How do I get to be one of these?

I just learned that the Romanian Orthodox have the title for priests:

Great Ecclesiarch

WOW! 

We need titles like this!

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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22 Responses to How do I get to be one of these?

  1. Geoffrey says:

    I never heard of that before. You’re not thinking of going Romanian Orthodox on us, are you Father? ;-)

    I’m all for bringing back the style “Your Reverence”.

  2. Howard says:

    Is this a title for all priests, or just for certain ones — like “Monsignor”?

  3. Nick says:

    The term “Great Ecclesiarch” apparently was adopted in Romania mirroring the use of the Patriarchate of Constantinople where Patriarchal officials and those of the “Great Church” (Aghia Sophia) were routinely given the honorific “Megas” (“Great” or “Grand”) to distinguish them from officers of other dioceses and churches. Just a few:

    Grand Chancellor
    Grand Archdeacon
    Grand Ecclesiarch
    Patriarchal Deacon
    Archon Protopsaltis (Headchanter)
    Archon Lambadarios
    Grand Sacristan/Treasurer
    Grand Dragoman (translator/external affairs officer)

    It is more or less the equivalent of “Papal” in the West.

  4. Geoffrey says:

    “Grand Dragoman” — sounds like a super villian!

  5. Nick says:

    By the way, one of the primary duties of the Great Ecclesiarch is to walk slightly behind the officiating Patriarch holding the book of rubrics. The Great Ecclesiarch corrects everyone from the Patriarch down to the youngest altar boy should they make any liturgical mistakes or innovations. He is not the equivalent of the Western Master of Ceremonies since he is not vested. That duty usually is fulfilled by the First Patriarchal Deacon.

  6. Nick says:

    I believe “dragoman” is actually a Turkish word and was the “Interpreter” (more so than translator)for each embassy dealing with the Sublime Porte, the Ottoman government. The Patriarchal Dragoman was the “Grand Dragoman”. I believe the Roman Catholic Church made use of the dragoman at the French Embassy.

  7. Louis E. says:

    So is the Mega-Ecclesiarch analogous to one of the seven Protonotaries Apostolic de Numero Participantium?

  8. Eric says:

    How do I get to be one of these?

    Great Ecclesiarch

    Step 1: Become an Ecclesiarch

    Step 2: Be very good at it.

  9. Okay… assuming we can actually run into a Great Ecclesiarch, how do address him?

  10. Eric says:

    how do address him?

    In Romanian, of course!

  11. Nick says:

    The Great Ecclesiarch is an archimandrite so he would be addressed in English as “Very Reverend”. I believe the Greek is “Panosiotatos” which is literally “All Venerable”.

  12. Atlanta says:

    Forgive me, Fr. John, but does there have to be an us and a them? If you like, I can ask my Romanian Orthodox friends the answer to your question, or even direct them to you so they can answer you directly. I was taught that Christianity is the noun and Orthodoxy (or Catholicism) is the adjective and I firmly believe this. And I know of some monastic priests that get addressed as your venerableness, and not all monastic priests are archimandrites. As you probably know, an archimandrite is “one step below” a bishop, and usually bishops get picked from among the ranks of archimandrites, in the Orthodox church. What would we lose by unifying as a Church? Our prejudices?

  13. Nick says:

    I suspect that “Orthodox” or “Roman Catholic” are significantly more than just adjectives. The term “Your Venerableness” is how an unordained monk is addressed in the Orthodox Church.

  14. Atlanta says:

    Nick, please do not correct me, I know one priestly monk who is called “Your Venerableness” by anti-Christians even who idolize him. I also am not going to argue with the wisdom of the priest, now bishop, who taught me the difference between adjectives and nouns as it applies to Christianity. I do not wish to engage in controversy on Father John’s blog, in part because I don’t want to get blamed for it. I am not sure there is anything further for you and I to discuss on this matter.

  15. Carlos Palad says:

    I’ve been reading the Letters of St. John of the Cross and, in his time, there
    was apparently the practice of addressing seminarians as “Your Charity”

  16. Carlos Palad says:

    “By the way, one of the primary duties of the Great Ecclesiarch is to walk slightly behind the officiating Patriarch holding the book of rubrics. The Great Ecclesiarch corrects everyone from the Patriarch down to the youngest altar boy should they make any liturgical mistakes or innovations. He is not the equivalent of the Western Master of Ceremonies since he is not vested. That duty usually is fulfilled by the First Patriarchal Deacon.”

    The rubrics of the full, unabbreviated hierarchical services of the Byzantine Rite are so complicated that I guess even the rubrics masters need to tote a rubrics
    book along!

    That having been said, I chuckled a bit about the “innovations” thing. In fact,
    the Ecumenical Patriarchate has taken the lead in liturgical innovations in the
    Orthodox Church since the 19th century. (For example, the practical suppression of the
    singing of Typical Psalms and the Beatitudes in the Divine Liturgy) Athos, though, has never accepted these liturgical reforms.
    innovations.

    At present, it is the Slavs and Romanians who tend to keep the older Typikon and more ancient way of doing services.

    However, I have been assured by a couple of Greek chanters that Patriarch
    Bartholomew is a liturgical restorer. I’ve been told, for example, that the
    services in the Patriarchal Cathedral today are “fuller” and unabbreviated, unlike
    in the days of Patriarchs Athenagoras (who introduced many innovations into the
    Patriarchal liturgies) and Demetrios. He has apparently also ordered the restoration
    of parts of the Divine Liturgy that had fallen into desuetude in many Greek parishes (the prayers
    for the Catechumens, for example).

  17. Jordanes says:

    Okay… assuming we can actually run into a Great Ecclesiarch, how do address him?

    Maybe with the words, “Sorry, my foot hit the gas when I meant to hit the brake”?

    :-D

    Please don’t ban me for having an awful sense of humor . . . .

  18. Nick says:

    I stand corrected. In the Orthodox Church simple monks as well as priestmonks who have not been to theological school are addressed as “Osiotatos” “Your Venerableness”. Priestmonks (not archimandrites) who have been to theological school are addressed rather as “Osiologiotatos” “Your Learned Venerableness” (which certainly sounds much better in Greek, Russian or Rumanian). In the West titles seem to have been simplified.

  19. Christabel says:

    “Great Ecclesiarch” still isn’t as good as “His Hermeneuticalness\”.

    Fr Z, in case you’re interested (probably not) your own mode of address in my particular circle is “His Profundity”. This is usually accompanied by full bodily prostration and, if to hand, the waving of palm branches in an appropriately enthusiastic yet reverent manner.

  20. Dominic H says:

    Better still, in Egypt there is a the “Great Ecclesiarch of the Throne”

    http://www.spc.yu/eng/visit_venerable_primate_alexandrian_church_patriarchate_georgia

  21. Joshua says:

    A friend once met a Russian monk who was a mitred archimandrite; the fellow was very humble, and tried to avoid mention and use of his grandiose title (he even gave away his mitre), since, as he put it, if he were to die and be canonized his saintly title as a monk would actually be shorter than his earthly appellation!

  22. Well, the title of “The Great” is a term given to Popes through popular acclamation.

    Therefore, I vote that we just popularly acclaim Fr. Zuhlsdorf.