The Bishop is the first and highest degree of the clergy in the Orthodox Church (episkopos in Greek, which means overseer). He is the successor to the Apostles in the service and government of the Church. A bishop is responsible for and the head of all the parishes located in his diocese. All authority of the lower orders of clergy is derived from the bishop. No divine services may be served in any Orthodox temple without the authorization of a bishop.
Rankings of Bishops
Sacramentally, all bishops are equal. Nevertheless, there are distinctions of administrative rank among bishops.
A bishop who governs his own diocese or archdiocese is a diocesan bishop. He may be called 'Bishop' or 'Archbishop' or 'Metropolitan' or 'Metropolitan Archbishop' or 'Patriarch'.
The title patriarch is reserved for the primate of certain of the autocephalous Orthodox churches. The first hierarch of the other autocephalous churches are styled metropolitan or archbishop or metropolitan archbishop.
The title patriarch was first applied to the original three major sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch, and shortly after extended to include Constantinople and Jerusalem.
Much later the term was granted to the heads of other most significant Churches. Significance for some Churches now, may be more historical than actual.
Archbishops and Metropolitans
The title of archbishop or metropolitan may be granted to a senior bishop, usually one who is in charge of a large ecclesiastical jurisdiction. He may or may not have provincial oversight of suffragan bishops. He may or may not have auxilliary bishops assisting him.
In the Slavonic and Antiochian traditions, a metropolitan outranks an archbishop. The reverse is the situation in the Greek tradition. The Antiochian tradition also uses the style metropolitan archbishop to differentiate from metropolitan bishops in the Greek tradition.
The change in the Greek tradition came about in later Greek history, because the diocesan bishops of ancient sees (which in the Greek world are pretty much all of them) came to be styled metropolitans.
The Slavonic and Antiochian Churches continue to follow the older tradition, where an archbishop is a senior bishop in charge of a major see, and a metropolitan is a bishop in charge of a province which may include a number of minor and/or major sees.
In the Greek tradition, all diocesan bishops (with a few exceptions) are now metropolitans, and an archbishop holds his title as an indication of greater importance for whatever reason.
Non Ruling Bishops
A bishop who does not rule his own diocese is either a Patriarchal Vicar or an Auxilliary Bishop.
In the Church of Antioch, a bishop who is in charge of a newly-created diocese on behalf of, and under the supervision of, the Patriarch of Antioch is called a Patriarchal Vicar. The diocese is usually kept under the direct control of the patriarch until it becomes self-supporting. Patriarchal Vicars are not members of the Holy Synod, and do not answer to the Holy Synod.
When a diocese becomes self-supporting, it is usually granted a ruling bishop who becomes a member of the Holy Synod.
The equivalent title in some Orthodox jurisdictions is Exarch.
The equivalent title in the Roman Catholic Church is Vicar Apostolic.
Auxilliary Bishops are significantly different from Patriarchal Vicars.
Most Orthodox Churches allow themselves the capacity to appoint Auxilliary Bishops to assist ruling bishops within their own dioceses or archdioceses.
Auxilliary Bishops do not govern in their own right but only act as directed by their diocesan bishop.
The primate of the Church of Constantinople assumed the title Ecumenical Patriarch. The primate of the Church of Alexandria was granted the title Pope and Patriarch. The primate of the Church of Georgia recently amended his title from Catholicos to Catholicos-Patriarch.
In general, when referring to a hierarch, His is often used (e.g. His All Holiness, BARTHOLOMEW, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch visited Tarpon Springs, Florida in January of 2006). When speaking to a hierarch Your is often used (Your Eminence, I'm so glad to see you!).
Starting a community minister by Most Reverend Louis N. Bernhardt, OSA.
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Reverend Louis N. Bernhardt, Director
- NE Louisiana Minister Referral Services *
Telephone 318-388-2325 or cell 318-512-0056
For the past ten years as part of my ministry I have provided a ministry to those that do not have a priest or clergyman to serve them in their time of need. In the areas I serve; about a 200 mile raduis of my home I stay rather busy with many oportunities to serve our Lord and Christ Jesus. The majority of services I provide are for weddings and quinceaneras. These celebrations alone run well over 100 celebrations a year for me. Plus I do quite a few funerals, again for those that have no priest or minister. I am also a charter member of the Amerian Assoiciation of Christian ounselors & a L.P.C. I also offer premarital, marriage, and substance abuse conseling. My current ministry is NE Louisiana Ministries, LLC. Our goal is to open a shelter for the abused within the next fiscal year and to apply for federal & state funding under the new guidelines offered by the Bush administration.
Firstly you need a name for your ministry. Go to your local courthouse and register the name or form a corporation. One has to register the name in order to obtain a banking account. I form not for profit corporations and this will require an attorney to file the papers. Then you should register the Corporation with the Internal Revenus Service to obtain a Not Profit Status as a religious ministry. My ministry has income over $25K a year and in order to gain Social Security credits and retirement benefits one must pay a portion of the income to the priest or other minister that performs the service. A shole fee is a justifiable fee in the cases I officiate in most denominations. The Ministry should have a telephone listed as such. I have the ministry listed in three catagories in the Yellow Page Directory. (a.) Clergy (b.) Churches-Catholic-Independent (c.) Wedding Services. The cost for the telephone & listings (no ads) is $95.00 per month but this also includes my Internet DsL connection. Next you need to build a website for the ministry. I average over 100 telephone inquiries and email inquiries a month as a direct result from my web site. Once you have a site you wish to promote, contact me & I will help you with the submission and promotion to get great search engine presence. Next you need to decide a fee schedule for the services you do for those requiring them. I have basic fees as follows:
1. Weddings & renewal of Marriage Vows $225.00
2. Wedding Rehearsal (add to above) $100.00
3. Quinceanera celebration $225.00
4. Funeral or Graveside Memorial Service $150.00. I have visited over 100 funeral homes personally & lefy a card with my information. This will result in many funerals. Also register as a chaplian with the local VA & VA Hospital. I register with all hospitals both Catholic & Protestent.
5. Baptism Service or Christening $150.00
6. Christian Counseling $45.00 per hour
7. Church Weddings $850.00 This includes priest, musician, and use of building that seats over 100. A beautiful church over 100 years old. Many churches will rent a chapel for weddings for a nominal fee, others are outrageous. 8. Register at nursing homes, and hospital as a chaplain for many calls to serve. I have no charge for visiting those who need a minister, priest, or just in need of a visit. 9. I make jail visits for those that request them as well. This also opens many doors in the community, as i have been called by local PD's to cousel officers in emergency situations.
I have used these rates for the past 3 years. I am one of the priests with modest fees. Some of the churches in this area charge as much as $1500 for a wedding and the priest. The Roman Church will not provide a wedding if the couple is not in good standing for one year, tithe, and complete classes for 6 months or longer. The Anglican Church offers open communion for all Baptised Christians, and I understand other churches may not do this.
I heard talked with many priests and minister over the years, and many talked about a lack of financial support for their minitries. I generate enough to continue and have for the last several years.
May God bless & keep thee. Now and forever. AMEN.
Most Reverend Louis N. Bernhardt, OSA The Anglican Rite Old Catholic Church, Inc. 2001 Roggerson Rd Suite K Monroe, Louisiana 71201 USA
Telephone 318-388-2325 Fax 318-397-7799 Call 318-512-0056
</p> <p><center><a href="http://www.geocities.com/louisbernhardt/ministers.html"> Click Here</a> to View my Website as an example.</body>