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Author Topic: Adressing Priests and Religious of the Church  (Read 2424 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kyrie Eleison
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« on: September 22, 2003, 03:04:10 PM »

Greetings my friends,

Well, I have yet another question for you. Being raised RC I know that in referencing priests, bishops, archbishops, etc. there are certain titles that go along with said ranks.

I am wondering if this is also the case for the Orthodox Church? Do I refer to the priest simply as "Father", the deacon simply as "Deacon" etc.? I called the parish office of the GO Church here in town the only Orthodox Church in the city, although they are building an Antiochian orthodox church, (I think,) but it is not built yet, anyways, they told me to call Father and relay my intentions ot him, (it reminded me of going to my fiance's father's house and asking for her hand in marriage... strange metaphor, but I hope you know what I mean. Anyway a guide ot the titles of the "Laborers of the Vinyard" would be very helpful I think to all.

Thank you

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Have mercy on me a wretched sinner!"

Kyrie Eleison
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2003, 06:16:03 PM »

KE,

Quote
Well, I have yet another question for you. Being raised RC I know that in referencing priests, bishops, archbishops, etc. there are certain titles that go along with said ranks.

I am wondering if this is also the case for the Orthodox Church?

Good question! Yes.

Orthodox clergy are always 'Title Firstname' - Patriarch Alexis, Metropolitan Kyrill, Archbishop Michael, Bishop Job, Fr James, Reader Paul.

There are also titles bishops use that are lot like the ones Roman Catholic bishops have - 'Your Holiness/His Holiness' or 'Your Beatitude' for a patriarch, 'Your Beatitude' for a metropolitan (same as an RC archbishop - he rules a province with several bishops/dioceses under him), 'Your Eminence' (sound familiar?  Smiley ) for an archbishop (in Russian usage an honorary title for a bishop).

There are also foreign-language names for bishops - a Russian bishop is 'Vladyka Andrei'; an Arab bishop is 'Saidna Philip'.

There are also honorary titles for some priests and deacons, kind of like RC monsignori - mitred archpriest, archpriest (the Very Revd), protopresbyter (Greek for archpriest?), protodeacon - and among priests who are also monks, 'Abbot' or 'Hegumen'/'Igumen' (the Right Revd?).... Don't worry about those  Grin - unless you are writing letters to these clergy. Talking to them, 'Fr Firstname' is fine.

Quote
Do I refer to the priest simply as "Father", the deacon simply as "Deacon" etc.?

Yes, you can - 'Father' or 'Father Firstname'. Also, many Orthodox churches call deacons 'Father' too - 'Fr Paul' or 'Fr Deacon Paul'.

Orthodox monks who aren't priests are 'Fr Firstname' too! And Orthodox nuns are 'Mother Firstname', not 'Sister' ('S'ter', I hear, in good old US Catholic school lingo).

Interesting bit of etiquette that theologically makes sense: when writing to his bishop a priest doesn't sign his letter as 'Fr John Smith'. Only the bishop is, as the Anglican Prayer Book puts it, a 'reverend father in God' in his own right. Priests are given the privilege by the bishop of being called 'Father' by the laity because they share in the bishop's apostolic ministry, in his priesthood. In other words, they represent him. This distinction is why sometimes in articles, etc. you see Orthodox priests sign their names 'Priest John Smith' - that's how they sign their letters to their bishops.

But you call him 'Fr John', not 'Fr Smith' (though sometimes in America you hear it and nobody minds), not 'Priest Smith', not 'Priest John'.

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« Last Edit: September 22, 2003, 08:51:09 PM by Serge » Logged

gregory2
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2003, 07:42:38 PM »

Kyrie,
I notice from your profile that you live in Tucson.  I used to live in southern AZ for 2 years and worshipped at Holy Resurrection parish in west Tucson.  At that time we had a very small building but there were plans for a larger building to be built at some time, near 5th and Wilmot I believe.  From your post, it sounds like it's happening!  Glory to God!

I did worship at the Greek parish a couple of times, but it was way too ethnic -- even for my taste, one who grew up Eastern Orthodox.

Say hi to the sunshine for me!!! Grin  If my wife has her way, we'll move back to Arizona at some point.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2003, 07:43:39 PM by stgregory nazianzen » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2003, 12:18:39 PM »

Ah...more sensible people that want to live in Arizona over the frozen tundra!
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Troldhaugen
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2006, 11:11:52 AM »

Is there a special form of address for an Archmandrite within the Orthodox Church? I'm meeting with one soon and I want to get it right! Within Orthodox clergy, do Orthodox Christians kiss their clergy in the same way Catholics do? For example, Catholics kiss the rings of the Pope, Cardinals and Bishops. Does that go for Orthodox too with kissing the hands of Patriarchs, Bishops etc?
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2006, 11:37:43 AM »

Many times saying hello to a priest in the Slavic tradition is to hold your hands palms upward, right hand over the left.. and say (in English) "Father Bless."  He'll bless you above your hands then you'll take his right hand and kiss it.
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Troldhaugen
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2006, 11:44:15 AM »

Thankyou username! I will remember that.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2006, 11:47:57 AM »

I have been instructed that when greeting a priest in the Greek tradition, you hold your right hand out palm up, take his right hand, and kiss it.  We were preparing to meet and hear a talk from the chaplain at the Nativity of the Theotokos Monastery, and wanted to "get it right" so I asked the host family.  Unfortunately, we were never taught this part of it.

