Clergy Etiquette

One of things I have noticed is a lack of etiquette with the clergy. I do not think this is intentional but rather it is a lack of education. So the hope is through this article education will take place.
When approaching a priest one makes a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with the right hand, place your right hand over the left and say, “Bless Father.” The priest then answers, “May the Lord Bless You,” blesses with the Sign of the Cross, and places his right hand in your hands, and you kiss his hand. The same is done when approaching a bishop but you would say, “Bless Master.”
The reason we kiss the right hand of the priest or the bishop is to show respect for the Apostolic Office and also because both the priest and the bishop hold the Divine Mysteries in their hands during the Divine Liturgy, we show respect to the Holy Eucharist when we kiss their hand. This should be done each time one greets a priest or a bishop not just in the church.
Orthodox Priests are formally addressed as “The Reverend Father,” if they are not monks. If monks they are addressed as “The Reverend Hieromonk.” Priests with special honors are addressed in this manner: An Archimandrite (The highest monastic rank below that of bishop), “The Very Reverend Archimandrite.” Protopresbyters, “The Very Reverend Protopresbyter.” In personal address all priests are call “Father” usually followed by their first name, (Father Peter)
Bishops in the Orthodox Church are addressed as “The Right Reverend Bishop,” followed by their first name. Archbishops, Metropolitans, and Patriarchs are addressed as “The Most Reverend Archbishop (or other title).” It is not correct to use the family name of the bishop. In personal address bishops are called, “Your Grace,” Archbishops and Metropolitans, “Your Eminence,” Patriarchs, “Your Beatitude,” With the exception of the Patriarch of Constantinople who is addressed as, “Your All-Holiness.”
As in all situations follow the lead of the clergy themselves. Some are less formal than others but you will never go wrong if you follow the proper etiquette. When showing respect to the clergy we are not showing respect just to the particular clergyman but to the office that they hold.
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