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Abbess. an abbess (Latin abbatissa, feminine form of abbas, abbot) is the female superior of a community of nuns, which is often an abbey  appointed by a bishop; Mother Superior. She has general authority over her community and nunnery under the supervision of a bishop.


Abbot. (Hegoumenos.) (from Greek abbas ‘father’,) 

(from Aram. abba, father; Gr. Hegoumenos, Sl. Nastoyatel).

The head of a monastic community or monastery, appointed by a bishop or elected by the members of the community. He has ordinary jurisdiction and authority over his monastery, serving in particular as spiritual father and guiding the members of his community.

Acolyte.  (from Greek akolouthos ‘follower’.)

The follower of a priest; a person assisting the priest in church ceremonies or services. In the early Church, the acolytes were adults; today, however, the duties are performed by children (altar boys).

Anchorite. (Gr. Anachoritis, "a departurer"). 

a religious recluse. A solitary monk or hermit; an individual who withdraws from society and lives a solitary life of silence and prayer. The Greek interest in this is perhaps more because of Spartan's than the bible?

Apostate. (Greek apostatēs ‘apostate, runaway slave’.)

a person who renounces a religious belief or principle. 


abandoning a religious or political belief or principle: 

The bible concept of what an Apostate is can be influenced by phrases such as "shall depart from the Faith" and "made shipwreck" and "it has happened to them according to the true proverb....". etc.

Apostolic Fathers.

plural noun.

the Christian leaders immediately succeeding the Apostles. Men who lived during the first century of Christianity; for the most part, this group comprised the disciples of the Apostles; their teachings and writings are of great spiritual value to Christians. Major fathers are

1) St. Ignatius of Antioch,

2) St. Polycarp of Smyrna,

3) St. Clement of Rome, and - His epistle, 1 Clement (c. 96)

4) Papias of Hierapolis

5) The unknown author of Didache.

6) The unknown author of "The Shepherd of Hermas".

note: it seems anachronistic nonsense to say that inside of the first century these men were in churches strewn with the icons, rites, rituals, uniforms, liturgies and even architecture, and all the other trappings of Orthodoxy.

Archbishop (Old English, from arch-‘chief’ + biscop, Gr. Episkopos, Archiereas)

another name for Patriarch. The chief bishop responsible for a large district. A head bishop, usually in charge of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction or archdiocese (see Metropolitan).

Archdeacon. (ecclesiastical Greek arkhidiakonos, from arkhi- ‘chief’ + diakonos) see deacon. 

A senior deacon, usually serving with a bishop of higher rank (Archbishop or Patriarch). a senior Christian cleric to whom a bishop delegates certain responsibilities.

Archimandrite. (Gr. ecclesiastical Greek arkhimandritēs "head of the flock or cloister"). called "Very Reverend" & "Father". there are two types, a monk and an honorary title. A celibate presbyter of high rank assisting the bishop or appointed abbot in a monastery. In the Russian tradition, some Archimandrites have the right to wear the mitre and the mantle (mitrophoros).

Archpriest. (Greek - Protopresbyter) The highest honorary title given to a married priest.  called "Very Reverend" and "Father". Distinguished married clergy may receive the title of archpriest. Ox,Eng.Dict.  gives "a chief priest."

Ascetic. (Greek askētikos, from askētēs ‘monk’ Gr. "one who practices [spiritual] exercises") A monk who has accepted a monastic life and intensively practices self discipline, meditation, and self-denial, motivated by love of God.

Auxiliary bishop (also called vicar bishop, suffragan bishop, or chorepiscopus) is a bishop with no territorial authority working under the authority of a diocesan bishop.


Bishop: (Greek episkopos ‘overseer’,) (a successor of the Apostles)  (called "Your Grace") (Gr. Episkopos, Archiereas). A clergyman who has received the highest of the sacred orders. A bishop must be ordained by at least three other bishops and is considered a successor of the Apostles.

Bride. as they are not the bride of Christ they make little of this imporant subject


Catechumen: (Gr. Greek katēkhoumenos ‘being instructed’, present participle of katēkhein ‘instruct orally’ "those who learn the faith").

A supposedly convert to Christianity in the early church who received instruction in Christianity but was not yet baptized (that does not fit Acts 8). Catechumens were permitted to attend the first part of the Eucharist (Liturgy of the Catechumens), but were dismissed before the Consecration of the Gifts. A person who is receiving instruction in preparation for Christian baptism or confirmation.

