Correct address and behaviour

Grow Bag

Pelican
As I've written elsewhere, I've been attending an Orthodox church not so far from where I live. I've attended on a couple of Sundays, but due to a grave spiritual problem/battle I'm having I am unable to have regular attendance. An outcome of this is that I am going to write to the Abbot of a small Antiochian Orthodox monastery in another part of England to request spending some time there in order to address this pressing problem and to get more immersed in the Orthodox realm. I know a few of you have spend time at monasteries, so I'd like to know the correct way to address an abbot and any other protocols that I need to know. I'm informed that a priest sometimes comes to the monastery, so it would be helpful to know how to address and greet a priest too. I'm vaguely aware that with a priest people often kiss his hand, but it would be helpful if someone could explain the correct behaviour for me.
 

Mike Contro Rossi

Sparrow
Orthodox
A priest you will call Father. As for everything else they will probably give you guidance when you talk to them about visiting, so just follow that. There's nothing mega special you ought to know beforehand that they won't tell you explicitly.
It can be confusing because monks are called Father also (except novices, that are called Brother) whether they're priest-monks or not.
 

Penitent

Woodpecker
Orthodox
When you send a written communication to a priest first ask his blessing. At the end of the communication kiss his right hand by writing that you do so. Here is what it would look like if you were to send an email:

Fr. bless,

I would like to come and visit your monastery. I would like to know if you have availability for me to come and stay there for x or y dates. I am having a problem in making my church attendance regular, and so while I am there I would also like to speak with a priest to ask for guidance if this is possible.

Kissing your right hand,

Grow Bag

*Please note when visiting monasteries that monks are poor and rely on donations from pilgrims to survive. They generally do not ask for donations, and sadly some pilgrims will take this to mean that it is not expected but this is not the case. In the States the suggested donation is usually $30 per person per night. This is more than a bargain considering the monastery is providing you with clean bedding, meals, prayer, and pastoral guidance. Your donations will be greatly appreciated.
 
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Grow Bag

Pelican
I wrote and received a reply from the guest brother. He asked a few questions about me and I wrote back informing him of the problems I'm having in the spiritual realm. I did not receive a reply to that email. It should be noted that in the first email I merely mentioned that I was interested in Orthodoxy and wanted to spend a couple of weeks there. I was not honest from the outset, believing that if I told him the truth about my problem I'd not get a reply. It's not Mt Athos where I'd likely find understanding if I spoke of the demonic, it's just a small monastery, so I understand the rejection to a degree.
 
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