Clerical address

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In the Orthodox Church, it is customary to use various forms of clerical address to refer to clergy of various ranks.

Informal address


Informal address for bishops varies from one language to another, but Master is the most common term. This form of address is common to all bishops of whatever rank and is also used liturgically.

  • Greek: Despota
  • Slavonic: Vladyka
  • Arabic: Sayidna (literally "our master," also Latinized as Sayedna)


Father, either by itself or followed by the priest's name. Unless you know differently for a particular priest, it would be normal to use his full christian name (do not shorten it): Father Andrew is preferable to Father Andy etc. Father should not be followed by a surname as a greeting.

  • Arabic: Abouna


It is not correct to call a deacon Father unless he is also a monk. This is, however, widely ignored and Father is very common. Deacon, either followed by his Christian name or by itself is correct.

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