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A hieromonk (Greek: Ἱερομόναχος, Ieromonachos; Slavonic: Ieromonakh, Romanian: Ieromonah), also called a priestmonk, is a monk who is also a priest in the Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholicism.
A hieromonk can be either a monk who has been ordained to the priesthood or a priest who has received monastic tonsure. When a married priest's wife dies, it is not uncommon for him to become a monk, since the Church forbids clergy to enter into a second marriage after ordination.
Ordination to the priesthood is the exception rather than the rule for monastics, as a monastery will usually only have as many hieromonks and hierodeacons as it needs to perform the daily services.
In the church hierarchy, a hieromonk is of higher dignity than a hierodeacon, just as a secular (i.e., married) priest is of higher dignity than a deacon. Within their own ranks, hieromonks are assigned order of precedence according to the date of their ordination. Ranking above a hieromonk are a hegumen and an archimandrite.Read more...
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