At the Great Entrance, the new subdeacon joins on the very end of the procession, carrying the ewer and basin and, after the commemorations, takes the blessed water to the people so that they may bless themselves with it. He returns to his place on the solea until the end of the [[Anaphora]], when he re-enters the altar, lays the ewer and basin aside, and joins the other subdeacons.
On occasions when there is a shortage of altar servers, the newly-ordained subdeacon may be required to serve at the Liturgy, in which case the taking of the blessed water to the people may be omitted, and he may be asked not to stay on the solea but rather to assist with serving duties in the altar and at the entrances. This will depend on jurisdictional preferences.
* Other duties that the priest may assign
As a member of minor clergy, a
reader - according to his abilities - might be entrusted with the duties of:
In some jurisdictions, a seminarian who has discerned that he does not have a calling to pastoral service can be ordained to the subdiaconate.
Subdeacons are mentioned in canons with age restrictions (of 20 years of age) and prohibitions on marriage after ordinations (like deacons and priests) - e.g., Apostolic canon 26
- resulting in subdeacons who are generally mature men. A variety of methods of 'getting around' the canons have been employed, from blessing acolytes or readers to vest and act as a subdeacon (for a particular service or permanently), or for reserving the formal ordination service to candidates to the priesthood, or for simply ignoring the canons and permitting subdeacons to marry. However, it should be noted that a 'blessed' subdeacon may not touch the altar or assume other perogatives of ordained subdeacons outside services.