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Author Topic: Greeting a Priest  (Read 2597 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ignatius II
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« on: November 02, 2010, 07:00:42 PM »

To avoid being disrespectful, what is the proper way to greet an Orthodox priest.   Also how would one address a priest in responding to a post on these forums.

Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2010, 07:20:09 PM »

Usually just addressing him as Father will suffice on the forum, so it's Father John or Father Peter or whatever (first name), or even just Father (with no name attached). In person, a priest might beat you to the punch and give a traditional Orthodox greeting, but if not, "hello Fr. such-and-such" is fine.
Слава Ісусу Христу!!! Glory to Jesus Christ!!!
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2010, 08:22:58 PM »

The most proper way of greeting an Orthodox priest is to ask for his blessing.

Come up to him, cup you hands - right over left at an angle to form a "cross" and say "Bless, Father".  Just like you would ask of a bishop (Bless, your Grace or Master).  He will then bestow upon you a blessing and his right hand will end up in your palm, at which point you respectfully kiss it.

However, some priests do not like to have their hands kissed (most likely out of humility)...and will promptly remove their hand before you get a chance to kiss it.  Don't be offended.

I had both this weekend at our Church assembly...where I got to meet dozens of clergy and hierarchs.  Just relax and go with the flow.  You won't offend him if you are respectful to him.

The worst thing is when people treat clergy/hierarchs as if they are their equals and casual buddies.

PLEASE don't do that (unless you are a buddy.)  Respect the title and the office of the clergy.


Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
—St. Isaac of Syria
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 03:10:45 PM »

also, when he greets you (if during Pascha season) he'll say "Hello, ____.  Christ is Risen!"  and you'd resopnd with "Indeed, he is risen!"
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2010, 04:28:14 PM »

Soon after converting I tried asking for blessings from priests when I met them, but most seemed caught off-guard by it and it was always awkward. Most seem to prefer a standard handshake, in my experience, and they will stick their hand out before you have a chance to ask for a blessing.

If he prefers to be greeted by blessing, he may gesture for you to cup your hands as Liza explains above.
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