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Hegumen, hegumenos, or ihumen (Greek: ἡγούμενος , Russian: игумен) is the title for the head of a monastery of the Eastern Orthodox Church, similar to the one of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called hegumenia or ihumenia (Greek: hegumeni). The term means "the one who is in charge", "the leader" in Greek language.
Hegumen is also a rank in the monastic hierarchy.
Initially the title was applied to any monastery. After 1874, when the Russian monasteries were secularized and classified into three classes, the title of hegumen was reserved only for the lowest, third class. The head of a monastery of the second or first class is called archimandrite.
The duties of both hegumen and archimandrite are the same, only during the divine service the hegumen wears a simple mantle, while the archimandrite wears a mantle decorated with sacral texts, a mitre and bears a staff (палица, "palitsa").
In Greek Catholic Church, the head of all monasteries in a certain territory is called Protoihumen (Proto-ihumen , Protohegumen , Proto-hegumen ).
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