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Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91317
09/17/04 07:15 AM
09/17/04 07:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 499
Toronto , Canada
Intrigued Latin Offline OP
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I finally will be attending an EC (Ukrainian) Divine Liturgy on Sunday where I plan on meeting the parish priest.
What is proper way to greet him ? I plan on addressing him as Father but as I understand it I should kiss his hand. Is this correct ?

Thanks,
Brad

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91318
09/17/04 07:35 AM
09/17/04 07:35 AM
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a Ruthenian Byzantine heritage
a pilgrim Offline
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Hi Brad!

Have a look at this...

http://www.saintelias.com/EtiquetteKK/PriestGreeting/PriestGreeting_elia.html

Don't know how much "formality" the priest you'll be meeting stands on... you might want to observe for a while how others greet him before approaching yourself, and just follow their lead.

a pilgrim

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91319
09/17/04 07:48 AM
09/17/04 07:48 AM
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Gaudior Offline
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Dear Brad,

Etiquette would be to kiss the priest's hand, and to rise when a priest comes into the room, as a show of respect. (9 times out of ten, this is irrelevant as the room he will be coming into is the madhouse of a church hall at coffee hour, so it is not observed there) But watching others may not give you a correct indicator, as many of those who have been in a parish long-term, and know the priest, will greet him quite informally, although will kiss his hand following the Divine Liturgy, and other appropriate settings.

Beginning by being respectful can't hurt biggrin

I wish you peace and enjoyment from your first Divine Liturgy.

Gaudior, delighted people still care enough about respect to ask this question.

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91320
09/17/04 08:20 AM
09/17/04 08:20 AM
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Knoxville, TN
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"Father" usually works quite well. Just watch and see what others do and follow their customs. Now if there is a deacon on the premises, you'll probably have to address him as "your holiness" and touch your head to the floor. biggrin wink biggrin Just kidding, though some of them are quite taken with themselves. biggrin

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91321
09/17/04 09:12 AM
09/17/04 09:12 AM
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Kansas/UGCC
Diak Offline
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Say "Slava Isusu Christu" or "Glory to Jesus Christ" when first greeting him. Then put out your right hand over left, in the form of a cross, and say "Father bless".

If he blesses, he will make the sign of the cross and place his hand in yours, and then you kiss his hand.

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91322
09/17/04 09:46 AM
09/17/04 09:46 AM
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Knoxville, TN
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Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
Say "Slava Isusu Christu" or "Glory to Jesus Christ" when first greeting him. Then put out your right hand over left, in the form of a cross, and say "Father bless".

If he blesses, he will make the sign of the cross and place his hand in yours, and then you kiss his hand.
That's really beautiful.

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91323
09/17/04 12:14 PM
09/17/04 12:14 PM
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Canada
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Dear Diak,

Is not the full formal greeting a bow with one's fingers touching the ground, then also kissing the priest three times on the cheeks?

That's what the OCA rule is, as I understand . . .

Also, even when we are talking with a priest on the telephone, we should always say "Bless, Father" and then conclude with "Bless, Father."

How do the Old Believers do it?

Alex

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91324
09/17/04 01:44 PM
09/17/04 01:44 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Diak:
If he blesses, he will make the sign of the cross and place his hand in yours, and then you kiss his hand.
Diak,

Your "...If he blesses..." statement implies that he may choose not to bless... what does one do then? Do you humbly withdraw your outstretched crossed hands? Offer a handshake instead? Have you known cases where the priest declined giving a blessing?

a pilgrim

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91325
09/17/04 06:51 PM
09/17/04 06:51 PM
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Trick question, that...I have seen people make a small prostration before a monk who was not a priest, and ask his blessing unknowingly. In such cases, the monk has, of course, declined to bless. :p

Gaudior, who has seen many strange things...

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91326
09/17/04 07:47 PM
09/17/04 07:47 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Gaudior:
Trick question, that...I have seen people make a small prostration before a monk who was not a priest, and ask his blessing unknowingly. In such cases, the monk has, of course, declined to bless. :p

Gaudior, who has seen many strange things...
When I was in the military years ago, new recruits would often salute privates, who would of course not return the salute. Sometimes they all really do look alike.

