The priest is the elected official for local communities of Orthodox Christians, otherwise known as a
parish. Members of parishes follow the rules and teachings of the Orthodox Church and support the
parish on a regular basis. The priest as well as his parish is considered to be part of a larger
diocese and under the Diocesan Authority.
Clergy in the Orthodox Church are those individuals set aside to perform certain tasks and/or exercise certain
authority in the life of the Church. Orthodox clergy take care of the ritual aspects of the religious life of the
Church, teach, or otherwise help in spreading Orthodox doctrine and practices. They often deal with life-cycle events
such as child birth, baptism, marriage, and death. Clergy work both inside and outside houses of worship, and can be
found working in hospitals, nursing homes, missions, armed forces, etc. The Orthodox cleric agrees to be a servant
of both Jesus Christ and of the people of the church; many of the vestments are intended to remind him of this.
Much is expected of the clergy, both practically and spiritually; consequently, they also have a special place in the
litanies that are prayed, asking God to have mercy on them.