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Patriarch / Batriyark of Antioch
His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III

Archbishops / Sayedna
Archbishop Joseph Raya
Archbishop Elias Zoghby

Bishops / Sayedna
Conf. America Oceania
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Patterns For Vestments
Clergy Dress

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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

Archbishops / Sayedna / Sayidna

Holy
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Priest Arch-
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Bishop Arch-
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Vestments Patterns For Vestments Clergy Dress

An archbishop is the spiritual descendant/successor of the Holy Apostles. The Holy Apostles were appointed by Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ to be His representatives on earth. Then, an archbishop is the representative of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ on earth.

An archbishop can be the head of the Church in a large eparchy or have a special assignment.

Order of Hierarchy

The order of hierarchy, beginning with the so-called minor orders and going up the ladder:

  1. Lector or reader
  2. Sub-deacon
  3. Deacon
  4. Priest
    • then honorary titles
      • Archpriest - Highest highest honor given to a married priest. - Wears the silver pectoral cross and is called "The Right Reverend".
      • Archimandrite - Wears the silver pectoral cross and is called "The Right Reverend".
      • Mitred Archpriest
      • Mitred Archimandrite
  5. Bishop
  6. Archbishop (sometimes Metropolitan Archbishop)
  7. Patriarch

The three Roles of an Archbishop / Sayedna / Sayidna

His Excellency / Sayedna / Sayidna Nicholas Samra, Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellos of Newton's explaination of the three roles of the Bishop

Bishop / Sayedna Nicholas explained that the job of the Bishop is to be the high priest and the chief shepherd of the church. He told how the robes the bishop wears symbolize his role as Ruler, Guardian, and Guide.

The three roles are illustrated in the vestments of the Bishop.
The Bishop's Ruler role is shown by the crown.
The Bishop's Guardian role is shown by the shepherd's staff.
The Bishop's Guide role is shown by the bells on the Saccos. The bells call us to follow the Bishop.

Bishop / Sayedna Nicholas' explaination was to Saint Elias the Prophet Melkite Greek Catholic Mission Eastern Christian Formation (ECF) Class.

Rev. Fr. Philaret Littlefield's explaination of the three roles of the Bishop

Rev. Fr. Philaret Littlefield is Pastor of St. George Melkite (Byzantine) Greek Catholic Church, Milwaukee, WI.

Thus, the Bishop is the representative of Christ in our midst and, as such, fulfills the three-fold ministry of Christ: Prophet, Priest, and King.

The Bishop's Prophetic role is that of teacher.
The Bishop's Priestly role is that of high priest and the chief shepherd for our Church.
The Bishop's Kingly role is that of Christ the King, ruling by service.

The three roles are illustrated in the celebration of the Pontifical Divine Liturgy. (When a Bishop / Sayedna / Sayidna says the Divine Liturgy, the Divine Liturgy is called a "Pontifical Divine Liturgy".)
The Bishop's Prophetic role is teaching the flock during the Homily.
The Bishop's Priestly role is celebrating the Divine Liturgy.
The Bishop's Kingly role is serving the flock by asking God to bless the flock.

Primer for Melkite Worship and Ritual Please click on Role of the Bishop. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Eparchy of Newton, Roslindale, Massachusetts, United States. Material prepared by Fr. Philaret Littlefield for inclusion in the St. George (Milwaukee, WI) Melkite Sunday Bulletin.

Pontifical Divine Liturgy

When an Archbishop / Sayedna / Sayidna says the Divine Liturgy, the Divine Liturgy is called a "Pontifical Divine Liturgy".
During the singing of the Trisagion Hymn, the Archbishop / Sayedna / Sayidna, holding two candlesticks blesses the assembled Church, a asking God to "look down from heaven and see: bless this vineyard which your right hand has planted" or "nurture this vineyard" which He has planted by His own hand".

One candlestick is called the "trikerion" (symbolizing the Trinity). This candlestick has three candles.
One candlestick is called the "dikerion" (symbolizing the two natures of Christ - divine and human). This candlestick has two candles.
The Service Of the Blessing with the Candles during Divine Liturgy

Title

Form of Address

Form of Address for one Archbishop

The word "Sayedna" or "Sayidna" is singular. For one Archbishop, the singular form is used.
Archbishops are usually addressed and referred to as "Sayedna" or "Sayidna" which means "Master or Teacher".
No first or last name is used.

In some situations, two or more Archbishops are present. Then, the word "Sayedna" can address or refer to any of the present Archbishops. Then, to specify to which Sayedna the person is addressing or refering to, "Sayedna first name" is used. For example, "Sayedna Boutros" is used to distinguish from "Sayedna Boulos".

In some situations, two or more Archbishops with the same first name are present. Then, to specify to which Sayedna the person is addressing or refering to, "Sayedna first name last name" is used. For example, "Sayedna Boutros Bisharah" is used to distinguish from "Sayedna Boutros Diab".

The formal written title is "Sayedna first name last name" or "His Excellency, Archbishop first name last name" or "His Grace, Archbishop first name last name". or "His Grace, The Most Reverend Archbishop first name last name" or "Most Reverend Archbishop first name last name".
For example, the English translation of the phrase “Sayedna Boutros Bisharah” is “His Excellency, Archbishop Boutros Bisharah".

Priests are not called "Sayedna last name" or "Archbishop last name".

Episcopal Ordination

A priest becomes a Bishop at an Episcopal Ordination. There is one consecrator and two co-consecrators. These three roles are held by senior member of the heirarchy: the the Patriarch, archbishops, and bishops.

Retirement

According to Church law, an archbishop must submit his request to retire when he reaches his 75th birthday.

A bishop's request to retire may be:

  • Accepted immediately
  • Not accepted immediately - The archbishop may be asked to remain in his see for a period of time

When an archbishop's request to retire is accepted, the process begins for naming a new bishop for the diocese.


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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Last Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 18:53:16, CDT
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