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91327
09/17/04 07:56 PM
09/17/04 07:56 PM
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Kansas/UGCC
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Pilgrim, sadly not all Greek Catholic clergy know how to give the blessing, and one will ocasionally still find a few who will refuse [although that is becoming a rarer occurrance].

Alex, everyone at our two local OCA parishes receive the blessing the same way I have described. I usually always also try to give the triple kiss, but not all clergy seem to be comfortable doing this.

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91328
09/18/04 05:39 PM
09/18/04 05:39 PM
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It seems that every Eastern Christian culture has its own etiquette. This thread is fascinating, but also very confusing. It seems that Slavic people have a much nicer church etiquette than any one else, and etiquette, the outward displays of respect, are ultimately a display of the ethos of a culture. smile

I like to kiss the hand of clergy, who in my jurisdiction in *this* country, either seem to want pull it away (thus showing humility) or really not let you do it at all because they are Protestantized. frown Ofcourse with them, a hand shake is all that seems to be in order unless they know you personally, whereas they will kiss you in the traditional Mediterannean style of a kiss on both cheeks.

Now my question is this: in the Latin Church how does one greet clergy? I guess kissing their hands would be TOTALLY out of the question? I guess a handshake is the norm there too?

Alice

P.S. BTW: You will all be proud of me...A young Orthodox priest from Ukraine with a beautiful soul that emanated brightness, (even my own young priest commented to the congregation about this) was visiting relatives in the U.S. that attend my church and he co-officiated at my church a few Sundays ago. I greeted him with 'Slava Isusu Christu' when I took antidoron from him, and it put quite a surprised smile on his face..because everything else must have been 'just Greek to him'! biggrin

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91329
09/18/04 06:09 PM
09/18/04 06:09 PM
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Hollidaysburg, PA
theophan Online content
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Brothers and Sisters:

I followed this thread with interest and when I thought I was completely out of it, I emailed an Orthodox priest who is a very close friend of mine. I asked if one of my brothers might have his greetings mixed because I thought that one only bowed low before a bishop, not a priest. Here's his answer:
________________________
Hi Bob,

You are correct. The second greeting is for a bishop without the kissing on the cheeks.
There is this "rank thing" bishops cheek bishops...priests cheek priests....laymen cheek laymen...but never cross ranks.
Our retired Metro Theo always kisses whomever he greets on at least one cheek but he is the only one ,of rank, that I know to ever have done this.
_____________________

Maybe, brother DIAK, that's why a priest would be uneasy about you kissing him (?) on one or both cheeks: that "rank" thing.

Alice:

The custom of kissing a priest's hand seems to have died out in the Latin Church early in the 20th century--perhaps earlier in the United States. It might also have been finished with the flu epidemic of 1917-1918. I had some references from very old books about this custom but they predate the flu and were published prior to 1910.

In Christ,

BOB

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91330
09/18/04 06:59 PM
09/18/04 06:59 PM
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Hello Bob,

Thank you for your response. So, it seems that there was a logical reason for the kissing of clerics' hands going out of vogue in the Western Church.

Do you think that it is still done perhaps in Rome?

I think I remember reading (infact it was the writer Peggy Noonan) the comments of someone who had an audience with the Pope last year, saying that many of those who were there with her kissed the Holy Father's hand. I have also seen others at huge public masses around the world kiss his hand. I CERTAINLY would if I was ever graced enough to meet him. So, maybe this custom is not totally dead in the Latin Church?

In America, we are so hung up on equality, that we have foresaken the old world signs of humility and respect towards one another, even in our hierarchal churches. frown

In Christ,
Alice

Re: Pastoral Greeting Etiquette #91331
09/18/04 07:21 PM
09/18/04 07:21 PM
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Kansas/UGCC
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Bob, I think as Alice mentioned it is somewhat cultural. The more "hip" clergy think it too quant, hokey, or "old country".

Sometimes I also think regarding the kiss specifically has to do with clergy being more hesitant given the general situation and perceptions of clergy today which are all too frequently in the news.

With some Slavs, at least in my experience, the priests do not hesitate to give or receive the triple kiss to laity, even bishops. At least from my observations with both Greek Catholics and Orthodox it has been strictly a personal preference, rather than a structured clerical rank system.

I have heard, however, when attending services in a convent that a male should not try to give an Abbess the kiss when all file by her for the greeting after some Offices... smile

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