In the Coptic Orthodox Church, the priestly rank of hegumen (Gr. ἡγούμενος) corresponds to that of archpriest or protopresbyter (lit. “first priest”) in any given parish. The Church prays for these priests in their elevation rite, saying, “Allow him to teach Your commandments and to be concerned with the purity, love and holiness of your people that they may be presented blameless unto Christ, the heavenly Groom.”
The word “presbyter” (Gr. πρεσβύτερος) literally means “elder.” He is a leader in the local parish after the bishop and exists to officiate the services, consecrate the Mysteries, and present the flock perfect in Christ. The presbyter is a sacramental image, a living sign and expression of Christ’s eternal Priesthood.
The Deacon is the third degree of the major orders of clergy in the Orthodox Church, following the bishop and the presbyter. The word deacon (Gr. διάκονος) means “one who serves.”
Give rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants who have fallen asleep! May their memory be eternal!