Monk and Priest

Hello my brothers and sisters i was curious to ask what is basic difference between a Coptic orthodox monk and priest, and can a monk serve in the holy mass like a priest or no. Also my other question is can a monk be ordained a priest if he chooses to or is chosen to in his monastery. Thank you so much.   


  • Hello Rwondmue!

    Monks are consecrated celibates who have chosen either communal or solitary life to focus on a relationship with God. Priests are consecrated servants who serve the mysteries on behalf of the Bishop. You can "choose" to be a monk in the sense that anyone is free to go to a monastery and attempt to be accepted as a novice, however, the Priesthood is something that you are chosen for.

    Priests may or may not be monks. However, in the Coptic Orthodox Church many, if not most Priests are happily married with children.

    All the priestly orders are open to monks; the diaconate, priesthood, or even the episcopate. Monks may be chosen for the Holy Priesthood and be ordained, but they are not automatically Priests by virtue of their consecration as a monk. Only monks may be chosen to be ordained as Bishops.

    I hope that answers your question. Please remember me in your prayers.
  • Thank you for answering my question blessedtobeawitness but I have another question can a non Egyptian become a coptic monk like for instance a Ethiopian or any other in the orthodoxy religion or do you have to be coptic orthodox. Because I have a friend and he is from the Ethiopian orthodox church so can he become a monk he is really a spiritual person you can see tell that he loves god by the way he describes his passion and desire for god. So is he able to become a monk even if he doesn't speak arabic or coptic if the monastery accepts him.
  • Yes. Our church does not discriminate based on ethnicity or nationally. You would learn Coptic in the monastery and Arabic is not a Liturgical requirement. So, the church prefers the language of the native people you are serving. Look up Father Lazarus el-Antony or Anthony. He's an Australian who became a Coptic monk/priest and lives at St. Anthony's Monastery in Egypt. He has been a great influence on me as an English-speaker.
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