In Roman Catholicism a person is infant sprinkled and only considered a full member of the church (according to the Oxford English dictionary) after later being confirmed. In Orthodoxy a Catechumen is usually only a convert from another Faith, such as the Evangelical Apostate Hank Hanegraaff. the confirmation instruction is not included for triple baptized infants as instruction is made the responsibility of parents and god-parents. Thus in Eastern Orthodoxy a baby, or person, only becomes a member of the church at the say so, or through the baptism of a priest, in Evangelical Christianity a person becomes part of the church on belief without baptism or another person involved. It is between a man and God. 

Celibate. noun. (French célibat or Latin caelibatus ‘unmarried state’ )

a person who abstains from marriage and sexual relations typically for religious reasons. Unlike the Roman Church, Orthodoxy permits a clergyman to be married; however, his marriage must occur before his ordination to be a deacon or presbyter. Orthodox bishops are only chosen from the celibate clergy, but widowers, who have accepted monastic vows, may also be chosen.

charity worker.

Chancellor. (Gr. Protosyngelos). The chief administrator and church notary in a diocese or archdiocese. He is the immediate administrative assistant to the bishop and handles all records, certificates, and ecclesiastical documents of his jurisdiction.

Chanter or cantor. (Gr. Psaltis. Old French chanteor, from Latin cantator). 

 is a lay person in minor orders who chants responses and hymns in the services of the church. Particularly in the Byzantine tradition, the cantor in charge of doing the music for a service is referred to as the protopsaltis (προτοψάλτης), a term which may also refer to an office within a diocese or whole jurisdiction.

Confessor. (Old French confessour, from ecclesiastical Latin confessor, from Latin confess- ‘acknowledged’) (Homologetis)

There are at least 17 definitions of this word in English (see link)

17 types of confessor

OED gives 4 main types:

1) a priest who hears confessions and gives absolution and spiritual counsel. (e,g, she sent for her confessor because she was in mortal sin.) it seems the Orthodox avoid this work yet practice something similar.

2) a person to whom another confides personal problems.

3) a person who avows religious faith in the face of opposition, but does not suffer martyrdom. but thereby exposing himself to persecution.

A saint whose outstanding defense and exposition of the Faith earned him the title of "confessor." one who has suffered for the faith but not martyred outright.

note: frankly this is really their name for a Protestant. such duplicity by the Orthodox! Jesus and the Apostles used the expression PRO (for) TESTANT (a testimony) several times in the new testament, indeed the words new testament are themselves linked to it.

4) a person who makes a confession.

Chorbishop, (Chorepiscopos). is a rare office of clergy in the Church. The name is taken from the Greek Χωρεπίσκοπος, meaning "country bishop." He is a bishop with all the essential powers of the episcopal order but whose faculty of exercising these powers is limited. In the early Church he would confer minor orders only. His functions were supervised by his metropolitan. Although the office was quite common in the patristic age, today it is almost solely an honorary title.

Chorepiscopus. see auxilliary bishop.




one has to ask, from their own occasionally professed perspective, that there are two types of priesthood (to them) the royal priesthood of all believers (as Protestants always profess), and a second sacramental priesthood, as the deacons are banned from the blasphemy of Epiklesis if according to their own warped perspective they are really sacramental priests at all, however they insist yes as deacons carry "the elements" and the laity do not.

Deacon. The first of the three orders of priesthood. (also called "Reverend" and even "father") see also Archdeacon & ​Subdeacon. But a deacon is refused from the 

Deaconess. A pious lay woman assisting in the church as a caretaker or


Dean: senior priest or head of the faculty in a theological seminary. 

Doorkeeper (ostiarius). is an extinct office within the minor orders of clergy in the Church. The doorkeeper's duty in the Early Church consisted of the opening and closing of church doors, guarding the church building proper, and ensuring that no unbaptized persons entered during the Liturgy of the Faithful. Doorkeepers in Roman times, were men, usually slaves, who held the duty of guarding the entrances of homes. Most Roman homes of the upper class had an ostiarius, or doorkeeper, whose duties were usually considered inferior to that of the other house slaves.


Ecclesia. (the people)

Ecumenical Patriarchate. they alone can prepare the magic potion called chrism

Enlightener: A saint whose preaching affected (or converted) an entire race or nation.

note: (Jesus enlightens nations - the Orthodox version of enlightening a nation is putting them into sacerdtalism)


Equal to the Apostles: A saint or saints whose missionary zeal is compared to that of the Holy Apostles. one whose work greatly built up the Church, whether through direct missionary work or through assisting the Church's place in society.

Eremite. hermit or recluse or contemplator.

