The rite supposes that the patriarch-elect is a monk, although several times in Coptic history laymen were elected and consecrated as patriarchs, such as the patriarchs Afraham ibn Zur‘ah and Gabriel ibn Turayk. If the candidate is a simple monk, then he should be raised to the second degree of monasticism, namely the Skema-bearers, and he would be ordained priest (if he had not previously been ordained). The rite comprises two distinct parts:
- the consecration of the patriarch-elect to the episcopate
- the enthronement as patriarch of Alexandria
There was an ancient tradition mentioned in the History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church that every new patriarch must go to the place where the head of St. Mark is buried and take its blessings. However, this tradition disappeared in the 15th century when the Venetians stole the relics.
The most complete manuscript of this rite is Ms 253 Lit. of the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo, dated 1364 a.d. The first publication of this rite was edited by R. Tukhi in Rome in 1761. No Coptic Orthodox edition of this rite has been printed to date.