And let the bishop say, The peace of God be with you all. And let all the people say, And with your spirit. And let the deacon proclaim again:—. Let us still further beseech God through His Christ, and let us beseech Him on account of the gift which is offered to the Lord God , that the good God will accept it, through the mediation of His Christ, upon His heavenly altar, for a sweet-smelling savour. Let us pray for this church and people.

Let us pray for every episcopate , every presbytery , all the deacons and ministers in Christ , for the whole congregation, that the Lord will keep and preserve them all. Let us pray for kings and those in authority, that they may be peaceable toward us, that so we may have and lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Let us pray for those that are departed in the faith. Let us pray for the good temperature of the air, and the perfect maturity of the fruits.

Let us pray for those that are newly enlightened, that they may be strengthened in the faith , and all may be mutually comforted by one another. Raise us up, O God , by Your grace. Let us stand up, and dedicate ourselves to God , through His Christ. And after that all have said Amen , let the deacon say: Let us attend. And let the bishop speak thus to the people: Holy things for holy persons. And let the people answer: There is One that is holy ; there is one Lord, one Jesus Christ , blessed for ever, to the glory of God the Father.

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will among men. Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed be He that comes in the name of the Lord, being the Lord God who appeared to us, Hosanna in the highest. And let the bishop give the oblation, saying, The body of Christ; and let him that receives say, Amen. And let the deacon take the cup ; and when he gives it , say, The blood of Christ , the cup of life; and let him that drinks say, Amen. And let the thirty-third psalm be said, while the rest are partaking; and when all, both men and women , have partaken , let the deacons carry what remains into the vestry.

And when the singer has done, let the deacon say :—. Now we have received the precious body and the precious blood of Christ , let us give thanks to Him who has thought us worthy to partake of these His holy mysteries ; and let us beseech Him that it may not be to us for condemnation, but for salvation , to the advantage of soul and body, to the preservation of piety , to the remission of sins , and to the life of the world to come. Let us arise, and by the grace of Christ let us dedicate ourselves to God , to the only unbegotten God , and to His Christ. And let the bishop give thanks:—.

O Lord God Almighty, the Father of Your Christ, Your blessed Son, who hear those who call upon You with uprightness, who also know the supplications of those who are silent; we thank You that You have thought us worthy to partake of Your holy mysteries , which You have bestowed upon us, for the entire confirmation of those things we have rightly known , for the preservation of piety , for the remission of our offenses; for the name of your Christ is called upon us, and we are joined To You.

And let the deacon say: Bow down to God through His Christ, and receive the blessing.

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And the deacon shall say, Depart in peace. These constitutions concerning this mystical worship, we , the apostles , do ordain for you, the bishops , presbyters , and deacons. Concerning the ordination of presbyters , I who am loved by the Lord make this constitution for you the bishops : When you ordain a presbyter , O bishop , lay your hand upon his head, in the presence of the presbyters and deacons , and pray , saying: O Lord Almighty, our God , who hast created all things by Christ, and in like manner takes care of the whole world by Him; for He who had power to make different creatures, has also power to take care of them, according to their different natures; on which account, O God , You take care of immortal beings by bare preservation, but of those that are mortal by succession — of the soul by the provision of laws , of the body by the supply of its wants.

Do Thou therefore now also look down upon Your holy Church, and increase the same, and multiply those that preside in it, and grant them power, that they may labour both in word and work for the edification of Your people. Now look down also upon this Your servant, who is put into the presbytery by the vote and determination of the whole clergy ; and replenish him with the Spirit of grace and counsel, to assist and govern Your people with a pure heart, in the same manner as You looked down upon Your chosen people, and commanded Moses to choose elders, whom You filled with Your Spirit.

Do Thou also now, O Lord, grant this, and preserve in us the Spirit of Your grace , that this person, being filled with the gifts of healing and the word of teaching, may in meekness instruct Your people, and sincerely serve You with a pure mind and a willing soul , and may fully discharge the holy ministrations for Your people, through Your Christ, with whom glory , honour , and worship be to You, and to the Holy Ghost , forever.

Concerning the ordination of deacons , I Philip make this constitution: You shall ordain a deacon , O bishop , by laying your hands upon him in the presence of the whole presbytery , and of the deacons , and shall pray , and say:—. O God Almighty, the true and faithful God , who art rich unto all that call upon You in truth , who art fearful in counsels, and wise in understanding, who art powerful and great, hear our prayer , O Lord, and let Your ears receive our supplication, and cause the light of Your countenance to shine upon this Your servant, who is to be ordained for You to the office of a deacon ; and replenish him with Your Holy Spirit , and with power, as You replenished Stephen, who was Your martyr , and follower of the sufferings of Your Christ.

Render him worthy to discharge acceptably the ministration of a deacon , steadily, unblameably, and without reproof, that thereby he may attain an higher degree, through the mediation of Your only begotten Son, with whom glory , honour , and worship be to You and the Holy Spirit forever. Concerning a deaconess , I Bartholomew make this constitution: O bishop , you shall lay your hands upon her in the presence of the presbytery , and of the deacons and deaconesses , and shall say:—.

Concerning the sub-deacons , I Thomas make this constitution for you the bishops : When you ordain a subdeacon , O bishop , you shall lay your hands upon him, and say: O Lord God , the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things that are therein; who also in the tabernacle of the testimony appointed overseers and keepers of Your holy vessels; do Thou now look down upon this Your servant, appointed a subdeacon ; and grant him the Holy Spirit , that he may worthily handle the vessels of Your ministry, and do Your will always, through Your Christ, with whom glory , honour , and worship be to You and to the Holy Spirit forever.

