Faux pas after church: "God bless you"

Porter ODoran

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So in my past life I'd come to say "God bless you" as a good-bye or of course as a congratulations or encouragement, and here after liturgy I said it to someone Orthodox mostly by habit. She studiously ignored it and I immediately remembered the term has an official use in Orthodoxy, expecially by the priest, and is not just a wish.

So what would a Greek Orthodox layperson say instead? And, as long as the subject is up, can anyone say definitively who may bless whom and when in Orthodoxy?
 

Nephi

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I've heard plenty of Orthodox laity say "God bless you," including cradles. One was this older saint-in-the-making Syrian woman that would even do the sign of the cross like a blessing over things (can't remember if she ever did it to people). Anyway, IIRC she would say "God bless you" to pretty much anyone she talked to.
 

Asteriktos

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'God bless you' is fine. If we can bless God, there's no reason we can't do the same with people.  :angel:
 

LizaSymonenko

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I believe that the layperson can say "God bless you" to everyone, other than a priest/bishop, through whom God bestows blessings on His faithful.

Therefore, it would be inappropriate to tell a priest "God bless you".

My mom always gives me her blessing.  Every single day of my life.  :)  She would stop us at the door before we would go out to school.  Make sure our coats were buttoned, that we had our lunches, and would finally word a prayer over us and make the sign of the cross over each of us...and then push us out the door to run to the bus.  As an adult, she would get up each morning and see me off to work the exact same way.....and now that she is bedridden, I go to her before I leave the house, and she does the same thing from her bed.  :D  I am soooo very blessed.

What do people usually say to each other in parting?  Well, "Go with God", "may God watch over you", or "see you next week!" come to mind.  ;)
 

mabsoota

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ahh, now i see where you get your lovely mumminess from...
:)
:-*
(your new and biologically-impossibly-too-old daughter)

as for the original question, i still say God bless you all the time, although i try not to do it too often to priests
;)
(previous protestant)
 

CopticDeacon

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I say God bless you to just about anyone that sneezes. Not sure what I would say to the patriarch or a bishop though (God has blessed you?) or "your peace" (Salemtek) in arabic.
I have said God bless you to both my priests. But I am rather close to them from service and being "behind the scenes" in the Church etc. Anyone who does service as a layperson or in the Deaconate knows. I think that comes from working with your priests alot.
 

Porter ODoran

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Glad to learn I was mistaken!

Just would be grand, though, to have a long list of common phrases, in English and Greek (and Ukrainian and Arabic for that matter ;) ).
 

Anna.T

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Oh, I'm glad to hear it's ok to say to most people! I was worried for a minute.

When I first met Father, he said as I was leaving "God bless you" and I said "God bless you too" and immediately realized my mistake, but he never let on. He really is a wonderful priest. :)

But I'm not sure what I should say ... I've had priests say that to me several times and I feel rude not replying in kind, but I don't know what I AM supposed to say?

(I usually settle for a smile and bow and "thank you Father")
 

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Porter ODoran said:
So in my past life I'd come to say "God bless you" as a good-bye or of course as a congratulations or encouragement, and here after liturgy I said it to someone Orthodox mostly by habit. She studiously ignored it and I immediately remembered the term has an official use in Orthodoxy, expecially by the priest, and is not just a wish.

So what would a Greek Orthodox layperson say instead? And, as long as the subject is up, can anyone say definitively who may bless whom and when in Orthodoxy?
Other lay people say 'God bless you' to other lay people.  I wait for a blessing from a priest however.  Other parishioners say 'God bless you' to me fairly regularly.  

The lady with whom you were speaking may not have heard you, or had something else on her mind.  

Oh, I forgot, on her behalf: God bless you and yours Porter!  :)
 

LizaSymonenko

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Anna.T said:
Oh, I'm glad to hear it's ok to say to most people! I was worried for a minute.

When I first met Father, he said as I was leaving "God bless you" and I said "God bless you too" and immediately realized my mistake, but he never let on. He really is a wonderful priest. :)

But I'm not sure what I should say ... I've had priests say that to me several times and I feel rude not replying in kind, but I don't know what I AM supposed to say?

(I usually settle for a smile and bow and "thank you Father")
My default answer is always a "thank you", whether it is a layperson or a member of the clergy bestowing the blessing....except my mom, who gets a smile and a kiss. :)
 

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If someone, although very knowledgeable about Orthodoxy, chooses not to be gracious, perhaps they might need some instruction.  Surely it was obvious you were being genuine and kind-hearted, and not trying to usurp some priest or bishop's role.  I wish more people said "God Bless You" to me!    And, isn't Good-Bye shortened from God Be With Ye?
 
