Author Topic: Addressing a Coptic deacon  (Read 1124 times)

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Offline Andrew - The First Called

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Addressing a Coptic deacon
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:21:05 PM »
We have a deacon (an actual deacon, i don't mean one of the many in the minor orders) at our church and I was just wondering, is there a proper way to address him? Would I address him as 'deacon', 'father deacon' ? If anyone knows please could you let me know. Thanks.

Offline CoptoGeek

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 03:29:51 PM »
We have a deacon (an actual deacon, i don't mean one of the many in the minor orders) at our church and I was just wondering, is there a proper way to address him? Would I address him as 'deacon', 'father deacon' ? If anyone knows please could you let me know. Thanks.

No sure of the spelling, but we would address him as "Basson" and his name e.g. Basson George. Its pronouned as "Bass" like the fish and "on" with a slighty heavier "o".  I hope that makes sense.
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Offline Andrew - The First Called

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 06:52:51 AM »
Thank You

Offline cs

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 10:53:06 AM »
We have a deacon (an actual deacon, i don't mean one of the many in the minor orders) at our church and I was just wondering, is there a proper way to address him? Would I address him as 'deacon', 'father deacon' ? If anyone knows please could you let me know. Thanks.

No sure of the spelling, but we would address him as "Basson" and his name e.g. Basson George. Its pronouned as "Bass" like the fish and "on" with a slighty heavier "o".  I hope that makes sense.

From my understanding, "Pason" means "brother".  I'm not sure that is how we are supposed to refer to deacons - do you have a reference? Would be interesting to know!

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2011, 12:21:45 PM »
It means 'my brother'.

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Offline cs

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2011, 02:28:18 PM »
It means 'my brother'.



Sorry, Father, that's what I meant, but I don't know if that is how we are to address deacons.  (I've never met an Orthodox deacon!)

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 06:32:53 PM »
I don't think this is an appropriate way to address a deacon.

I believe this confusion comes from the prayer for the departed, where the deacon's response, which refers to every group as "our fathers", except for deacons, where it says "our brethren the deacons", and then goes on to refer to "our fathers the laymen."

I believe that this is because this deacon's response would, shockingly, have originally been said by a deacon, not a chanter or reader. As such it makes sense for them to refer to their fellow deacons as brothers. I do not believe though that it indicates that they should always be called Brother as a title, since even laymen who have no order are called Fathers in the prayer.

I'm told that the old, authentic tradition of the whole Church is to refer to them as "Father Deacon", as the EO do today. However, I'll bet that this tradition died for us when our 'deacons' started being 6 year old boys. Since it is currently in disuse, it would be strange to address them as "Father Deacon Name", but "Brother Name" certainly isn't respectful to a member of the major orders. "Deacon Name" would be a good compromise.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 06:34:36 PM »
It means 'my brother'.



The direct literal translation of "Pa Son" is certainly "My Brother". However, "Abouna so-and-so" is not translated to English as "Our Father so-and-so", but "Fr. So-and-so". In the same way, the less literal translation to the formal English title "Brother" is appropriate, rather than the most literal rendering.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2015, 10:15:07 PM »
Would it be appropriate to start a letter to a deacon with "Deacon bless!" just as you would ask Abouna for a blessing?  (he is a full Deacon)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:15:37 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2015, 10:18:40 PM »
I don't think it's appropriate.  Not that it's "bad", but it seems kinda pointless to ask them to do something they can't.  :P
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Offline Aram

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 02:16:03 AM »
I don't think it's appropriate.  Not that it's "bad", but it seems kinda pointless to ask them to do something they can't.  :P
This. Copts have a somewhat more complicated understanding of the full diaconate. Yet speaking as an Armenian deacon, I've had a few EO friends greet me as "Fr. Deacon" and things like that. While that's appropriate in an EO setting, we in the OO world don't really have that equivalent. It doesn't really have the same (or, perhaps more accurately, equivalent) weight in terms of title. I just politely tell them to call me by my first name, or Dn. Aram, if they insist, and leave it at that.

Really, though, would an EO write a deacon saying "Deacon, bless"?

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Addressing a Coptic deacon
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 05:52:51 AM »
Really, though, would an EO write a deacon saying "Deacon, bless"?

No, as deacons can't bless. They would write "dear father deacon n" or "dear reverend deacon n"