Author Topic: Ettiquette question  (Read 2126 times)

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Offline Quinault

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Ettiquette question
« on: April 05, 2008, 07:06:46 PM »
I like to take my children to a park just down the street. I have noticed that a Coptic priest also comes to the park on occasion. He doesn't speak a word of English that I am aware of. He frequently brings his cross with him. How should I show respect towards him? I don't want to scare him, but I do want to give honor and respect where it is due. My kids want to walk up and kiss the cross ;D I think that my 2 year old associates kissing the cross with getting bread. :laugh:

Offline Salpy

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2008, 07:17:07 PM »
My kids want to walk up and kiss the cross ;D I think that my 2 year old associates kissing the cross with getting bread. :laugh:

I love that.

Someone here with good Arabic skills will have to teach you how to properly greet him and identify yourself as Orthodox.  I know how to identify myself as Armenian, as well as some other Arabic phrases and vocabulary.  It helps.

Offline Salpy

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 11:06:38 PM »
Bump. 

 :)  I'm really curious as to what our Coptic friends think she should do.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2008, 12:36:38 PM »
Bump. 

 :)  I'm really curious as to what our Coptic friends think she should do.
So am I.  :)
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Offline jlerms

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2008, 02:40:42 PM »
Ditto!   ;)

Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2008, 02:41:26 PM »
You could say "sebah el hare ya Abouna" then " izayuk?" that is interpreted:  Good morning, Father.  How are you?

He may say "Sebah enoor . . . quaiiss owie, shookran" That is:  Good morning . . . very well, thank you.  "Wi enti?" That is:  and you?

Then you should promptly say "anna ma bufhamsh arabi" which means:  I don't understand Arabic. :)

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2008, 04:28:54 PM »
You could say "sebah el hare ya Abouna" then " izayuk?" that is interpreted:  Good morning, Father.  How are you?

He may say "Sebah enoor . . . quaiiss owie, shookran" That is:  Good morning . . . very well, thank you.  "Wi enti?" That is:  and you?

Then you should promptly say "anna ma bufhamsh arabi" which means:  I don't understand Arabic. :)

What?! Why burden the poor people with these onerous and unnecessary Arabic lessons! I have been meeting and greeting Coptic priests for my entire life and not once have I spoken to them in Arabic! I'm sure he knows how to speak english...

Generally, we call our priests "Abouna", which simply translates to "our Father." You may simply address him as "Father" and then "Father X" once you get to know his name.

I'm sure this priest will be delighted to have the cross in his hand kissed. If he has just finished a Liturgy he may even have some qurban (i.e. holy bread) in his pocket for your kids! I'm not sure he'd be automatically inclined to give some (as he doesn't know anything about you, and I certainly doubt he'd be anticipating that your kids would like some in the first place), so if I were you i'd tell him that your Orthodox and warmly explain how your kids often associate kissing a priest's cross with receiving some qurban. I would expect then that if he doesn't have any qurban with him on that day that he'd bring some the next time he visits the park!

For us Copts the protocol for greeting a priest is usually to kiss the cross in his hand, to kiss his hand, and then to quickly place our forehead on his hand as if to take a blessing, but this is certainly not required or even expected of a non-OO, so don't feel obliged as if you'd offend him otherwise. I'm sure even you wanted to just shake his hand as if you were greeting anyone else that he'd be more than happy to receive your hand-shake and will appreciate the simple fact you were cordial enough to approach and greet him in the first place.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2008, 04:30:47 PM by EkhristosAnesti »
No longer an active member of this forum. Sincerest apologies to anyone who has taken offence to anything posted in youthful ignorance or negligence prior to my leaving this forum - October, 2012.

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Offline Quinault

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2008, 04:43:35 PM »
I thought that he didn't speak english because he brings a lady with him who translates. As best I understand he is either Coptic or Egyptian Orthodox. But there is also an Ethiopian Orthodox parish in the area. Thus far we just sort of bow our heads at him and smile. :)

Offline Salpy

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2008, 10:21:42 PM »
You might want to approach the lady and have a friendly conversation with her to find out more.


