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St Vladimir's Seminary and OCA Diaconal Vocations Program announce third-annual summer liturgical practicum

CRESTWOOD, NY [SVS/OCA Communications] - Intense liturgical training is the focus of a 4-day program to be held June 14-17, 2009, on the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

Practical liturgical training for deacons and lay diaconal candidates will be supported by daily celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other divine services by participants with seminary clergy. 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 of Christ our Lord. Instruction in public speaking and vocal technique will also be offered.

Participants are invited to arrive the afternoon of Sunday, June 14, 2009. The program begins with supper in the seminary refectory followed by an opening prayer service and the first session. Sessions conclude in the late morning of Wednesday, June 17, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

This practicum, which is being offered for the third consecutive summer, is held in conjunction with the Orthodox Church in America’s Diaconal Vocations Program and is highly recommended for participants in the Church’s program by the Holy Synod. "Diakonia is at the center of the vocation of every Christian," explains His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America. "The hierarchs thank God for the growth in diaconal vocations throughout our Church and this annual program that gives deacons a strong context for their service at the holy altar."

Intensive workshops led by Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, Archdeacon to the Metropolitan and Lecturer in Liturgics at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, will aim to provide participants with the 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. 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.

Fr. Alexander Rentel, the seminary’s Coordinator of Liturgical Instruction, will offer presentations on the Liturgy of the Church and the place of the received Typikon and other liturgical guides in ministry.

Fr. Sergius Halvorsen will lead sessions on public speaking, teaching, and preaching as well as church reading and vocal technique. Fr. Sergius has taught at St. Vladimir's Seminary and St. Tikhon's Seminary, and currently teaches at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT.

Fr. John Behr, Dean of the Seminary, describes the purpose of this concentrated liturgical training for deacons and diaconal students: “Our former dean, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, taught us that everything in worship concerns us as the Church of God, makes us the living body of Christ, and concerns me, as a living member of that body. The deacon’s prominent role in worship requires that he studies and learns the rubrics of the services. The training we provide offers just such an opportunity for learning.”

Students of the Diocesan Diaconal Vocations Program and newly ordained deacons who have completed the program are strongly encouraged to attend this practicum.

Further information and registration is available here or by email.

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Upcoming Feasts of the Church

Polyeleos-rank Jun 19 - The Holy Apostle Jude the Brother of the Lord
Polyeleos-rank Jun 23 - Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God
Great Feast Jun 24 - Nativity of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist, John
Polyeleos-rank Jun 26 - Tikhvin Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jun 28 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Fathers Sergius and Herman, Wonder-workers of Valaam
Great Feast Jun 29 - The Holy Glorious and All-Praised Leaders of the Apostles, Peter and Paul
Polyeleos-rank Jul 2 - The Holy Hierarch John Maximovich, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco;
Polyeleos-rank Jul 3 - The Holy Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow
Polyeleos-rank Jul 5 - Our Venerable Father Sergius, Abbot and Wonderworker of Radonezh
Polyeleos-rank Jul 6 - Our Venerable Father Athanasius of Mount Athos
Vigil-rank Jul 8 - The Sitka (Kazan) Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 10 - The Deposition of the Robe of our Savior; Polyeleos-rank Our Venerable Father Anthony of the Kiev Caves
Polyeleos-rank Jul 11 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Blessed Princess Olga
Polyeleos-rank Jul 12 - Icon of the Mother of God, called The Three Hands
Polyeleos-rank Jul 14 - Our Venerable Father Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain
Vigil-rank Jul 15 - The Holy Equal of the Apostles Great Prince Vladimir
Polyeleos-rank Jul 17 - New Royal Passion-bearers Tsar Nicholas and his family
Vigil-rank Jul 19 - Our Venerable Father Seraphim, Wonder-worker of Sarov
Vigil-rank Jul 20 - Holy and Glorious Prophet Elijah
Polyeleos-rank Jul 23 - Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 24 - Right-believing Russian Princes Boris and Gleb
Polyeleos-rank Jul 26 - The Righteous Priest Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of the Native Peoples of Alaska
Polyeleos-rank Jul 28 - Smolensk Icon of the Mother of God
Polyeleos-rank Jul 30 - The Holy Martyr John the Warrior


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