Forms of address to the clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Հոգեւորականներին ողջունելու եւ գրավոր դիմելու ձեւերը

If you want to speak to a clergyman of the Armenian Apostolic Church, you should consider some formal rules of piety. When you step on a clergyman, bow before him and ask him for his blessing. To do this, place one palm in the other (the right to the left) and tilt your head. The clergyman will bless you with the sign of the cross. When you have received the blessing, kiss the priest’s hand, which blesses you, like the invisible hand of Christ himself. After that, you can ask your question.

If you turn to a clergyman and don’t know his name,just call him “Srbasan Hayr” (if it’s a bishop), “Hayr Surb” (if it’s a celibate priest) or “Ter Hayr” (if it’s a married priest). It is the Armenian form of salutation, it is polite, simple and appropriate.

If you know the name of the clergyman,call him ” Hayr (Father) …” (in the case of celibate priests) or “Ter (Lord) … ” (in the case of married ones). Family names are not (very rarely) used in the Church.

If you are addressing a bishop (how to distinguish a bishop, archbishop, metropolitan or patriarch in the robes, see chapter 2 “The ecclesial robes”), precede his name with the word “Vladyko” (area), e.g. “Vladyko Sergij”. You can ask for his blessing just as you have from a priest.


Never think that the clergyman has no time to talk to you, and you would only harass him with your questions! The clergyman in the Church is your shepherd, he must respond to all your spiritual needs and help you. Therefore, you do not conceal important questions for you that you cannot solve without the clergyman, out of false modesty.

Below we present in detail the forms of salutation to the clergy in Armenian, Armenian transcription and German (it is not a translation, but a form of salutation common in Germany).

If you want to speak to a clergyman of the Armenian Apostolic Church, you should consider some formal rules of piety. When you step on a clergyman, bow before him and ask him for his blessing. To do this, place one palm in the other (the right to the left) and tilt your head. The clergyman will bless you with the sign of the cross. When you have received the blessing, kiss the priest’s hand, which blesses you, like the invisible hand of Christ himself. After that, you can ask your question.

If you turn to a clergyman and don’t know his name,just call him “Srbasan Hayr” (if it’s a bishop), “Hayr Surb” (if it’s a celibate priest) or “Ter Hayr” (if it’s a married priest). It is the Armenian form of salutation, it is polite, simple and appropriate.

If you know the name of the clergyman,call him ” Hayr (Father) …” (in the case of celibate priests) or “Ter (Lord) … ” (in the case of married ones). Family names are not (very rarely) used in the Church.

If you are addressing a bishop (how to distinguish a bishop, archbishop, metropolitan or patriarch in the robes, see chapter 2 “The ecclesial robes”), precede his name with the word “Vladyko” (area), e.g. “Vladyko Sergij”. You can ask for his blessing just as you have from a priest.


Never think that the clergyman has no time to talk to you, and you would only harass him with your questions! The clergyman in the Church is your shepherd, he must respond to all your spiritual needs and help you. Therefore, you do not conceal important questions for you that you cannot solve without the clergyman, out of false modesty.

Below we present in detail the forms of salutation to the clergy in Armenian, Armenian transcription and German (it is not a translation, but a form of salutation common in Germany).

Բանավոր’
Աստված օգնական, Վեհափառ Տեր:

Գրավոր դիմելու դեպքում
սկզբում’
Ն.Ս.Օ.Տ.Տ. … Ամենայն Հայոց Կաթողիկոս
Վեհափառ Տեր, …

ավարտին’
Որդիական խոնարհութեամբ մատչիմ ի համբոյր
Ձերդ Սրբութեան Օծեալ Սուրբ Աջոյն’
/դիմողի անունը եւ ստորագրությունը/

Բանավոր’
Աստված օգնական, Պատրիարք Տեր
(կամ Պատրիարք Հայր)

Գրավոր դիմելու դեպքում
սկզբում’
Նորին Ամենապատվություն Տ. … արքեպիսկոպոս …
Ամենապատիվ Տեր, …

ավարտին’
Որդիական խոնարհութեամբ մատչիմ ի համբոյր
Ձերդ Ամենապատւութեան Սուրբ Աջոյն’
/դիմողի անունը եւ ստորագրությունը/

Բանավոր’
Աստված օգնական, Սրբազան Հայր

Գրավոր դիմելու դեպքում
սկզբում’
Գերաշնորհ Տ. … արքեպիսկոպոս (եպիսկոպոս) …
Սրբազան Հայր, …

