The Hellenic clergy in Thessaly temenos, obtain their clerical duties though an intensive seminary program that lasts roughly four years. However, maintaining ancient traditions, it is the general assembly of the temenos who determine exactly who will remain as their cleric. The Hellenic priest/priestess is not the representative of Divinty on earth, as they are in Xtianity and other monotheistic religions. The Hellenic cleric does not assume a divine role in regards to their sacerdotal duties, but instead simply acts as the representative of the worshippers who have chosen him or her as their spiritual guide. The Thessalian cleric is authorized either to minister the temenos in which he or she is placed, perform the sacrifices or to chant blessings and prayers.
The position of cleric, in Thessalian tradition, is not limited to a specific sex or class of person, but no one may apply to the seminary until they are at least 25 years old. Every Thessalian citizen has the right to apply for the clerical seminary, but very few make it though the entire process. Contrary to the clergy of several other religions, a Thessalian priest or priestess must give a yearly statement of his or her actions and a financial report about the Temeons.
Even though the clergy are deeply respected by the citizens of a temenos, they are in no way considered saintly or holy. This is because, for a Thessalian, holiness is acquired by the accumulation of knowledge about the ways of divinity, peace and harmony. Some of the pre-requisites to being a member of the clerical order are: healthy in both mind and body, must be a citizen in good standing for no less than one full year, and (s)he should not bear any of the impurities forbidden to the priestly status; ie.e impious behavior, homicide, oath-breaking, betrayal etc).
During Thessalian ritual, the priest or priestess usually wears white trimmed in purple, to denote purity and authority. On their head they will wear a wreath made of the leaves of a sacred tree or plant – in Thessalian tradition the leaves of the Elder tree are considered universally sacred. However, oak, bay and myrtle are also worn under certain conditions and during specific rites. It should be emphasized that in private worship, the ritual libation, and/or prayer is officiated by the head of the household and not necessarily by a member of the clergy. Ritual sacrifice is only to be performed by an ordained member of the clergy and only for very rare and specific reasons.
The idea of purity before the gods does not apply only to the clergy performing the ritual, but to the attendants of the ritual as well. Those who bear the mark of serious impurity cannot participate in the ritual if they have not been purged of their miasma through a rite of katharsis. Those who would need purification prior to a ritual are those who have just returned from war, all those who just recovered from sickness, all those who returned home after a long period abroad, women who have just given birth, or those who have been involved in non-Hellenic rituals which may have left a conflicting energy in their souls.
All of these precautions are to insure that the gods are not offended in any way by those attending the ritual. The idea of ritual purity is an important part of Hellenic ritual and often includes fasting for periods of time prior to attendance or performance of a ritual to the gods.