The following is a guide for properly addressing Orthodox clergy.
Most of the titles do not exactly correspond to the terms used in Greek, Russian,
or the other native languages of the national Orthodox Churches, but they have
been widely accepted as standard English usages.
Greeting Clergy in Person. When we address Deacons or
Priests, we should use the title "Father." Bishops we should address as "Your
Grace." Though all Bishops (including Patriarchs) are equal in the Orthodox
Church, they do have different administrative duties and honors that accrue
to their rank in this sense. Thus, "Your Eminence" is the proper title for Bishops
with suffragans or assistant Bishops, Metropolitans, and most Archbishops (among
the exceptions to this rule is the Archbishop of Athens, who is addressed as
"Your Beatitude"). "Your Beatitude" is the proper title for Patriarchs (except
for the cumenical Patriarch in Constantinople, who is addressed as "Your
AllHoliness"). When we approach an Orthodox Presbyter or Bishop (but not a
Deacon), we make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with our right
hand, place our right hand over the left (palms upward), and say: "Bless, Father"
(or "Bless, Your Grace," or "Bless, Your Eminence," etc.). The Priest or Bishop
then answers, "May the Lord bless you," blesses us with the Sign of the Cross,
and places his right hand in our hands. We kiss then his hand.
We should understand that when the Priest or Bishop blesses
us, he forms his fingers to represent the Christogram "ICXC" a traditional abbreviation
of the Greek words for "Jesus Christ" (i.e., the first and last letters of each
of the words "IHCOYC XRICTOC"). Thus, the Priest's blessing is in the Name of
Christ, as he emphasizes in his response to the believer's request for a blessing.
Other responses to this request are used by many clergy, but the antiquity and
symbolism of the tradition which we have presented are compelling arguments
for its use. We should also note that the reason that a lay person kisses the
hand of a Priest or Bishop is to show respect to his Apostolic office. More
importantly, however, since both hold the Holy Mysteries in their hands during
the Divine Liturgy, we show respect to the Holy Eucharist when we kiss their
hands. In fact, Saint John Chrysostomos once said that if one were to meet an
Orthodox Priest walking along with an Angel, that he should greet the Priest
first and kiss his hand, since that hand has touched the Body and Blood of our
Lord. For this latter reason, we do not normally kiss the hand of a Deacon. 
While a Deacon in the Orthodox Church holds the first level of the Priesthood
(Deacon, Presbyter, Bishop), his service does not entail blessing the Mysteries.
When we take leave of a Priest or Bishop, we should again ask for a blessing,
just as we did when we first greeted him.
In the case of married clergy, the wife of a Priest or Deacon
is also informally addressed with a title. Since the Mystery of Marriage binds
a Priest and his wife together as "one flesh,"  the wife shares in a sense
her husband's Priesthood. This does not, of course, mean that she has the very
Grace of the Priesthood or its office, but the dignity of her husband's service
certainly accrues to her.  The various titles used by the national Churches
are listed below. The Greek titles, since they have English correspondents,
are perhaps the easiest to use in the West:
Greek: Presbytera (Presveetéra)
Russian: Matushka (Mátooshka)
Serbian: Papadiya (Papádeeya)
Ukrainian: Panimatushka (Paneemátooshka), or Panimatka (Paneemátka)
The wife of a Deacon is called "Diakonissa [Theeakóneessa]"
in Greek. The Slavic Churches commonly use the same title for the wife of a
Deacon as they do for the wife of a Priest. In any case, the wife of a Priest
should normally be addressed with both her title and her name in informal situations
(e.g., "Presbytera Mary," "Diakonissa Sophia," etc.).
Greeting Clergy on the Telephone. Whenever you speak
to Orthodox clergy of Priestly rank on the telephone, you should always begin
your conversation by asking for a blessing: "Father, bless." When speaking with
a Bishop, you should say "Bless, Despota [Théspota]" (or "Vladika [Vládeeka]"
in Slavonic, "Master" in English). It is also appropriate to say, "Bless, Your
Grace" (or "Your Eminence," etc.). You should end your conversation by asking
for a blessing again.
Addressing Clergy in a Letter. When we write to a clergyman
(and, by custom, monastics), we should open our letter with the greeting, "Bless,
Father." At the end of the letter, it is customary to close with the following
line: "Kissing your right hand...." It is not appropriate to invoke a blessing
on a clergyman, as many do: "May God bless you." Not only does this show a certain
spiritual arrogance before the image of the cleric, but laymen do not have the
Grace of the Priesthood and the prerogative to bless in their stead. Even a
Priest properly introduces his letters with the words, "The blessing of the
Lord" or "May God bless you," rather than offering his own blessing. Though
he can do the latter, humility prevails in his behavior, too. Needless to say,
when a clergyman writes to his ecclesiastical superior, he should ask for a
blessing and not bestow one.
Formal Address. Deacons in the Orthodox Church are addressed
as "The Reverend Deacon," if they are married Deacons. If they are Deacons who
are also monks, they are addressed as "The Reverend Hierodeacon." If a Deacon
holds the honor of Archdeacon or Protodeacon, he is addressed as "The Reverend
Archdeacon" or "The Reverend Protodeacon." Deacons hold a rank in the Priesthood
and are, therefore, not laymen. This is an important point to remember, since
so many Orthodox here in America have come to think of the Deacon as a kind
of "quasiPriest." This is the result of Latin influence and poor teaching.
