Author Topic: Approaching a priest  (Read 641 times)

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Offline William

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Approaching a priest
« on: April 30, 2011, 06:24:38 PM »
How should an inquirer approach a priest after Divine Liturgy? Should I wait until after he is done letting people venerate the cross? Would I expected to kiss his hand or address him in a particular way?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 06:54:18 PM by William »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2011, 06:32:03 PM »
I can only speak of my experience, but in the parish I usually attend, when venerating the cross after liturgy, people are free to talk to Father for a moment, or ask him if they can speak with him after he has finished with everyone. Then you just sit in a pew and wait for him to get done, and then he can meet with you for whatever reason, or set up a time to meet later if you need to talk at length. I usually just say "Father John" or "Father," and usually don't ask for a blessing or kiss his hand* because I've never seen anyone else at the parish do so. If your priest isn't usually available afterwards (e.g. at coffee hour), I'd say just be bold and, after venerating the cross, ask if you can talk with him for a moment after he's finished.


*Though I do kiss his hand after venerating the cross
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Offline IsmiLiora

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 06:39:28 PM »
I think that as an inquirer, priests are usually not going to fault you if you don't kiss your priest's hand (at least they shouldn't). I just address him directly ("Hi, Fr. so-and-so"). In the first few meetings, we even shook hands.

I asked him how he wanted me to address or approach him, obviously hinting at the traditional greetings. He told me that I could do that but also waved his hand as if it didn't matter too much to him. "I'm not going to force people to kiss my hand and I'm not going to sit there and worry about how they address me, if they do so with respect." (Obviously paraphrasing) I still don't even kiss his hand unless it's after receiving something.

I think the first time, I had my hands behind my back and I said, "Father so-and-so, my name is Liora and I am inquiring about joining the Orthodox church," and he shook my hand.

I'd probably wait for everyone to finish up venerating before talking to him but I have seen people strike up conversations when there was an entire line waiting to receive something.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2011, 06:40:22 PM by IsmiLiora »
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 06:55:42 PM »
How should an inquirer approach a priest after Divine Liturgy? Should I wait until after he is done letting people venerate the cross? Would I expected to kiss his hand or address in a particular way?
a possible alternative is to look online for his email, the set up a meeting that way

Offline bogdan

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 07:13:42 PM »
Do what everybody else does, that is generally the best advice when visiting a parish for the first time. Local traditions may vary.

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 09:29:58 PM »
When I met my priest, I went to the church office. Sometimes he's also at the coffee hour after liturgy. Maybe you can meet yours that way also.   :)
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Offline Tikhon.of.Colorado

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Re: Approaching a priest
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2011, 09:50:54 PM »
I've never heard of someone kissing a priest's hand without venerating what he's holding, or recieving a blessing.  I saw a woman do this, and ws suprised.  perhapse this is a Byzantine thing (OCA priest, Antiochian parishoner). 

when I first went to DL with a friend, she took me up when people venerated the cross and introduced me. this seems to be the time to say little 10 second things like "this is my friend Trevor".  I didn't venerate the cross, as I was still in a daze about watching the most beautiful worship service I'd ever seen.  I didn't start kissing his hand until I started doing other things like venerating the cross and icons.  I waited quite a while, as I didn't want people to think I was in the club without being invited  ;) .  but if I had done so earlier, no one would really have cared otherwise.