Exarch (another name for Patriarch?)

Exorcist. is an extinct office??? within the minor orders of clergy. The primary duty of exorcists was as the instructor of catechumens.

note: so.... if you want to become Orthodox you need to "go see the exorcist"? Speaks volumes about their historic idea of "the heterodox".


Fool-for-Christ: a saint known for his apparent, yet holy insanity.



God-bearing: title given to one of the Holy Fathers.


Great fathers. In both Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, four Fathers are called the "Great Church Fathers",:


Western Church:

1) Ambrose (340–397), 

2) Jerome (347–420), 

3) Augustine (354–430) and 

4) Gregory the Great (540–604)

Eastern Church: 

1) Basil the Great (c. 329–379), 

2) Athanasius (c. 296–373), 

3) Gregory of Nazianzus (329 – c. 389) 

4) John Chrysostom (347–407)

In the Roman Catholic Church, they are also collectively called the "Eight Doctors of the Church",  and in the Eastern Church, three of them (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus and John Chrysostom) are honored as the "Three Holy Hierarchs".

Great-Martyr: This term is used to describe a saint whose spiritual witness in life and during martyrdom was truly outstanding. one who was martyred for the faith and suffered torture.


Hatjis. (pilgrims)

Healer: a saint who used the power of God to heal maladies and injuries. see Unmercenary Healer.


Hermit. (see Anchorite).

Hierarchy.  (college of Bishops)

Hieroconfessor: a confessor who is also a clergyman

Hierodeacon.  A monk who is also a deacon.

Hieromartyr. A martyr who was a member of the clergy.

Hieromonk. A monk who is also a priest.

Honorifics: given as a mark of respect but having few or no duties:

​Hosiomartyr. see righteous martyr.


Igumen. Archimandrites name in the Slavic traditions, 




Koumbaros. (best man)


The Laity:

Lampadarios, also Lambadarios. 

Originally, the term, lampadarius (plural lampadarii), applied in ancient Roman times to slaves who carried torches in procession before consuls, emperors, and other officials of high dignity during the latter days of the Roman Republic and then under the Empire.

While there has been no special reason to attribute to the lampadarii any Christian ecclesiastical character, their function was imitated by acolytes and other clergy, carrying torches/lanterns/candles in their hands, who preceded a bishop or celebrant in solemn processions including those to the altar. The term "lampadarios", since the end of the Eastern Roman empire, has been used as a title of a lower order of clergy as well as designating the leader (cantor) of a second choir of singers in some Orthodox Church practices. He is usually a candidate for promotion to Protopsaltes (First Cantor) and Archcantor. The lampadarios is also entitled to act as a witness at various important acts of the Church.



Martyr. one who has died for the faith. see also:

Great-Martyr. Hieromartyr. New-Martyr. Righteous Martyr. Venerable-martyr. Virgin-martyr:

Merciful: one known for charitable work, especially toward the poor.

Metropolitan Bishop:  (another name for Patriarch?) The bishop of a major city or see. In most Orthodox Churches a Metropolitan is of higher rank than an Archbishop. However the title may also be given as an honorary title as in Greece where all Diocesan Bishops are honorary Metropolitans.

"miracle-worker saint", ​Thaumatourgos. 

Monastic clergy:

Myrrhbearers: the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus.

Myrrh-streaming: the relics of the saint exude holy and sweet-smelling (and often miraculous) oil



Neophyte. A newly baptized individual or convert of the early Church.

New-Martyr: New martyrs in the Greek tradition are those who were, martyred during the Ottoman yoke. This term is also extended to include those martyred by the communists in this century. A martyr often bearing the same name as a more ancient martyr, but usually more recent in the Church's history



Nounos. (see godparents).


Novice. An individual who accepted the monastic life, undergoing a period of probation in preparation for taking his vows.






Passion-bearer: one who faced his death in a Christ-like manner


Patriarchs. first 5


Patriarchs. now 8 (?) (patriarchate. appoint prelates.)

    also called = Archbishop. & Exarch & Metropolitan Bishop 

   (called "Your Eminence" & "Your Beatitude") highest prelates

The People: Ecclesia. Laity.

Pilgrims, ​Hatjis. 

Pillarist. see Stylite.

Pope of Rome: Any saint indicated in this manner obviously was Bishop of Rome prior to the schism between East and West.


Prelate. (specifically a bishop of an autonomous church?)


Presbyter. (Greek = elders)

3 essential types? types. Bishops, Priests, Deacons.

Presvytera. priest wife.

