Archpriest / Archimandrite / Protopresbyter


The priest who performed the wedding that Iattended recently has been elevated to the dignity of Archpriest in the Antiochian Church. He is married. Is Archpriest or Propresbyter the highest he can go as a married man?

Also, just what is a Propresbyter?


The term “archpriest” is awarded to certain married clergy. A somewhat comparable term for monastic clergy is “archimandrite,” although this generally designates the head of a monastery.

While the term “protopresbyter” (first- or lead-priest) could almost literally be translated as “archpriest,” it is often used as a separate designation for certain clergy in highly visible or distinguished positions.

In the Orthodox Church in America, for example, the Chancellor of the OCA, the Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary, and a few others are awarded this title. I do not know of any parish priests bearing the title “protopresbyter.”