One of the more unique aspects to a hierarchal liturgy in the Orthodox Church is the vesting of the bishop on the cathedra in the center of the Temple before all the people. This service is also done by a priest usually well before anyone comes to the parish (and in the altar). Vestments hearken back to the High priestly vestments of the Old Testament (see to the right). A Tradition the Orthodox Faith has kept.
Today this is what the Orthodox Bishops wear (left image), which has had some influence from Byzantine royal garments. However, just like in the Old Testament, each article of clothing has a symbolic meaning for wearing it that comes from from scripture. As the subdeacons dress the bishop the Deacon will recites the following prayers .
The Sticharion: MY SOUL SHALL REJOICE IN THE LORD, FOR HE HATH CLOTHED THEE WITH THE GARMENT OF SALVATION, AND WITH THE ROBE OF GLADNESS HATH HE ENCOMPASSED THEE. AS A BRIDEGROOM HE HATH SET A CROWN UPON THEE, AND AS A BRIDE HATH HE ADORNED THEE WITH ORNAMENT.
Epitrachelion (Stole): BLESSED IS GOD, WHO POURETH OUT HIS GRACE UPON HIS HIGH PRIESTS, AS OIL OF MYRRH UPON THE HEAD, WHICH RUNNETH DOWN UPON THY BEARD, UPON THE BEARD OF AARON, WHICH RUNNETH DOWN TO THE FRINGE OF HIS RAIMENT.
Zone (belt): BLESSED IS GOD, WHO GIRDETH THEE WITH POWER AND HATH MADE THY PATH BLAMELESS, WHO HATH GUIDED THY FEET LIKE THOSE OF A HART, AND HATH SET THEE ON HIGH PLACES.
Right Epimanikion (wrist cuff): THY RIGHT HAND, O LORD, IS GLORIFIED IN STRENGTH; THY RIGHT HAND, O LORD, HATH SHATTERED THINE ENEMIES, AND IN THE MULTITUDE OF THY GLORY HAST THOU CRUSHED THINE ADVERSARIES.
Left Epimanikion (Wrist cuff): HIS HANDS HAVE MADE AND FASHIONED THEE; MAY HE GIVE THEE UNDERSTANDING AND MAYEST THOU LEARN HIS COMMANDMENTS.
Palitsa: GIRD THY SWORD UPON THY THIGH, O MIGHTY ONE, IN THY COMELINESS AND THY BEAUTY, AND PROCEED PROSPEROUSLY, AND BE KIND BECAUSE OF TRUTH AND MEEKNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS; AND THY RIGHT HAND SHALL GUIDE THEE WONDROUSLY. ALWAYS, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN.
Sakkos (is a vestment worn by Orthodox bishops in place of the priest’s phelonion): THY HIGH PRIESTS, O LORD, SHALL BE CLOTHED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND THY HOLY ONES SHALL REJOICE WITH JOY. ALWAYS, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN.
Omophorion: WHEN THOU DIDST TAKE UPON THY SHOULDERS HUMAN NATURE WHICH HAD GONE ASTRAY, O CHRIST, THOU DIDST BEAR IT TO HEAVEN UNTO THY GOD AND FATHER. ALWAYS, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN.
Pectoral Cross: WHOSOEVER WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW ME. ALWAYS, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO AGES OF AGES. AMEN.
Panagia (pectoral necklace with the image of the Theotokos): MAY GOD CREATE IN THEE A CLEAN HEART, AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN THEE. ALWAYS, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO AGES OF AGES.
The rite is finished with the washing of the bishop’s hands: I WILL WASH MY HANDS AMONG THE INNOCENT, AND I WILL COMPASS THINE ALTAR, O LORD, THAT I MAY HEAR THE VOICE OF THY PRAISE, AND DECLARE ALL THY WONDERS. LORD, I HAVE LOVED THE BEAUTY OF THINE HOUSE, AND THE PLACE OF THE ABODE OF THY GLORY. DESTROY NOT MY SOUL WITH THE IMPIOUS, NOR MY LIFE WITH MEN OF BLOOD, IN WHOSE HANDS ARE TRANSGRESSIONS AND THEIR RIGHT HAND IS FULL OF GIFTS. BUT I, I HAVE WALKED IN MINE INNOCENCE; REDEEM ME, O LORD, AND HAVE MERCY ON ME. MY FOOT HATH STOOD IN UPRIGHTNESS; IN THE CHURCHES WILL I BLESS THEE, O LORD.