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How to address people properly in the forum


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#1 Jonathan Hayward

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 09:51 PM

One of the community rules, as I understand it, says something to the effect of "Address others formally until you have come to a first-name basis."

There was one part that I wasn't sure of, namely whether first or last names are used in formal address. In the rules of secular etiquette, one would formally address an Adam Bowler as Mr. Bowler, but what I was told as the Orthodox rule was that the first names govern, not only because the saints who have a last name given are known emphatically by their first names like the others, but clergy are formally addressed by their first names: a Fr. Charles Drew is properly and formally addressed as Fr. Charles rather than Fr. Drew. So far as I know, secular honorifics are handled the same way.

What are the rules here. If I encounter a Fr. Charles Drew here, should I address him as Fr. Drew, or Fr. Charles, or should I ask, or am I showing in the paragraph above that I don't yet understand the Orthodox custom overall?

Jonathan Hayward

#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:13 PM

I think you understand it. We call clergy Fr. (first name). We typically speak to others on this forum in the first name as well. We're all family here except for those few with an agenda to push and they stand out pretty quickly.

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 11:40 PM

What are the rules here. If I encounter a Fr. Charles Drew here, should I address him as Fr. Drew, or Fr. Charles, or should I ask, or am I showing in the paragraph above that I don't yet understand the Orthodox custom overall?

Jonathan Hayward


Fr. Charles should be addressed as Fr. Charles. Last names are generally only used to differentiate one Fr. Charles from another. Beyond clerics and monastics, if a person signs using a first name or a nickname, then addressing that person that way is usually acceptable. General social etiquette should be followed realizing that we are an international community and some latitude should always be allowed for cultural differences.

Herman the Pooh who answers to just about anything

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:05 AM

Herman the Pooh who answers to just about anything


Call me whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner.

#5 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:18 PM

If Orthodox are addressing each other, ought we not, if we are brothers and sisters in Christ, to use our Christian names?

#6 Paul Cowan

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 12:55 PM

If Orthodox are addressing each other, ought we not, if we are brothers and sisters in Christ, to use our Christian names?


I think we should, unless we are in a "mixed" setting which would only confuse the others. I get confused now as the only time I hear people's names is during communion as i hold the napkin for Fr.. Servant/handmaiden of God N receives...so when I hear people talking in church about the same person using their secular name, I have to always ask; who? Very confusing.

We have one gentleman named Barsanuphious. That's all I know him by. I dare say, his parents did NOT name him this at birth.

Paul

#7 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 01:41 PM

We ought to use our Orthodox names in Orthodox company. I didn't know there was an Orthodox saint called Alan until after I was received. He had the Latin form, 'Alanus' (St Alanus of Lavaur, Benedictine abbot, 7th century). Alan was used during the fifth century to identify someone from the tribe called Alans which originated in the Caucasus region, and it's a very common Christian name in Ossetia, the Ossetians being the remnants of that tribe.

#8 Alice

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:46 PM

I think we should, unless we are in a "mixed" setting which would only confuse the others. I get confused now as the only time I hear people's names is during communion as i hold the napkin for Fr.. Servant/handmaiden of God N receives...so when I hear people talking in church about the same person using their secular name, I have to always ask; who? Very confusing.

We have one gentleman named Barsanuphious. That's all I know him by. I dare say, his parents did NOT name him this at birth.

Paul


Quite a tongue twister indeed! :rolleyes:

#9 Alice

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:48 PM

Call me whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner.


You mean, 'Hey YOU' doesn't cut it as crossing all cultures here ?!?!:P

#10 Paul Cowan

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 03:35 AM

Well, Jesus said don't say Raca which is what I was told Hey You meant. Or a derivation thereof.

#11 Michael Astley

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:44 PM

We ought to use our Orthodox names in Orthodox company. I didn't know there was an Orthodox saint called Alan until after I was received. He had the Latin form, 'Alanus' (St Alanus of Lavaur, Benedictine abbot, 7th century). Alan was used during the fifth century to identify someone from the tribe called Alans which originated in the Caucasus region, and it's a very common Christian name in Ossetia, the Ossetians being the remnants of that tribe.


I agree with you entirely, Andreas, about the use of Christian names among Orthodox people.

I believe that there is a Saint Alain in addition to St Alanus. My godfather is called Alan in the world but took the name Dimitri when he was baptised. He also was unaware of the Saints.

I know a Richard who shed the name when he became Orthodox. He said that this is because Richard of Chichester was not Orthodox. He seemingly didn't know of the Orthodox Saints of that name. :(

In Christ,
Michael

#12 Cyprian (Humphrey)

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:37 PM

Well, Jesus said don't say Raca which is what I was told Hey You meant. Or a derivation thereof.


Okay, I'm necrothreading here, forgive me for that. But I was just looking up the actual definition of "Raca" because Paul's statement got me curious. Through that search I found this most amazing website. The author asserts that the Book of Esther is a Hindu book, and the Book of Job is Chinese... I won't post the link here to prevent scandal, but rest assured I've found some hilariously bad scholarship. I think my evening's entertainment is sorted now... :)

Oh, and actually, the word "raca" means "fool", "ignorant" and/or "empty (headed)". "Hey you!" may have similar connotations, depending on culture, but I personally don't find it decidedly derisive. One's tone of voice would have much to do with it.

My two kopecks, of course.

Fr Cyprian

#13 Jason H.

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 11:34 AM

I agree with you entirely, Andreas, about the use of Christian names among Orthodox people.

I believe that there is a Saint Alain in addition to St Alanus. My godfather is called Alan in the world but took the name Dimitri when he was baptised. He also was unaware of the Saints.

I know a Richard who shed the name when he became Orthodox. He said that this is because Richard of Chichester was not Orthodox. He seemingly didn't know of the Orthodox Saints of that name. :(

In Christ,
Michael


This is bringing up an old thread, but are we not supposed to use our Orthodox Baptismal/Patron Saint's name?

#14 Olga

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Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:20 PM

This is bringing up an old thread, but are we not supposed to use our Orthodox Baptismal/Patron Saint's name?


I think the point that Michael Astley was making was that many western names are indeed suitable for use as baptismal names, where one's Orthodox custom specifies that there must exist a saint by that name. The increasing "rediscovery" of pre-schism western saints is to be applauded.




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