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This section is still a work in progress. However, you may be interested in our section dedicated to officer ordination and installation.

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Infant Dedication

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Order for Ordination and Installation of Elders and Deacons

[The Elders and/or Deacons elect standing before the congregation, the moderator shall say:]

Words of Institution for Office of Elder
In the first planting of the Christian Church the apostles went about ordaining several Elders in every city. A distinction is affirmed by Paul between those Elders who as ministers of the gospel labor in word and doctrine, and those Elders who only rule. These Ruling Elders are in a special sense the representatives of the people, chosen by them for the purpose of exercising government and discipline in cooperation with pastors or ministers of the Word. It is proper that the government of the Church should be in the hands of several men of wisdom and piety, rather than in the hands of one, and especially that the pastor should be counseled and assisted by persons of reputation living permanently in the midst of the people, in perfect sympathy with them and enjoying their confidence. Thus in the presbyterian churches have the people secured control of their own church affairs, and prevented the growth of bigotry and tyranny on the part of their ministers.
It is the duty of the Elders, in connection with the pastor, in the exercise of their joint power as a Session, to administer the power of the keys [church discipline]—in admitting or excluding members from the Lord’s Table—and to administer the government, regulate the worship, guard the doctrine and superintend the evangelistic and benevolent work of the Church.

It is the duty of the Elders as a group, together with their families, to set the example of a godly walk and conversation, and to assist the pastor in the visitation of the people and in the personal oversight and pastoral guidance and comfort of all the members of the Church.

The members of this church, having met together with the invocation of the Holy Spirit, chose these men for the office of Ruling Elder.

[From A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase. Insert names of those to be ordained and/or installed as elders here:]

[insert names of elders here]

Words of Institution for Office of Deacon

[The Deacons elect standing before the congregation, the moderator shall say:]

(Acts 6:1-6) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. (NIV)

So also, Paul teaches Timothy in the book of 1 Timothy that the Deacons must be worthy of respect, sincere, not heavy drinkers, not greedy for dirty profits, but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Before they are asked to be deacons they should be given other jobs around the church as a test of their character and ability; and if they do well, then let them be chosen as a deacon. Their wives also must be dignified; not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in everything they do. Deacons should have only one wife, and they should be good managers of their children and their own homes. Those who do well as deacons will be well rewarded both by respect from others and also by developing their own confidence and bold trust in the Lord.

[LB and NASB patchwork of 1 Tim. iii. 8-13; from A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase.]

The members of this church, having met together with the invocation of the Holy Spirit, chose these men for the office of Deacon.

[insert names of deacons here]

Before our brothers are set apart to these sacred offices let them and the people over whom they are to rule and serve answer the following questions:

[Moderator shall ask those elders and deacons preparing to be ordained or installed to stand before the congregation and to answer the following questions:]

Questions for Men To Be Ordained/Installed as Elders/Deacons

  1. Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as originally given, to be the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
  2. Do you sincerely receive and adopt the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and do you further promise that if at any time you find yourself out of accord with any of the fundamentals of this system of doctrine, you will, on your initiative, make known to your Board of Elders and Pastor the change which has taken place in your views since the assumption of this ordination vow?
  3. Do you accept the office of ruling elder or deacon in this church, and promise faithfully to perform all the duties thereof, and to endeavor by the grace of God to adorn the profession of the Gospel in your life, and to set a worthy example before the church of which God has made you an officer?
  4. Do you promise subjection to your brethren in the Lord?
  5. Do you promise to strive for the peace, unity, and purity of the church?

Question for Members of Church

Do you, the members of [name of church], acknowledge and receive these brothers as ruling elders and deacons, and do you promise to yield to them all that honor, encouragement, and obedience in the Lord to which their offices, according to the Word of God and the Constitution of this church, entitles them?

[The members of the church having answered these questions in the affirmative shall continue standing and those deacons to be ordained shall kneel for prayer and the laying on of hands by the Pastor.]

Ordination/Installation Prayers and Charges for Deacons
[Prayer of Ordination/Installation: Moderator will pray as follows for ordination and/or installation of Deacons:]

O Lord Jesus, who, although you were rich, yet for our sakes became poor, so that we through your poverty might become rich, set apart and consecrate these your servants to the office of Deacon. Give them your own spirit of sympathy with all human needs and suffering, and of holy, self-denying service in behalf of those who suffer and are in need. Guide them in their ministry of love until their work on earth is done; then grant that they may inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for them from before the foundation of the world. AMEN.

Ordination/Installation Prayers and Charges for Elders

[The members of the church having answered the above questions in the affirmative shall continue standing and those elders to be ordained shall kneel for prayer and the laying on of hands by the Session. Those previously ordained teaching and ruling elders shall come forward to join in the laying on of hands during the prayer of ordination and installation.]

