Ordination Of A Hegumenos


The service of promoting a priest to the hegumenate is similar to that of ordination to the priesthood, except that in the prayers said by the bishop and the archdeacon, the word “priesthood” is replaced by “hegumenate” and the bishop recites the following prayer of , that is, the of the Holy Spirit, inaudibly:

Master, almighty, Father of our Lord and our God and our Savior Jesus Christ, who knowest all things before they exist: Thou hast chosen Thy servant [Name] to be a father and hegumenos to Thy servants his fellow-presbyters, working together in full accord for Thy name’s sake. We therefore ask Thee, O Lover of mankind, to protect him, bless him and purify him by the of Thy Holy Spirit on him. Do Thou support him in every good work, granting him wisdom and power through Thy Holy Spirit, to serve Thee day and night without blame.

Bestow the spirit of good leadership upon him, together with humility, love, forbearance, and righteousness, that he may please Thee through his good works, providing the right example to those under him, and them the commandments of Thy law, looking after them in purity and love, that they may become blameless and worthy to be offered as a living, pure and acceptable sacrifice to Jesus Christ the heavenly bridegroom, fulfilling Thy words: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Through the grace and compassion of Thy only-begotten Son, our God and Savior Jesus Christ, with whom and with the Holy Spirit Thou blessed now and forever. Amen.

The third modification comes in the catechesis speech read by the bishop, where great emphasis is laid on the importance of the hegumenos’ role as teacher to his people for whom he is held responsible before God. “Watch over them, direct them to good deeds. Admonish the with kindness and compassion in accordance with the apostolic law. Strive to draw them towards repentance, knowing that they are part of thee, and that you have become their guide. Beware lest the wolf come near the flock. Fulfill the words of the Scripture: “We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves’ [Rom. 15:1], so that you, too, may be told: “Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter into the joy of thy lord’ [Mt. 25:23].”

The bishop then continues the celebration of the liturgy, without insufflating the hegumenos, as he already received the breath of the Holy Spirit when he was ordained priest.

[See also: Ordination, Clerical.]


  • ibn Kabar. Misbah al-Zulmah fi Idah al-Khidmah, 46. 435-46. Repr. Cairo, 1971.
  • Burmester, O. H. E. The Egyptian or Coptic Church, pp. 164-66. Cairo, 1967.
  • Ibn Siba‘ Yuhanna ibn Abi Zakarya. Kitab al-Jawharah al-Nafisah fi Ulum al-Kanisah, ed. Viktur Mansur. Cairo, 1902. Trans. into as Pretiosa Margarita de scientiis ecclesiasticis by Vincentio Mistrih. Cairo, 1966.
  • Kitab Yashtamil ‘ala al-Salawat al-Muqaddasah, pp. 40-49. Rome, 1761.