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I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
 

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I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
 

Punch

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Why would anyone, even a Bishop, not be thankful that a person was kind enough to wish God's blessing upon then?
 

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Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Yes, the use of the 'modal' may makes the exclamation acceptable. It reminds me of the prayers attributed to St. Patrick.

May the Lord bless you with His peace and grace, and may His Face shine upon you.
 

Maria

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Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through a confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation

St. Patrick (ca. 377)
https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/patrick.htm
 

kelly

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Punch said:
Why would anyone, even a Bishop, not be thankful that a person was kind enough to wish God's blessing upon then?
Because people have bad manners.
 

Maria

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may the blessing of light be on you

(Scottish Blessing Prayer)
http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/famous_prayers/may_the_road_rise_up_to_meet_you.html

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star. And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly;
up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly.

Amen.
 

Maria

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May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(traditional gaelic blessing)
http://www.lords-prayer-words.com/famous_prayers/may_the_road_rise_up_to_meet_you.html
 

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Porter ODoran said:
So in my past life I'd come to say "God bless you" as a good-bye or of course as a congratulations or encouragement, and here after liturgy I said it to someone Orthodox mostly by habit. She studiously ignored it and I immediately remembered the term has an official use in Orthodoxy, expecially by the priest, and is not just a wish.
Strictly speaking, if the priest is present, then he is the one who blesses; if the bishop is present, then he is the one who blesses.

But "God bless you" in English is more of a positive wish than a liturgical blessing.
 

Maria

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NicholasMyra said:
Porter ODoran said:
So in my past life I'd come to say "God bless you" as a good-bye or of course as a congratulations or encouragement, and here after liturgy I said it to someone Orthodox mostly by habit. She studiously ignored it and I immediately remembered the term has an official use in Orthodoxy, expecially by the priest, and is not just a wish.
Strictly speaking, if the priest is present, then he is the one who blesses; if the bishop is present, then he is the one who blesses.

But "God bless you" in English is more of a positive wish than a liturgical blessing.
Or a Christmas carol: http://www.releaselyrics.com/79ad/bing-crosby-christmas-is-a-comin%27-%28may-god-bless-you%29/

If you haven't got a turkey leg, a turkey wing will do.
If you haven't got a turkey wing may God bless you!
God bless you, gentlemen, God bless you!
 

Porter ODoran

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Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
 

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recent convert said:
I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
\

I hate to be that guy, but "inshallah" means "by God's will" and tends to get used sarcastically.(when there is no possibility of something happening haha)
 

Maria

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CopticDeacon said:
recent convert said:
I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
I hate to be that guy, but "inshallah" means "by God's will" and tends to get used sarcastically.(when there is no possibility of something happening haha)
:laugh:

Or it can be very insulting. For example, if someone were to use "inshallah" to refer to someone's upcoming wedding, they might respond, "What do you mean if God's wills?" It would be better to say, "God grant you many years."

The Spanish expression <Ojala> which is derived from the Arabic has the meaning "Would that God" and is very similar to "inshallah."

Both the Arabic and the Spanish expression have the root "ALA" in them.
 
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CopticDeacon said:
recent convert said:
I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
\

I hate to be that guy, but "inshallah" means "by God's will" and tends to get used sarcastically.(when there is no possibility of something happening haha)
Perhaps it has a different meaning in dialect.
 

Second Chance

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CopticDeacon said:
recent convert said:
I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
\

I hate to be that guy, but "inshallah" means "by God's will" and tends to get used sarcastically.(when there is no possibility of something happening haha)
Having lived in Turkey, I was surprised that in Egypt this wish was used to indicate something that probably will not happen. I had thought that it was a devout expression, meaning "God willing," that is, something like "yes, it will happen unless God does not will it to happen."  :)
 

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LizaSymonenko said:
I believe that the layperson can say "God bless you" to everyone, other than a priest/bishop, through whom God bestows blessings on His faithful.

Therefore, it would be inappropriate to tell a priest "God bless you".

My mom always gives me her blessing.  Every single day of my life.  :)  She would stop us at the door before we would go out to school.  Make sure our coats were buttoned, that we had our lunches, and would finally word a prayer over us and make the sign of the cross over each of us...and then push us out the door to run to the bus.  As an adult, she would get up each morning and see me off to work the exact same way.....and now that she is bedridden, I go to her before I leave the house, and she does the same thing from her bed.  :D  I am soooo very blessed.