Presbytide, Greek: πρεσβύτιδε, is a term that was used in the earlier Church for which the meaning has been lost, but may have been related to the functions performed by a deaconess.


Presbytides appear as the subject of Canon XI issued by the Synod of Laodicea in Phrygia Pacatiana of c. 365 that reads, Presbytides, as they are called, or female presidents, are not to be appointed in the Church. As a description for the functions of

Presbytides has not survived the era of the synod, the meaning and intent of the canon have been the subject of many interpretations and controversy ever since.


Priests: (called "Reverend" or "father") 

(Greek - Presbyter) The second of the major orders. A priest may give blessings, hear Confessions, and preside over the Divine Liturgy (q.v.) or any other service, except for Ordinations or the Consecration of Holy Chrism. In the Orthodox Church a married man may be ordained a priest, but a priest may not marry following ordination.


Primus inter pares: The first among heretics. Mr Big. The Top Pharisees.

    (called: "Your All-Holiness" or "His All-Holiness")

Proistamenos (from Greek, "the one who presides") also called rector. is the title of the priest or bishop who is in charge of a parish or in an administrative leadership position in a theological seminary or academy. It is Biblical in origin, coming from Romans 12:8, sometimes translated as "the one who governs" or "the leader."

Less commonly, rector (from Latin, regere, "to rule") is used in some jurisdictions to mean roughly the same thing. Predstoyatel is the Russian translation of proistamenos. He co-signs cheques.


1) Prophet: an Old Testament saint who anticipated Christ.

2) Prophet mentioned in the new testament.

3) One of the many false prophets of Orthodoxy, ancient.

4) One of the many false prophets of Orthodoxy, modern.


1) St Stephen - the first ever martyr.

2) the first true Christian martyr in a given region.

3) The first martyr accused of being in Orthodoxy. 

4) the first martyr in a given region accused of being in Orthodoxy.

Protopresbyter: (honorary title) 


Pyramid System. The bogus man made hierarchy of Eastern Orthodoxy




Right-believing: an epithet used for sainted secular rulers who were wrong believing because they were deceived by Orthodoxy.



1) An Old Testament Saint.

2) A monastic saint.

3) A saint who does not fall into the category of martyr, apostle, prophet, etc.

4) married saints of the New Covenant

Righteous Martyr. (Hosiomartyr): A monastic martyr.



Starets / startsy (Russian: стáрец, IPA: [ˈstarʲɪt͡s]; fem. стáрица) - is an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery who functions as venerated adviser and teacher. Elders or spiritual fathers are charismatic spiritual leaders whose wisdom stems from God as obtained from ascetic experience. It is believed that through ascetic struggle, prayer and Hesychasm (seclusion or withdrawal), the Holy Spirit (supposedly) bestows special gifts onto the elder including the ability to heal, prophesy, and most importantly, give effective spiritual guidance and direction. Elders are looked upon as being an inspiration to believers and an example of saintly virtue, steadfast faith, and spiritual peace. This person is often referred to as one's "spiritual father".

A spiritual adviser, often a monk or religious hermit, in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Some claim to give prophecy, but this seldom seems to affect their title as far as I know.

Spiritual guide. the person whom one confesses sins before on a regular basis, usually a priest or a starets.

Stylite. an ascetic living on top of a pillar, especially in ancient or medieval Syria, Turkey, and Greece in the 5th century ad .

e.g. Saint Daniel the Stylite (c. 409 – 493), Saint Simeon Stylites or Symeon the Stylite. 


Suffragan bishop. see auxilliary bishop.



Thaumatourgos. "miracle-worker saint"


Titular bishop.



Unmercenary Healer: a saint who used the power of God to heal maladies and injuries without charge. Why add the prefix? Were or are some charging money for bogus healings?


Venerable: a monastic saint.

Venerable-martyr: a martyred monastic.

Vicar bishop. see auxilliary bishop.

Virgin-martyr: an unmarried, non-monastic, chaste female martyr.



Wonder-worker: a saint renowned for performing miracles.





study notes:

Eastern Orthodox Saints

List of Russian Saints


List of Eastern Orthodox saints

The Encyclopedia of Orthodox Saints is a new undertaking to list and categorize every Christian Saint recognised as such by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The current development has led to the establishment of a wiki-styled website which can be accessed by its members and others who wish to add to this new initiative. Founded in June 2007, it seeks to list the names of over 23,000 known Christian Orthodox Saints. The Orthodox Church recognizes millions of Christian Saints, the vast majority of whose names are known only to God.

Orthodox Saints Index

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