Greeting a priest / bishop - etiquette

When greeting an eastern priest or bishop, I understand that we should ask their blessing (ie, Father/Master, bless!). I try to do that when I remember. I do have some questions regarding proper etiquette for this though.

  1. I’ve heard conflicting views on this, but should we also ask for a blessing when leaving a priest or bishop? Some have said yes, and some have said no (since we just got a blessing when meeting).
  2. With a priest you are familiar with (perhaps you see them weekly or monthly for services), should you ask for a blessing every time you see them? Or is it because their is a high frequency of conversation we should not ask so often?
  3. When in the presence of two people of “higher rank”, should the blessing request be skipped of a certain person? Two examples: (1) priest and bishop - should I only ask the blessing of the bishop since he is of higher rank, or should I ask a blessing of both but in a certain order? and (2) bishop and metropolitan - same question as scenario 1

Thank you!

I can’t remember all the details of etiquette at the moment. However, I know it is also common to kiss the priest/bishop’s right hand, as a sign of respect for the priesthood he occupies.

I always get a hug from both

For a blessing when both a priest and bishop are in the same room, always the bishop. Just like in the liturgy, when a bishop serves, the priest will say, Peace unto all, but will not bless since the bishop is there. The priest is the hand of the bishop so when he is there, the priest is not used.

Thank you for that info, Rome. Do you have any ideas on the other questions posed? This is not just a random question, but something that may be coming up for me in the very near future. If I have a chance prior to the meeting I will inquire directly with a priest about this, but in case I don’t have that chance, I figured I could try to find out here. I definitely appreciate the input!

Also, if that is the case, what if there is both the bishop and the metropolitan there? Should I ask for a blessing from each since they are both bishops? Or is there a different protocol to follow there?

One should ask the blessing only from the most senior bishop. As to asking the bishop/priests blessing apon leaving…it would kind of depend. If you received the bishops blessing then spent just chatted shortly I would not ask his blessing again, if I received his blessing then spent some time (like having dinner or beeing at a talk or confrence) then saw him again on departing I would again ask his blessing.

Hope that helps!

Argh. Monk Moses beat me to it.

That’s what you get for being busy all day.

Sbdn John

Monk Moses and Sbdn John - thank you, both!! :thumbsup:

Oops - deleted - just saw this refered to eastern Catholicism!

My bad!


This is the Eastern Catholic Forum :slight_smile:

In the East is is normal and correct to ask a priest for his blessing when you meet him .

As stated up the thread you should ask the senior cleric present for his blessing - that is not necessarily your own priest if several are present.

Their priests are normally addressed as Fr first name

Bishops are addressed as Your Grace , or Vladyka slavic traditions ] or Master or the appropriate title depending on the tradition to which they belong.

RC Priests and Hierarchs are always addressed as they would be by the members of their Churches

NOW I know why I get looks when I say, “Yo, Bish…What’s happenin’”

Thank you very much for this thread – as a Latin Catholic who occasionally attends Eastern Catholic liturgies, I had no idea about this etiquette! Although, to be fair, I have never seen anybody ask for a blessing from the Priest at the hospitality after Divine Liturgy (perhaps because the overwhelming majority of the Byzantine parish are Latin Catholics).

What is the proper time and manner to ask for this blessing? Is it typically a greeting, like “Father, bless! How are you?” And what is the Priest’s typical response? This may seem a bit pedantic, but I want to show respect for his Eastern tradition and I have very limited knowledge of the East.

As far as I know, one wouldn’t ask for a blessing immediately after Divine Liturgy because you are blessed many times throughout the Divine Liturgy. The only time I’ve ever personally asked for a blessing post-DL was when it was a priest I had never met before. As it was my first time meeting that priest, I asked for a blessing.

Normally, when you ask for a blessing, you would nearly simultaneously put your right hand over your left (as if you were receiving Communion left-handed in a Latin Church), extend your hands, bow at the waist, and say, “Father, bless!” Father would then bless you, put his hand in yours, and you would kiss his hand (because those hands are the hands that touch the Body and Blood of our Lord at Divine Liturgy). I hope that helps.

Probably cause it sounds like “female dog”.

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