What do people usually say to each other in parting?  Well, "Go with God", "may God watch over you", or "see you next week!" come to mind.  ;)
"S'Bohom" is a common farewell among some East Slavs..... It means 'Be with God' literally but the intent is the same.
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
CopticDeacon said:
recent convert said:
I think it just might be the person you spoke to. In our Antiochian church, many people say,"inshallah" (God be with you) when saying farewells. Many people also "God willing" in reference to seeing each other again. Most of us are 2nd to 4th generation Americans.
\

I hate to be that guy, but "inshallah" means "by God's will" and tends to get used sarcastically.(when there is no possibility of something happening haha)
Having lived in Turkey, I was surprised that in Egypt this wish was used to indicate something that probably will not happen. I had thought that it was a devout expression, meaning "God willing," that is, something like "yes, it will happen unless God does not will it to happen."  :)
I personally like the Jewish/Yiddish "From your lips to God's ears...."  
 

podkarpatska

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Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
 

Anna.T

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podkarpatska said:
Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
Oops, then I think I maybe just made a mistake. If he is addressed by some as "Vladyko" or "Vlaydyka" .... I should not call "Father" then?
 

Second Chance

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Anna.T said:
podkarpatska said:
Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
Oops, then I think I maybe just made a mistake. If he is addressed by some as "Vladyko" or "Vlaydyka" .... I should not call "Father" then?
Priest=Father
Bishop=Master
:angel:
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Anna.T said:
podkarpatska said:
Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
Oops, then I think I maybe just made a mistake. If he is addressed by some as "Vladyko" or "Vlaydyka" .... I should not call "Father" then?
Priest=Father
Bishop=Master
:angel:
Oops. I did not know he was a Bishop.

I checked and found a picture - pointy hat ... ???

Too much I do not know, especially when you add different traditions.

Should I apologize?
 

podkarpatska

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Anna.T said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Anna.T said:
podkarpatska said:
Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
Oops, then I think I maybe just made a mistake. If he is addressed by some as "Vladyko" or "Vlaydyka" .... I should not call "Father" then?
Priest=Father
Bishop=Master
:angel:
Oops. I did not know he was a Bishop.

I checked and found a picture - pointy hat ... ???

Too much I do not know, especially when you add different traditions.

Should I apologize?
Next time you see him..if he didn't make a big deal out of it, just remember the next time. If he seemed 'offended'...well, decide for yourself....
 

Maria

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podkarpatska said:
Anna.T said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
Anna.T said:
podkarpatska said:
Porter ODoran said:
Thomas said:
I have heard that we should say "May the Lord Bless You" or "May God grant you many years" is how we should address Bishop or priest, I have never been told we may not offer  the prayer "God bless you" to a lay member or family member.
Thank you for this practical explanation.
The answer depends on local tradition to a large part.

For Slavs, "Blahoslavyj Vladyko", or 'Bless, Master' (or in the case of some Bishops who prefer not to be called 'despota/vladyko/master' one can say ' Bless (me). Bishop.' as  the  means to first greet your Bishop. You could say 'Many Years, Bishop' or 'Eis polla eti Despota' or ' Nam Mnohaja Lita, Vladyko' when ending the conversation.
Oops, then I think I maybe just made a mistake. If he is addressed by some as "Vladyko" or "Vlaydyka" .... I should not call "Father" then?
Priest=Father
Bishop=Master
:angel:
Oops. I did not know he was a Bishop.

I checked and found a picture - pointy hat ... ???

Too much I do not know, especially when you add different traditions.

Should I apologize?
Next time you see him..if he didn't make a big deal out of it, just remember the next time. If he seemed 'offended'...well, decide for yourself....
I mistakenly addressed a bishop as "Father" and his reply was, "Yes, we are all fathers. The icons for the Ecumenical Councils depict the bishops as Holy Fathers."
 

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one bishop i know disliked being called master ('sayedna' in arabic). we were asked to call him our father the bishop ('abouna al oscof') instead.
i love our coptic bishops, they are very wise but also approachable.
:)

i think if anna t's bishop even noticed the mistake, he would not be offended, probably just glad to see that there is a new person in church who is not orthodox (yet).
:)
 

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Not a good conversation for the unfamiliar to overhear though.

"I'm sorry, last time I called you Father, I didn't know you're actually Master. Please forgive me? May I have your blessing? Oh thank you, let me just reverently kiss your hand now."

*HUABAND'S HEAD EXPLODES*
 
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