At any rate, a couple of interesting links for you:

GOA site on etiquette.

OCA page on addressing Bishops, in particular.

I think its wonderful that you are asking.  Although one should never attempt to put Orthodoxy in a nutshell (won't fit!), a key element of the spiritual life, based on my reading so far, of the Church is humility - which is apropos given that pride was the source of the fall.  Addressing other people, and especially our spiritual elders, in an appropriate manner is one means of training ourselves to be humble.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2006, 11:48:12 AM by AncientFaith » Logged

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Patrick
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2006, 11:53:31 AM »

Thankyou AncientFaith. I think it's important that we give respect to every aspect of the Church and I think that addressing Clergy in the right way is just one expression of that respect. Thankyou for the GOA site. I have a question though. On one site I read that all Monks are addressed as Father but on the GOA site is says they are Brother. Which one is right?
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2006, 11:54:08 AM »

they told me to call Father and relay my intentions ot him, (it reminded me of going to my fiance's father's house and asking for her hand in marriage... strange metaphor, but I hope you know what I mean.

The metaphor is not at all strange.  In fact, I think it is spot on.  You will discover that as you enter Orthodoxy, you are entering something very deep.  I don't know about converting from Rome, but my family converted from the Episcopal Church (Anglocatholic tradition, however), and I felt like I was moving from a Church I had picked to a relationship I was entering.

The Matins services of the first 4(?) days of Holy Week are referred to as the Nymphios services, or Bridegroom services.  This makes it much more clear within Orthodoxy that this whole thing is about a marriage, than it was within the ECUSA.  I understood it, of course, and taught it (I was the catechist in my parish), but in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi, its hard to accept that your church really "buys" if they don't pray it.
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Patrick
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2006, 11:58:26 AM »

Thankyou AncientFaith. I think it's important that we give respect to every aspect of the Church and I think that addressing Clergy in the right way is just one expression of that respect. Thankyou for the GOA site. I have a question though. On one site I read that all Monks are addressed as Father but on the GOA site is says they are Brother. Which one is right?

Hmmm....  I think there is a point at which they are addressed as Father - after one of the sets of vows.  I hate to contradict the Archdiocese, but it has been my  [limited] impression that monks are addressed as Father.  I was reading an interview of a monk at St. Anthony's, which is within GOA.  He was referred to as Father, even though he was quite young still - which leads me to believe that it is the norm.  Perhaps others, more knowledgeable can answer this.
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Patrick
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2006, 11:59:14 AM »

Hmmm....  I think there is a point at which they are addressed as Father - after one of the sets of vows.  I hate to contradict the Archdiocese, but it has been my  [limited] impression that monks are addressed as Father.  I was reading an interview of a monk at St. Anthony's, which is within GOA.  He was referred to as Father, even though he was quite young still - which leads me to believe that it is the norm.  Perhaps others, more knowledgeable can answer this.

I should say young, and I believe not ordained in particular as a priest.  Again I could be mistaken.
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2006, 12:13:12 PM »

Quote
Perhaps others, more knowledgeable can answer this.

Monks are always addressed as "Father" whereas novices are usually just called their baptismal name (and unless you know the monks you can't tell the difference from a monk and a novice outside of church/trapeza, so your best bet is to go with father).  In general though most American priests realize that Orthodox customs are a little exotic to the average American, hence won't be offended if someone new to Orthodoxy doesn't do something properly. 
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2006, 12:20:07 PM »


There are also titles bishops use that are lot like the ones Roman Catholic bishops have - 'Your Holiness/His Holiness' or 'Your Beatitude' for a patriarch,

Important note, some patriarchs are referred to by his Holiness, others by his Beatitude. An example, Patriarch Alexei of Russia is his Holiness, Patriarch Theoctist of Romania is his Beatitude.

Quote
'Your Beatitude' for a metropolitan (same as an RC archbishop - he rules a province with several bishops/dioceses under him), 'Your Eminence' (sound familiar?  Smiley ) for an archbishop (in Russian usage an honorary title for a bishop).

From what I know, Russians address bishops as "Your Grace", and Metropolitans as "Your Eminence".
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2006, 12:14:24 AM »

Many places refer to novices as Brother or Sister so and so. They may be true "novices" or they may be members of the monastery for years who have not taken the monastic vows and formally become a monk or nun, which is roughly equivalent to ordination to the priesthood(lifelong), where by being a novice would be like being a reader.
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« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2006, 01:09:20 AM »

I hope this link helps.

http://goarch.org/en/resources/etiquette/
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