Clergy awards

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This article forms part of the series
Clergy
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Major orders
Bishop - Priest - Deacon
Minor orders
Subdeacon - Reader
Cantor - Acolyte
Other orders
Chorepiscopos - Exorcist
Doorkeeper - Deaconess - Presbytide
Episcopal titles
Patriarch - Catholicos
Archbishop - Metropolitan
Auxiliary - Titular
Priestly titles
Archimandrite - Protopresbyter
Archpriest - Protosyngellos
Economos
Diaconal titles
Archdeacon - Protodeacon
Minor titles
Protopsaltes - Lampadarios
Monastic titles
Abbot - Igumen
Related
Ordination - Vestments
Presbeia - Honorifics
Clergy awards - Exarch
Proistamenos - Vicar
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Ecclesiastical awards are a means for recognizing and rewarding the clergy and laity for their efforts and achievements for Orthodoxy. These efforts may be in any of many different areas, and the exact criteria and system of awards will vary somewhat between Orthodox jurisdictions. These are seen as a means of rewarding people for their contribution to Orthodoxy, whether pastorally, theologically, academically, administratively, spiritually, socially, educationally, or by missionary or charitable works.

Generally, there are four groups of ecclesiastical awards—those for hierarchs, which can depend on them personally or on their see; those for unmarried priests, including abbots; those for married priests; and those that are not dependent on any clerical status. There are a small number of diaconal awards, whether the deacon is married or not.

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Awards in the Russian Orthodox Church

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The hierarchical awards are as follows:

  • Elevation in rank;
  • Elements of liturgical raiments which have a spiritual significance;
  • Distinction in celebration (the service of the Divine Liturgy with open Royal doors up to the Cherubic hymn or up to the Our Father.)

The awards are granted in the strict order of their gradation. There are awards for the episcopate, priesthood, and the diaconate. The presentation of awards for priests and deacons are made by the ruling diocesan hierarch or, by his direction, the vicar bishop. Upon presentation of hierarchical awards the hierarch proclaims "Axios." Awards touching upon distinction in celebration are regulated by the hierarchical location of the sacred minister during conciliar celebrations.

In the case of identical awards, precedence is determined by the date of ordination.

For the episcopate

  • Elevation to the order of archbishop
  • Elevation to the order of metropolitan

The awards are carried out upon the initiative and decision of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus.

The privilege of wearing of a second panagia is enjoyed by the His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus, His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, and His Eminence the Metropolitan of Tokyo and all Japan.

The privilege of precedence with the cross during Divine services is enjoyed by His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus and by His Beatitude the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine (within the territory of Ukraine).

The primikiria is used by His Holiness the Patriarch during all Divine services and His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, their Eminences the Metropolitans of Tokyo and all Japan, Minsk and Slutsk, Kishinev and all Moldova only within their respective jurisdictions and the diocesan hierarchs within the boundaries of their dioceses.

For the priesthood

  • Nabedrennik—The award is by decree of the diocesan hierarch not earlier than three years following the recipient's ordination. The Nabedrennik is suspended from the left shoulder and is placed on the right side below the Zone, at the hip.
  • Kamilavka of violet color—The award is by decree of the diocesan hierarch not earlier than three years following the awarding of the Nabedrennik. It is worn during Divine services (removed in accordance with the Ustav) as well as during official and solemn events.
  • Pectoral cross—The award is by decree of the diocesan hierarch not earlier than three years following the awarding of the Kamilavka (for monastics, the Nabedrennik) and not less than five years in service as a priest. Worn during Divine services outside the vestments and in daily circumstances, outside of the riasa.
  • The rank of archpriest or the rank of hegumen (for monastics) — The award is made by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than ten years of service in the priestly order.
  • Palitza—The award is made by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than five years after elevation to the order of archpriest (hegumen - for monastics). The Palitza is worn under the phelonion, over the shoulder; the Palitza is worn on the right and the Nabedrennik on the left.
  • Decorated cross—The award is made by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than five years after the awarding of the Palitza. It is worn during Divine services over the vestments and over the riasa at other times
  • Miter (for Archpriests), the rank of archimandrite (for monastics)—The award is made by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than thirty years of exemplary service in God's Church. The miter is awarded with the elevation to the rank of archimandrite.
  • Miter with a superimposed cross—Worn by the Head of the Russian spiritual mission in Jerusalem who has been elevated to archimandrite, when serving in the churches of the spiritual mission. It is worn only during Divine services and removed when prescribed by the Ustav.
  • Celebration of the Divine Liturgy with open Royal doors up to the Cherubic hymn—The award is made by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than five years after being awarded the miter.
  • Celebration of the Divine Liturgy with open Royal doors up to the "Our Father"—The award is made by decree of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than the right of serving the Divine Liturgy with the Royal doors open until the Cherubic hymn.
  • Patriarchal cross—The award is made in exceptional cases for exemplary service to the Church by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus. It is worn during Divine services over the vestments and over the riasa at other times.
  • The rank of protopresbyter—The award is made in exceptional circumstances, for exemplary service upon the initiative and decision of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus.

For the diaconate

  • Double orarion—The award is by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than five years following ordination of the recipient.
  • Elevation to the rank of protodeacon—The award is by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than twenty years of service as deacon.
  • Kamilavka of violet color—The award is by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier that ten years after elevation to protodeacon. It is worn during Divine services (removed as prescribed by the Ustav) as well as during official and solemn events.
  • Elevation to the rank of archdeacon (for monastics)—The award is by decree of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus not earlier than thirty years of exemplary service to the Church. By decree of the Patriarch, the senior deacon of the Patriarchal cathedral church may be designated as archdeacon.

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