Proistamenos (from Greek, "the one who presides") 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.
This is paraphrased from the ROCOR regulations to give an idea of what is required of rectors. Many of these regulations would apply across traditions.
- Head of the parish, responsible to the Diocesan Authorities.
- Responsible for proper organisation of church and parish.
- Supervises order and correctness of divine services.
- Ensures that temple with all its possessions (e.g. sacramental items, icons, vestments, service books, etc) are cleaned and orderly.
- Keeps the official church seal.
- Keeps and issues extracts from metrical books (with details on baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc).
- President of Parish Council and at each meeting.
- Sees that all decisions of AGMs, EGMs and Parish Council Meetings are carried out.
- Supervises order and correctness of church correspondence.
- Supervises preservation of church documents.
- Represents parish in communications with Diocesan Authorities in all parish matters.
- Sees to development of charity work in parish.
- Directs religious-moral education of youth.
- Organises missionary circles.
- Assists in establishing a school; acts as school's director.
- Cares for development of good morals in parish; discusses matters of Christian faith and morals as often as possible with parishioners.
- Battles all influences which may corrupt Orthodox Christian people, and attempts to keep all people in the Church.
- Sees to establishment of parish library.
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