ավարտին’
Որդիական խոնարհութեամբ մատչիմ ի համբոյր
Ձերդ (Սրբազնութեան) Սուրբ Աջոյն’
/դիմողի անունը եւ ստորագրությունը/

Ծայրագույն Վարդապետին
(վարդապետին, աբեղային)’

Բանավոր’
Աստված օգնական, Հայր Սուրբ:

Գրավոր դիմելու դեպքում
սկզբում’
Հոգեշնորհ Տ. … Ծայրագույն Վարդապետ
(վարդապետ, աբեղա) …
Հայր Սուրբ, …

ավարտին’
Որդիական խոնարհութեամբ մատչիմ ի համբոյր
Ձերդ Սուրբ Աջոյն’
/դիմողի անունը եւ ստորագրությունը/

Ավագ քահանային
(քահանային) `

Բանավոր’
Օրհնեցեք, Տեր Հայր:

Գրավոր դիմելու դեպքում’
սկզբում’
Արժանապատիվ Տ. … ավագ քահանա
(քահանա) …
Արժանապատիվ Տեր Հայր,

ավարտին’
Որդիական խոնարհութեամբ մատչիմ ի համբոյր
Ձերդ Սուրբ Աջոյն’
/դիմողի անունը եւ ստորագրությունը/

Բարեշնորհ … սարկավագ:

Orally:
Astvac ognakan, Vehap’ar Ter

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
N.S.O.T.T. … Amenayn Hayoc Kat’o’ikos
Vehap’ar Ter, …

Finally:
Vordiakan xonarhutyamb mat’im i hambuyr
Dserd Srbutyan Ocyal Surb Aǰuyn,
/Name and sub-scream/

Orally:
Astvac ognakan, Patriark’ Ter
(or: Patriark’ Hayr)

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Norin Amenapatvutyun Ter … ark’episkopos …
Amenapativ Ter, …

Finally:
Vordiakan xonarhutyamb mat’im i hambuyr
Dserd Amenapatvutyan Surb Aǰuyn,
/Name and sub-scream/

Orally:
Astvac ognakan, Srbazan Hayr

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Gerashnorh Ter … ark’episkopos (episkopos) …
Srbazan Hayr, …

Finally:
Vordiakan xonarhutyamb mat’im i hambuyr
Dserd Srbaznutyan Surb Aǰuyn,
/Name and sub-scream/

Cayraguyn Vardapet
(Vardapet, Abea)

Orally:
Astvac ognakan, Hayr Surb

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Hogeshnorh Ter … Cayraguyn Vardapet
(vardapet, abea) …
Hayr Surb, …

Finally:
Vordiakan xonarhutyamb mat’im i hambuyr
Dserd Surb Aǰuyn,
/Name and sub-scream/

Avag qahana
(qahana)

Orally:
Orhnec’eq, Ter Hayr

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Aranapativ Ter … avag qahana
(qahana) …
Ar’anapativ Ter Hayr, …

Finally:
Vordiakan xonarhutyamb mat’im i hambuyr
Dserd Surb Aǰuyn,
/Name and sub-scream/

Bare’norh … sarkavag.

Orally:
Help God, Your / Your Holiness

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Your Holiness … Catholicos Of All Armenians,
Your Holiness …

finally:
With all due respect, your devoted
/Name and sub-scream/

Orally:
Help God, your sores.

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Your/ Your Bliss Lord … Patriarch of …
Your/ Your Bliss, …

finally:
With all due respect, your devoted
/Name and sub-scream/

Archbishop
(Bishop)

Orally:
Help God, your/ your Excellency.

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Your/ Your Excellency Archbishop (Bishop) …
Most venerable gentleman, …

finally:
With all due respect, your …
/Name and sub-scream/

Proto-Archimandrite,
(Archimandrite, monk priest)

Orally:
Help God, Holy Father.

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Honourable Lord … Proto-Archimandrite
(Archimandrite, monk priest) …
Honourable Lord, …

finally:
With all due respect, your …
/Name and sub-scream/

Erzprister
(Prister)

Orally:
Bless me, Mr. Pastor.

In the case of written correspondence:
at the beginning:
Honourable Mr. Erzprister
(Pastor) …
Honourable Pastor, …

finally:
With all due respect, your …
/Name and sub-scream/

Honourable Deacon …