Hieromonk

Hieromonk

[hahy-er-uh-muhngk, hahy-ruh-]
Hieromonk, or Hieroschemamonk, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, (Greek: Ἱερομόναχος, Ieromonachos; Slavonic: Ieromonakh, Romanian: Ieromonah), or Priestmonk (a literal translation), is a monk who is also a priest. In the Eastern Churches, ordination to the priesthood is the exception rather than the rule for monastics. A hieromonk can be either a monk who has been ordained to the priesthood, or a priest who has received monastic tonsure. The former case is the most common, since to be eligible for ordination to the priesthood, a man must first be either married or he must have been tonsured a monk. The latter may only happen if a married priest's wife dies (since he is not permitted to remarry).

In the Church hierarchy, a hieromonk is of higher dignity than a hierodeacon, just as a secular (i.e., married) priest is of higher dignity than a deacon. Within their own ranks, hieromonks are assigned order of precedence according to the date of their ordination. Ranking above Hieromonk is an Hegumen. Ranking above an Hegumen is an Archimandrite

In some countries, married clergy are referred to as "white clergy" while monastic clergy are called "black clergy" because monks should always wear black clothing but married clergy in many parts of the world typically wear white (or gray or colored) cassocks and rasons.

The proper title for a Hieromonk is, "the Reverend Hieromonk (name)." The form of address is, "Hieromonk (name), "Father Hieromonk (name)", "Father (name)", or, informally, "Father."

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