- Sovereignty over the Serene Monastic Republic of the Holy Mounntain is vested in the duly appointed Archimandrite.
- The Archimandrite is the Head of State and the Head of Government.
- As head of state and government, the Archimandrite possesses the executive power of the Republic and must answer to the Holy Synod who possess the legislative power.
- The Archimandrite is the Chairman of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain.
- As Bishop of the Orthodox Church of the Holy Mountain, the Archimandrite governs as an autocrat to whom the Holy Synod act merely as advisors.
- The Archimandrite is appointed for a term of five years from the twelve Orthodox hegumens in a rotation determined by the order of precedence of the monasteries.
- Upon appointment the Archimandrite is sworn in at the Divine Liturgy in the presence of the other nineteen Hegumens and Abbots. At this Divine Liturgy he is consecrated bishop by his predecessor.
- The oath is administered to the new Archimandrite by the previous Archimandrite and witnessed by the signatures of the nineteen Hegumens and Abbots.
- Should the office of Archimandrite become vacant before the end of the term, the Hegumen next in the order of precedence is sworn in and begins his five-year term.
Order of Precedence
according to the Fourth Typikon, as amended:
ineligible to provide the archimandrite
- St. Athanasios
- St. John the Baptist
- Holy Cross
- Holy Archangels
- Sts. Peter and Paul
- St. Philotheus
- Presentation of Jesus
- St. George
- Forty Martyrs of Sebaste - Armenian
- St. George the Painter - Bulgarian
- St. John the Iberian - Georgian
- St. Sava - Serbian
- St. Panteleimon - Russian
- St. Nicholas - Cambrian
- St. Maroun - Maronite
- St. Thomas - Assyrian
List of Archimandrites
- 1870 - Demetrius of St. Athanasios
- 1875 - Paul of Annunciation
- 1880 - John I of St. John the Baptist
- 1885 - Stephen of Holy Cross
- 1890 - Basil of Transfiguration (first bishop)
- 1895 - Andrew of Holy Archangels
- 1900 - Alexander of Sts. Peter and Paul (dies of pneumonia 1902)
- 1902 - John II of St. Philotheus
- 1907 - Manuel of Presentation
- 1912 - Joseph of St. George
- 1917 - Gregory of Theophany
- 1922 - Isidore of Ascension
- 1927 - Matthew of St. Athanasios
- 1932 - Jeremias of Annunciation
- 1937 - Metrophanes of St. John the Baptist
- 1942 - Cosmas I of Holy Cross
- 1947 - Cosmas II of Transfiguration
- 1952 - Gabriel of Holy Archangels
- 1957 - Methodius of Sts. Peter and Paul (killed in a fall 1961)
- 1961 - Maximus of St. Philotheus
- 1966 - Theophanes of Presentation of Jesus
- 1971 - Simeon of St. George
- 1976 - George of St. Theophany
- 1981 - Zosimus of Ascension
- 1986 - Ephrem of St. Athanasios
- 1991 - Gregory of Annunciation
- 1996 - Basil of St. John the Baptist (resigns in 2000 due to illness)
- 2000 - Theodore of Holy Cross
- 2005 - Nicephorus of Transfiguration
- 2010 - Loukas of Holy Archangels
- 2015 - Ignatius of Sts. Peter and Paul