[Moderator will pray as follows for ordination and/or installation of Elders:]

Set apart, we ask you, O Lord, these your servants to the work to which you have called them. Abundantly provide them with all the gifts and graces which shall qualify them for their office. Give them favor and influence with the people. Work in and with them daily in the care and government of your flock. Make them faithful unto death, and when the Chief Shepherd shall appear may they receive a crown of glory that will never fade away. AMEN.

Pronounce Them Ordained and Installed Elders and Deacons

I now pronounce and declare that: [insert elders] have been regularly elected, ordained and installed as a ruling elder(s); and [insert deacons] have been elected, ordained, and installed as deacons in this church, agreeable to the Word of God, and in keeping with the Constitution of this church; and that as such they are entitled to all encouragement, honor and obedience in the Lord: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Charge to Newly Ordained/Installed Deacons

I charge you, brothers who have now been ordained Deacons, and also you, brothers, into whose service and ministry of Christian compassion they have entered, that you so study the Holy Scriptures as to learn thoroughly the purpose of Christ and your own duty with regard to the poor of the flock. As He represented us before God on the cross and in heaven, so He has appointed the poor to represent himself in our offices of sympathy and benevolent service on earth. Remember that it is written in God’s Word that on that Great and Terrible Day of Judgement, the King [shall] say unto them on the right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger [a traveler], and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you visited me. Truly, I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto Me.

Give diligence and enthusiasm, my brothers, so that you may worthily carry out this most sacred duty, and that you may one day hear the Lord Jesus blessing you with this most to be desired of all the benedictions of our loving Lord.

[From A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase.]

Charge to Newly Ordained/Installed Elders

I now charge you Elders, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the name of the Church of which he is the Head, that you give enthusiasm and zeal to the carrying out of the duties of this office; that you make his word your guide, and search it daily for instruction as to your personal and official duties; that you keep your minds and hearts open to all the indications of his providence and the leading of His Spirit. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you also are called. And keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Moderator may also charge the congregation as follows:]

I also charge you, Christian people, to be faithful to these Elders whom you have yourselves chosen to rule over you in the Lord; that you consider the Elders that rule well worthy of double honor; and that you give to them all due obedience, cooperation and support, and follow them so far as you see them follow Christ.

[From A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase.]

[Moderator may pray this prayer over newly ordained and/or installed deacons:]

Almighty God, who by your divine providence have appointed various offices in your Church, and did inspire your disciples in the first age to choose for the office of Deacon, Stephen, the first martyr, mercifully look on these your servants now called to this same office and work. So fill them with the truth of your doctrine, with zeal for your glory, and with holy sympathy for the poor of your flock, and so adorn them with an innocent life, that both by word, and by example—by acts of kindness—they may faithfully serve you in this office, to the glory of your Name and the building up of your Church; through the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. AMEN.

[From A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase.]

[Moderator may also pray this prayer over newly ordained and/or installed elders:]

O Lord, our God and heavenly Father, we thank you that it has pleased you, for the better building up of your Church, to ordain in it, besides the ministers of your word, rulers and assistants, by whom your Church may be preserved in peace and prosperity, and that you have at present granted us in this place men who have a good reputation and who have been given your Spirit.

We ask you, fill them up, more and more, with such gifts as may be necessary for them in their ministry—with the gifts of wisdom, courage, good judgement and kindness—to the end that they may give careful attention to their doctrine and conversation, in keeping out wolves from the sheepfold of your beloved Son, and in admonishing and reproving disorderly persons, and in instructing and comforting your people, especially those who are poor and in affliction.

Give them grace that they may persevere in their faithful labor, and never become weary because of those in the congregation who oppose them or those in the world who persecute them. Grant also your divine grace to this congregation over whom they are placed, that they may willingly submit themselves to the good exhortations of the Elders, and that they may consider these elders worthy of honor because of the work to which they have been called, so that your holy name may thereby be magnified, and the kingdom of your Son, Jesus Christ, be enlarged, the Son who taught us to pray, saying:

[All] Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. AMEN.

[From A. A. Hodge’s Manual of Forms, 1882; rough paraphrase.]

[After the service, it is appropriate for the members of the congregation to greet their new elders and deacons, showing affection and support.]


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The Committal

Man that is born of a woman has but a short time to live and is full of trouble. He comes up and is cut down, like a flower; he flees like a shadow and never continues in one place.

In the midst of life, we are in death: and of whom may we seek for relief, but of Thee O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased.

Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts; shut not Thy merciful ears to our prayers; but spare us, Thou most worthy judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any pains of death to fall from thee.

For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God in His infinite wisdom and mercy to take out of this world the soul of our (Brother/Sister) departed, we now commit (his/her) body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and dust to dust.