From June 22–25, 2014, deacons and potential deacons converged once again on the campus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here for intense liturgical training during the Eighth Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum. Held in conjunction with the Orthodox Church in America’s Diaconal Vocations Program (DVP), the Practicum is highly recommended by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America.
Workshops led by DVP Director Archdeacon Kirill Sokolov, along with seminary professors, provided participants with practical instruction in serving and knowledge of the Church’s history, liturgy, and priestly orders. At the Practicum’s conclusion, participants reflected on the significance of the program.
Luke (Pierce) Scantlin of All Saints of North America Mission, Alexandria, VA, noted, “The Practicum was a great experience. I liked how we not only learned about the practical aspects of serving the Divine Liturgy and the reasons behind it but also the lectures on liturgical theology and the voice training. The reinforcement of having daily services to practice all that we were learning or trying to work on, whether in the altar, chanting the hours, or singing in the choir, helped immensely in putting our training into action.”
Reader Ovidiu Vatamanu of Saint Mary Cathedral, Cleveland, OH, concurred, saying, “First, I really appreciated the intense schedule of the Diaconal Program—7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.! The schedule is similar to a deacon’s work, with a lot of sacrifices while spreading Christian love in the Church, at one’s ‘day job,’ at home, and in the community.
“Second I would like to acknowledge Father Archdeacon Kirill’s commitment and vision for this program and his efforts to make it successful,” he continued. “Saint Vladimir’s Seminary has very great professors who motivated us, analyzing different cases for us in the Practicum and spreading the word of God, including, the Dean, Father John Behr, Father Alexander Rentel, Father Sergius Halvorsen, Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, and the OCA Chancellor, Father John Jillions.”