Archimandrite

Last updated
An archimandrite wearing his full habit, holding his pastoral staff, and minimally vested in an epitrachelion and epimanikia. His mitre is on the table to his right. Archimandrite.jpg
An archimandrite wearing his full habit, holding his pastoral staff, and minimally vested in an epitrachelion and epimanikia. His mitre is on the table to his right.

The title archimandrite (Greek : ἀρχιμανδρίτης, romanized: archimandritēs), primarily used in the Eastern Orthodox and the Eastern Catholic churches, originally referred to a superior abbot ( hegumenos , Greek : ἡγούμενος, present participle of the verb meaning to lead) whom a bishop appointed to supervise several 'ordinary' abbots and monasteries, or to the abbot of some especially great and important monastery.

Contents

It is also used purely as a title of honour, with no connection to any actual monastery, and is bestowed on clergy as a mark of respect or gratitude for service to the Church. This particular sign of respect is only given to those priests who have taken vows of celibacy, that is monks. Distinguished married clergy may receive the title of archpriest.

History

The term derives from the Greek: the first element from ἀρχιarchi- meaning "highest" or from archon "ruler"; and the second root from μάνδραmandra meaning "enclosure" or "corral", "pen" and denoting a "monastery" (compare the usage of "flock" for "congregation").

The title has been in common use since the 5th century, but is mentioned for the first time in a letter to Epiphanius, prefixed to his Panarium (ca. 375), but the Lausiac History of Palladius may evidence its common use in the 4th century as applied to Saint Pachomius. [1]

When the supervision of monasteries passed to another episcopal official—the Great Sakellarios ("sacristan")—the title of archimandrite became an honorary one for abbots of important monasteries (compared to an ordinary abbot, a hegumenos).

Kiev Metropolis

Initially in some cases it served as an extra title: for example, manuscripts of 1174 mention Hegumen Polikarp of Kiev Cave Monastery as "Hegumen Archimandrite".

Russian usage

Archimandrite's crozier, Armenia, 19th century Archimandrite's crozier (Kirillo-Belozersk).jpg
Archimandrite's crozier, Armenia, 19th century

In 1764 the Russian Orthodox Church organized its monasteries and ranked them in one of three classes, awarding only the abbots at the head of monasteries of the second or first class the title of archimandrite. Abbots of third class monasteries were to be styled "hegumen".

The duties of both a hegumen and an archimandrite are the same; however, during the Divine Service a hegumen wears a simple mantle, while the mantle of an archimandrite is decorated with sacral texts; an archimandrite also wears a mitre and bears a pastoral staff ( pateritsa ).

The Russian Orthodox Church commonly selects its bishops from the ranks of the archimandrites.

Greek usage

An archimandrite is a priest who has taken monastic vows and is theoretically in line to be ordained a bishop. Churches under the spiritual jurisdiction of the four Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates generally require that such a monastic priest possess a university degree in theology before he is elevated to the rank of archimandrite. Sometimes the requirement is waived if the priest can show outstanding achievement in other academic fields, such as the humanities or science.

Western usage

An archimandrite who does not function as an abbot has the style "The Very Reverend Archimandrite" whilst one with abbatial duties uses the style "The Right Reverend Archimandrite".

The word occurs in the Regula Columbani (c. 7), and du Cange gives a few other cases of its use in Latin documents, but it never came into vogue in the West; yet, owing to intercourse with Greek and Slavonic Christianity, the title sometimes appears in southern Italy and Sicily, and in Croatia, Hungary and Poland. [1]

Related Research Articles

Abbot Religious title

Abbot is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various western religious traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The female equivalent is abbess.

Archbishop Bishop of higher rank in many Christian denominations

In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.

Clergy formal leaders within established religions

Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and clergyperson, while cleric and clerk in holy orders both have a long history but are rarely used.

The Reverend Christian religious title

The Reverend is an honorific style most often placed before the names of Christian clergy and ministers. There are sometimes differences in the way the style is used in different countries and church traditions. The Reverend is correctly called a style but is often and in some dictionaries called a title, form of address or title of respect. The style is also sometimes used by leaders in non-Christian religions, such as Judaism.

