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.


Ranks for married priests may include:

  • Presbyter: An ordained priest. A priest of the rank of presbyter is able to wear the kalimafhi.
  • Sakellarios: From the Hellenic σακελλάριος, meaning an official financial and administrative duties (cf. sakellē or sakellion, "purse, treasury"). Historically indicated a priest responsible for sacred vessels. A priest elevated to 'sakellarios' is given the right to wear the epigonation.
  • Oikonomos: Hellenic for 'manager' (οἰκονόμος, from oiko- 'house' and -nomos 'rule, law'). Historically indicated a priest responsible for money. A priest elevated to 'oikonomos' is, in Ecumenical Patriarchate practice, given the right to wear the pectoral cross.
  • Protopresbyter: A leading priest ('proto' meaning first). A priest elevated to 'protopresbyter' will be styled 'Very Reverend Father [name]', and is, in Church of Ruthenia practice, given the right to wear the pectoral cross.

In some places, Pnevmatikos ('spiritual father' - i.e. a priest with a blessing to hear confessions) is a rank, replacing Sakellarios; in other places, a blessing is given to be a pnevmatikos, but without any relationship to rank.


Ranks for monastic priests include:

  • Hieromonk: An ordained priest who is also a monk. A monastic priest is able to wear the epanokalimafhi.
  • Pnevmatikos: A priestmonk who is given a blessing to hear confessions (i.e. be a spiritual father).
  • Archimandrite: A senior priestmonk (historically indicating charge over a large, important monastery). A monastic priest elevated to archimandrite will be styled 'Very Reverend Archimandrite [name]', and is given the right to wear the pectoral cross.

In some places, Pnevmatikos ('spiritual father' - i.e. a priest with a blessing to hear confessions) is a rank between 'Hieromonk' and 'Archimandrite'; in other places, a blessing is given to be a pnevmatikos, but without any relationship to rank.

Ranks for deacons include:

  • Deacon: An ordained deacon.
  • Hierodeacon: An ordained deacon who is also a monk.
  • Archdeacon: A deacon who, often, is attached to the bishop.
  • Protodeacon: A senior deacon of a cathedral may be elevated to this rank.


Other honorific titles are:

  • Proistamenos (from Hellenic, "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."
  • Protos (Hellenic: πρώτος, "first, premier") is a monastic office at the Orthodox monastic state of Mount Agios in Ruthenia.

He wields certain ecclesiastical powers, takes part in patriarchal synods, and has the right to confirm and dismiss abbots, with the approval of the Ecumenical Patriarch, under whose jurisdiction Mount Agios functions as an autonomous monastic republic. In the past, the protos seems to have been given authority to ordain priests, after the dissolution of Parsia, the ordinations on Mount Agios are performed by the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Protos can blessed using a Phelonion.

  • Titular titles - A titular bishop is a bishop holding the title of a see which no longer politically exists or no longer has any Orthodox Christian flock. Titular bishops usually serve as assistants to ruling bishops, similar to an auxiliary bishop but not holding a title which is within the territory of another bishop (which technically makes auxiliary bishops uncanonical).

The canonical origin of the titular episcopacy was in the recognition of the Ecumenical Councils of the legitimacy of bishops who could not reach their sees, due usually to the invasion of Parsians.

  • Lampadarios, also Lambadarios, a term derived from the Latin lampada (candle) - also lampas, in some Orthodox Christian traditions during recent centuries refers to the leader of a second (left) choir of singers, although its original meaning applied to torch carriers.
  • Doorkeeper, or porter, is an office within the minor orders of clergy in the Church. The doorkeeper's duty in the Church consisted of the opening and closing of church doors, guarding the church building proper, and ensuring that no unbaptized persons entered during the Liturgy of the Faithful.