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Question 24.

Dear Father Christopher,
Christ is in our midst!
What is the proper Greek word or phrase to say to a person when they ask for the blessing from a priest? We have these wonderful "Ya' Ya's" who speak no english but come with their children and grandchildren. I would love to respond to them, properly, in Greek.

In Christ,
Fr. Polycarp


Answer to Question 24
Dear Father Polycarp,
Christ is in our midst!

When we are asked for our blessing we usually reply with (Ο Κύριος) “O  Kyrios” or (Του Κυρίου) “Tou Kyriou” according to how it is phrased e.g.

If the person says (Πάτερ ευλόγησον) “Pater eulogison” (father bless) then we reply with (Ο Κύριος) “O Kyrios” (the Lord) meaning the Lord bless you.     

If the person says (την ευλογία σου Πάτερ) “tin eulogia sou pater” (your blessing father) we reply (Του Κυρίου) “Tou Kyriou” (the Lord’s) meaning the Lord’s blessing. Similarly when they say (Πάτερ την ευχή σου) “Pater tin euchi sou” (Father your prayer) we reply (Του Κυρίου) “tou Kyriou” (the Lord’s) meaning the Lord’s prayer or more correctly the Lord’s blessing as the word (ευχή) euchi in Greek has two meaning – prayer and blessing. Those of us who are old enough can still remember doing something for our grandfather to receive his (ευχή) euchi (blessing). We would for example make him a coffee and he would say (την ευχή μου να' χεις) “tin euchi mou n’aheis” (may you have my blessing). Sometimes this was accompanied with kissing his hand. This might seem strange to western minds, but in many rural areas this is still a common practice. My wife’s family for example, when they kiss their parents on important days like Christmas, Easter and birthdays, will first kiss their hands and then kiss them on the more usual cheek to cheek.  

With love in Christ
Fr. Christopher.