Offline HaileAmanuel

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2008, 11:11:22 PM »
Hi! 

I believe that you and your children may approach the Coptic and Ethiopian priest, simply by 'putting your hand-out' while saying "Hello Father..." and lean your head toward the Cross.  I think our Brother Marc Hanna suggested great advice, along with the other members...

Perhaps this will encourage you to learn a little Arabic in due time...

Sincerely,

Haile Amanuel
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Offline Faith

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2008, 11:57:22 PM »
You could say "sebah el hare ya Abouna" then " izayuk?" that is interpreted:  Good morning, Father.  How are you?

He may say "Sebah enoor . . . quaiiss owie, shookran" That is:  Good morning . . . very well, thank you.  "Wi enti?" That is:  and you?

Then you should promptly say "anna ma bufhamsh arabi" which means:  I don't understand Arabic. :)

Marc, I'm quite impressed at your Arabic skills! I had no idea you knew so much LOL! I guess when you spend so much time around Egyptians, you tend to pick up a few things =P

As best I understand he is either Coptic or Egyptian Orthodox.

Coptic Orthodox literally means Egyptian Orthodox =) I agree with what others mentioned, just a simple "Hi Father" or "Hello Abouna", kissing his cross/hand (if you're comfortable with that), and a brief introduction about yourself would be good. I'm sure he'll know a little bit of English, especially since you live in the States! Let us know how things go if you ever speak to him =)

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2008, 12:19:57 AM »
You could say "sebah el hare ya Abouna" then " izayuk?" that is interpreted:  Good morning, Father.  How are you?

He may say "Sebah enoor . . . quaiiss owie, shookran" That is:  Good morning . . . very well, thank you.  "Wi enti?" That is:  and you?

Then you should promptly say "anna ma bufhamsh arabi" which means:  I don't understand Arabic. :)

Wow, impressive! When hubby and I were visiting Egypt we tried to pick up some Arabic. Our dear driver, who was called Samir, even gave us a book to learn Arabic. Unforunately, it was in Arabic! I never did figure that one out. ;D

Since then, we have managed to pick up a little bit of Arabic through being in an Antiochian parish, but nothing beyond parrotting.
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Offline Marc Hanna

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2008, 11:02:24 PM »
Egyptian Arabic isn't all that difficult; it seems to greatly resemble French in grammar, just a different vocab. :)

Faith, do I know you?

BTW, I really don't know that much Arabic . . . and I don't know how to read or write it at all.   I plan on working on it some more after I'm finished with Greek, Coptic and Syriac :P

Offline PSFam

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Re: Ettiquette question
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2008, 11:39:23 AM »
Hi! 

I believe that you and your children may approach the Coptic and Ethiopian priest, simply by 'putting your hand-out' while saying "Hello Father..." and lean your head toward the Cross.  I think our Brother Marc Hanna suggested great advice, along with the other members...

Perhaps this will encourage you to learn a little Arabic in due time...

Sincerely,

Haile Amanuel

I would avoid any attempt at speaking Arabic, if you haven't grown up speaking it, it just doesn't quite sound right and you might get seriously puzzled look from the priest.   If he is serving in the US almost all the priest here can speak english, it might be very heavily accent broken english but they can understand.

Haile Amanuel's approach is the simplest and the one I use when approach coptic priests. Sometimes if the priest does not have a cross in hand will either just reach out with his hand allowing you to kiss it or pull it away quickly before you can kiss it, in that case just continue and kiss your hand as if his hand was still there.

Marc, "quaiiss owie" is not most common response you'll get from a priest, more commonly they will reply "nushkar rabbina" or "hamduallah" both meaning "thank the Lord" or "thank God" respectively. Also its "kheir" not "hare" in "sabah el hare"

As an aside, coptic priests alway carry their cross with them usually in their pocket.
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