Ordination and Elevation of a Protodeacon at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral


In the beginning of December, a joyous event occurred at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral (which next year will celebrate its 75th anniversary): the Cathedral's Deacon Christopher Horsley was ordained to the priesthood and the Cathedral's new deacon, Andre Karobkoff, was elevated to the rank of protodeacon. The latter was recently transferred to the Cathedral from neighboring Protection Church as a result of Fr Christopher's ordination.

On the holiday of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most-Holy Mother of God, the Ruling Bishop, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of Western America and San Francisco, arrived for all-night vigil. His Eminence and Deacon Dimitry Jakimowicz were met at the airport by the Cathedral Rector, Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff. After liturgy, the sisterhood offered a trapeza luncheon at the cozy church hall.

The following morning, at 9:30 am, the clergy and parishioners of the Cathedral solemnly greeted His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, who officiated at divine liturgy, concelebrating with Protopriest Alexander, Protopresbyter Konstantin Tivetsky and Priest Peter Shashkoff. During the minor entrance at liturgy, in accordance with the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Deacon Andre Karobkoff was elevated to the rank of protodeacon with the singing of "Axios!" ("He is worthy" in Greek) by the serving clergymen and Cathedral choir under the long-time choir director Alexei Mikhailovich Sokolov.

During the great entrance, the candidate for the priesthood, Deacon Christopher Horsley, was taken to the middle of the church, where he stood with his head covered by the aer. With the intonation of the words: "Command!" "Command!" and "Command, Right Reverend Vladyko!" Fr Christopher was led into the altar through the Royal Doors, where he made a prostration before the altar table and His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill. Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff then led him around the altar table three times, while the clergy sang the accompanying prayers. After this, during the extended singing of "Kyrie eleison," Vladyka Kyrill read the prayers of ordination, laying his hands upon the head of the kneeling clergyman. Following this was the vesting of the new priest into the priestly garments: the epitrachelion, girdle, phelonion, a silver priest's pectoral cross was hung around his neck, and a service book placed in his hands, symbolizing that the newly-ordained priest has the right to conduct services. Each time he was donned with an item of the vestments, the bishop declared "Axios!," echoed three times by the clergymen in the altar, then by the choir. Finally, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill led the newly-ordained priest to the ambo and turned him to face the worshipers for the final singing of "Axios!" It was a joy to see that many of the churchgoers also joined the clergymen in singing "Axios!"

At the conclusion of the service, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill congratulated the new pastor of God and reminded him of the duties of a priest, invoking God's blessing upon him. Vladyka Kyrill also congratulated Protodeacon Andre, and also the parish Rector, Protopriest Alexander on his namesday, which he was to celebrate the next day. Deacon Dimitry intoned "Many Years" to all of them. Vladyka gave the holy cross to the newly-ordained priest, so that all present were able to congratulate him.

After liturgy, the parish sisterhood, headed by Senior Sister Natalia Vladimirovna Orloff, offered a magnificent trapeza in the lower church hall. Afterwards, all the parishioners and guests approached the new priest to receive his blessing.

Priest Christopher Horsley is 35 years old, an American by birth. He converted to Orthodoxy in 1991. Besides a musical education, he studied at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville. His eight-year service as deacon was performed at Transfiguration Cathedral. He is married to Matushka Natalia, nee De Guzman. They have three children, all named after Old Testament prophets: two sons, Jonathan and Jeremy, and a daughter, Jessica.

Protodeacon Andre Karobkoff is married to Julia, nee Overt. They have two children: Ian and Roman.

We wish them all God's help and success in their service to the Church.