Apostolic Constitutions (Book VII)

Concerning readers, I Matthew, also called Levi, who was once a tax-gatherer, make a constitution: Ordain a reader by laying your hands upon him, and pray unto God , and say: O Eternal God , who art plenteous in mercy and compassions, who hast made manifest the constitution of the world by Your operations therein, and keepest the number of Your elect, do Thou also now look down upon Your servant, who is to be entrusted to read Your Holy Scriptures to Your people, and give him Your Holy Spirit , the prophetic Spirit.

You who instructed Esdras Your servant to read Your laws to the people, do Thou now also at our prayers instruct Your servant, and grant that he may without blame perfect the work committed to him, and thereby be declared worthy of an higher degree, through Christ, with whom glory and worship be to You and to the Holy Ghost forever. But if there be occasion , he is to be ordained either a bishop , priest , or deacon. But if any one of the confessors who is not ordained snatches to himself any such dignity upon account of his confession, let the same person be deprived and rejected; for he is not in such an office, since he has denied the constitution of Christ , and is worse than an infidel.

But if she has lately lost her yokefellow, let her not be believed , but let her youth be judged of by the time; for the affections do sometimes grow aged with men, if they be not restrained by a better bridle. I the same make a constitution in regard to an exorcist. An exorcist is not ordained. For it is a trial of voluntary goodness, and of the grace of God through Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For he who has received the gift of healing is declared by revelation from God , the grace which is in him being manifest to all.

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But if there be occasion for him , he must be ordained a bishop , or a presbyter , or a deacon. And I Simon the Canaanite make a constitution to determine by how many a bishop ought to be elected. Let a bishop be ordained by three or two bishops ; but if any one be ordained by one bishop , let him be deprived, both himself and he that ordained him. But if there be a necessity that he have only one to ordain him, because more bishops cannot come together, as in time of persecution , or for such like causes, let him bring the suffrage of permission from more bishops.

Concerning the canons I the same make a constitution. A bishop blesses, but does not receive the blessing. He lays on hands, ordains, offers, receives the blessing from bishops , but by no means from presbyters. A bishop deprives any clergyman who deserves deprivation, excepting a bishop ; for of himself he has not power to do that.

A presbyter blesses, but does not receive the blessing; yet does he receive the blessing from the bishop or a fellow presbyter. In like manner does he give it to a fellow presbyter. He lays on hands, but does not ordain; he does not deprive, yet does he separate those that are under him, if they be liable to such a punishment. A deacon does not bless, does not give the blessing, but receives it from the bishop and presbyter : he does not baptize , he does not offer; but when a bishop or presbyter has offered, he distributes to the people, not as a priest , but as one that ministers to the priests.

But it is not lawful for any one of the other clergy to do the work of a deacon. A deaconess does not bless, nor perform anything belonging to the office of presbyters or deacons , but only is to keep the doors, and to minister to the presbyters in the baptizing of women , on account of decency. A deacon separates a subdeacon , a reader, a singer, and a deaconess , if there be any occasion, in the absence of a presbyter.

The Didache -- The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

It is not lawful for a subdeacon to separate either one of the clergy or laity ; nor for a reader, nor for a singer, nor for a deaconess , for they are the ministers to the deacons. Concerning the water and the oil, I Matthias make a constitution. Let the bishop bless the water, or the oil. But if he be not there, let the presbyter bless it, the deacon standing by. But if the bishop be present, let the presbyter and deacon stand by, and let him say thus: O Lord of hosts, the God of powers, the creator of the waters, and the supplier of oil, who art compassionate, and a lover of mankind , who hast given water for drink and for cleansing, and oil to give man a cheerful and joyful countenance; do Thou now also sanctify this water and this oil through Your Christ, in the name of him or her that has offered them, and grant them a power to restore health, to drive away diseases, to banish demons , and to disperse all snares through Christ our hope , with whom glory , honour , and worship be to You, and to the Holy Ghost , forever.

I the same make a constitution in regard to first-fruits and tithes. Let all first-fruits be brought to the bishop , and to the presbyters , and to the deacons , for their maintenance; but let all the tithe be for the maintenance of the rest of the clergy , and of the virgins and widows , and of those under the trial of poverty. For the first-fruits belong to the priests , and to those deacons that minister to them. I the same make a constitution in regard to remainders.

Those eulogies which remain at the mysteries , let the deacons distribute them among the clergy , according to the mind of the bishop or the presbyters : to a bishop ; four parts; to a presbyter , three parts; to a deacon , two parts; and to the rest of the sub-deacons , or readers, or singers, or deaconesses , one part. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God , that every one be honoured according to his dignity; for the Church is the school, not of confusion, but of good order.

I also, Paul , the least of the apostles , do make the following constitutions for you, the bishops , and presbyters , and deacons , concerning canons. Those that first come to the mystery of godliness, let them be brought to the bishop or to the presbyters by the deacons , and let them be examined as to the causes wherefore they come to the word of the Lord; and let those that bring them exactly inquire about their character, and give them their testimony.

Let their manners and their life be inquired into, and whether they be slaves or freemen. And if any one be a slave, let him be asked who is his master. If he be slave to one of the faithful , let his master be asked if he can give him a good character. If he cannot, let him be rejected, until he show himself to be worthy to his master. Chapters 28—46 of book 8 contain a series of canons, and chapter 47 comprises the so-called Apostolic Canons , a collection of 85 canons derived in part from the preceding constitutions and in part from the canons of the councils of Antioch and Laodicaea c.

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