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Old 11-18-2003, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 3,583
Very, right, most reverend

I was reading about the Episcopalian church today and found reference to clergy with titles like:

"The Most Reverend Smith"
"The Right Reverend Jones"
"The Very Reverend Thomas"

What's all this about? The only information I could find online was that they are titles of respect. But what I was reading about the Episcopalians made it sound like part of their official titles.

What's the difference between a "Very" reverend and a "Right" reverend? Which is the best reverend, just in case I ever need one?
Old 11-18-2003, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Je suis Ikea.
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Here's a link to the protocol office of the government of Saskatchewan, which explains the usage.

"Most reverend" appears to be used for the upper reaches of the hierarchy in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic churches. Anglicans use it for the primate and archbishops; Roman Catholics for archbishops and bishops; Ukrainian Catholics for eparchs.

"Right reverend" is the next step down, then "Very reverend". "Reverend" seems to be used for the everyday priests in the churches.
Old 11-18-2003, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Je suis Ikea.
Posts: 25,092
Further googling provides a link to the Government of Canada's webpage on Styles of Address, which gives similar information.

Sidebar: why is that governments in Canada seem to be the leaders on the web in providing this arcane information?
Old 11-18-2003, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lafayette, IN
Posts: 11,980
Re: Very, right, most reverend

Originally posted by Mach Tuck
What's the difference between a "Very" reverend and a "Right" reverend? Which is the best reverend, just in case I ever need one?
According to this page, "the Right Reverend" is applied to an Episcopal bishop, who outranks a dean ("the Very Reverend"). "The Reverend" is appended to the name of a priest or deacon. However, you address a clergyman of the denomination as "Mr. Smith", a clergywoman as "Ms. Anderson" (or "Mrs." or "Miss", as appropriate). Although it's not specified in the text I've paraphrased, you can also feel free to address the holder of an earned or honorary doctorate as "Dr. Lee" unless he/she prefers another honorific.
Old 11-18-2003, 09:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,416
I keep waiting to find out about a "you wouldn't believe how incredibly" reverend, but have yet to encounter one. Alas.

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