As members of the Priesthood, Deacons must be addressed, as we noted above,
as "Father" (or "Deacon Father").
Orthodox Priests are addressed as "The Reverend Father," if
they are married Priests. If they are Hieromonks (monks who are also Priests),
they are addressed as "The Reverend Hieromonk." Priests with special honors
are addressed in this manner: an Archimandrite (the highest monastic rank below
that of Bishop), "The Very Reverend Archimandrite" (or, in the Slavic jurisdictions,
"The Right Reverend Archimandrite"); and Proto-presbyters, "The Very Reverend
Protopresbyter." In personal address, as we noted above, all Priests are called
"Father," usually followed by their first names (e.g., "Father John").
Bishops in the Orthodox Church are addressed as "The Right Reverend
Bishop," followed by their first name (e.g., "The Right Reverend Bishop John").
Archbishops, Metropolitans, and Patriarchs are addressed as "The Most Reverend
Archbishop" ("Metropolitan," or "Patriarch"). Because they are also monastics,
all ranks of Archpastors (Bishops, Archbishops, Metropolitans, or Patriarchs)
are addressed by their first names or first names and sees (e.g., "Bishop John
of San Francisco"). It is not correct to use the family name of a Bishopor
any monastic for that matter. Though many monastics and Bishops use their family
names, even in Orthodox countries like Russia and Greece, this is absolutely
improper and a violation of an ancient Church custom.
All male monastics in the Orthodox Church are called "Father,"
whether they hold the Priesthood or not, and are formally addressed as "Monk
(name)," if they do not have a Priestly rank. If they are of Priestly
rank, they are formally addressed as "Hieromonk" or "Hierodeacon" (see above).
Monastics are some-times addressed according to their monastic rank; for example,
"Rasophoremonk (name)," "Stavrophoremonk (name)," or "Schemamonk
(name)." The Abbot of a monastery is addressed as "The Very Reverend
Abbot," whether he holds Priestly rank or not and whether or not he is an Archimandrite
by rank. Under no circumstances whatsoever is an Orthodox monk addressed by
laymen as "Brother." This is a Latin custom. The term "Brother" is used in Orthodox
monasteries in two instances only: first, to designate beginners in the monastic
life (novices or, in Greek, dokimoi ["those being tested"]), who are
given a blessing, in the strictest tradition, to wear only the inner cassock
and a monastic cap; and second, as an occasional, informal form of address between
monastics themselves (including Bishops).
Again, as we noted above, a monk should never use his last name.
This reflects the Orthodox understanding of monasticism, in which the monastic
dies to his former self and abandons all that identified him in the world. Lay
people are also called to respect a monk's death to his past. (In Greek practice,
a monk sometimes forms a new last name from the name of his monastery. Thus
a monk from the Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery [Mone Agiou Gregoriou Palama,
in Greek] might take the name Agiogregorites.)
The titles which we have used for male monastics also apply
to female monastics. In fact, a community of female monastics is often called
a "monastery" rather than a convent (though there is nothing improper, as some
wrongly claim, in calling a monastery for women a "convent"), just as the word
"convent," in its strictest meaning, can apply to a monastic community of males,
too. Women monastics are formally addressed as "Nun (name)" or "Rasophorenun
(name)," etc., and the Abbess of a convent is addressed as "The Very
Reverend Abbess." Though traditions for informal address vary, in most places,
Rasophore nuns are called "Sister," while any monastic above the rank of Rasophore
is called "Mother." Novices are addressed as "Sister."
There are, as we have noted, some differences in the way that
Orthodox religious are addressed. What we have given above corresponds to a
reasonably standardized vocabulary as one would find it in more traditional
Englishlanguage Orthodox writings and among Englishspeaking Orthodox monastics.
The influx of Latin converts into Orthodox monasticism and the phenomenon of
"monasticism by convenient rule, instant tradition, and fabrication," as Archbishop
Chrysostomos of Etna has called it, are things that have also led to great confusion
in the use of English terminology that corresponds more correctly to the vocabulary
of traditional Orthodox monastics.
From Father David Cownie and Presbytera Juliana Cownie, A Guide to Orthodox Life (Etna, CA: Center
for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1996), pp. 90-96.
+ + +
Is there a proper way to address and sign letters to clergy/fellow Orthodox?
When one writes a clergyman, he should begin his letter in
this way: "Bless!" or "I ask for your blessing." The letter may be
signed: "In Christ," "Asking for your prayers," etc. Lay people should
refrain from blessing a Priest (i.e., "God bless you"), and Priests should greet
each other with a simple request for a blessing. Lay people may greet each other with a
simple request for prayers and close their letters in the same way. The flowery
exhortations that were especially popular in the nineteenth-century Russian Church
("Christ is in our midst," "Glory be to God," inter alia),
and usually taken from the Liturgy, are not traditional forms of greeting for clergy or
for lay people. Nor are the greetings exchanged between great Church Fathers and the
Saints. Though these high-sounding exhortations are very popular now, since they appeal to
the Protestant evangelical piety which has invaded the Church, when used by the poor
Christians that we are today, they are at odds with the humility which derives from a
piety engendered by submission to Christ and to the traditions of His Church.
Orthodox Tradition, Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 10-11.