Mantle (monastic vesture) ecclesiastical overgarment

A mantle is an ecclesiastical garment in the form of a very full cape that extends to the floor, joined at the neck, that is worn over the outer garments.

Crosier ceremonial staff

A crosier is a stylized staff that is a symbol of the governing office of a bishop or Apostle and is carried by high-ranking prelates of Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran, United Methodist and Pentecostal churches.

Hegumen Head of an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic monastery

Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen is the title for the head of a monastery in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, similar to the title of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called a hegumenia or ihumenia. The term means "the one who is in charge", "the leader" in Greek.

Hieromonk in Eastern Christianity, a monk who is also a priest

A hieromonk, also called a priestmonk, is a monk who is also a priest in the Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholicism.

The ecclesiastical title of archpriest or archpresbyter belongs to certain priests with supervisory duties over a number of parishes. The term is most often used in Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholic Churches and may be somewhat analogous to a monsignor in the Latin Church, but in the Eastern Churches an archpriest wears an additional vestment and, typically, a pectoral cross, and one becomes an archpriest via a liturgical ceremony.

Russian Greek Catholic Church Byzantine Rite church sui juris in full union with the Catholic Church

The Russian Greek Catholic Church, or Russian Catholic Church, is a sui iuris Byzantine Rite Eastern Catholic Church. Historically, it represents the first reunion of members of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Roman Catholic Church. It is now in full communion with and subject to the authority of the Pope as defined by Eastern canon law.

Choir dress a traditional costume of clerics, seminarians and religious of Christian churches

Choir dress is the traditional vesture of the clerics, seminarians and religious of Christian churches worn for public prayer and the administration of the sacraments except when celebrating or concelebrating the Eucharist. It differs from the vestments worn by the celebrants of the Eucharist, being normally made of fabrics such as wool, cotton or silk, as opposed to the fine brocades used in vestments. It may also be worn by lay assistants such as acolytes and choirs. It was abandoned by most of the Churches which originated in the sixteenth-century Reformation.

The Right Reverend is a style applied to certain religious figures.

Monastery of Stoudios

The Monastery of Stoudios, more fully Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner "at Stoudios", often shortened to Stoudios, Studion, or Stoudion,, was a Greek Orthodox monastery in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The residents of the monastery were referred to as Stoudites. Although the monastery has been derelict for half a millennium, the laws and customs of the Stoudion were taken as models by the monks of Mount Athos and of many other monasteries of the Orthodox world; even today they have influence.

Ecclesiastical addresses are the formal styles of address used for members of the clergy.

Eastern Christian monasticism

Eastern Christian Monasticism is the life followed by monks and nuns of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East and Eastern Catholicism. Some authors will use the term "Basilian" to describe Eastern monks; however, this is incorrect, since the Eastern Church does not have religious orders, as in the West, nor does Eastern monasticism have monastic Rules, as in the West.

Degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism

The degrees of Eastern Orthodox monasticism are the stages an Eastern Orthodox monk or nun passes through in their religious vocation.

Pontifical vestments, also referred to as episcopal vestments or pontificals, are the liturgical vestments worn by bishops in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and some Lutheran churches, in addition to the usual priestly vestments for the celebration of the Mass and the other sacraments. The pontifical vestments are only worn when celebrating or presiding over liturgical functions. As such, the garments should not be confused with choir dress, which are worn when attending liturgical functions but not celebrating or presiding.

Priesthood (Eastern Orthodox Church) priesthood in the Eastern Orthodox Church

Presbyter is, in the Bible, a synonym for bishop (episkopos), referring to a leader in local Church congregations. In modern usage, it is distinct from bishop and synonymous with priest. Its literal meaning in Greek (presbyteros) is "elder."

George (Schaefer) bishop

Bishop George is bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, bishop of Canberra, vicar of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese, and former abbot of the Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, West Virginia.

Luke (Murianka) Russian Orthodox clergy (b. 1951)

Bishop Luke is an American church leader. He serves as bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, current abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, rector, associate professor of patrology of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, and auxiliary bishop of Syracuse, New York.

References

  1. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Archimandrite". Encyclopædia Britannica . 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 368.

Further reading