An archimandrite (literally, "chief of a sheepfold") is a celibate priest who has been elevated to an honorific rank, one level lower than bishop. Archimandrites are usually styled Very Reverend or Right Reverend and are always the most senior of all in the ranks of the priesthood. Elevation to archimandrite has often meant that the priest is a candidate for the episcopacy.
In Greek usage, archimandrite was originally equivalent to igumen, the traditional title for an abbot of a monastery, but after the 6th century came to refer to the abbots of particularly large or important monasteries, often having multiple monasteries under his care.
In Slavic usage, the rank of igumen is given to celibate priests as a lower rank than archimandrite.
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