Ecclesiastical addresses are the formal styles of address used for members of the clergy.

Catholic Church

Latin Church clergy

Two Roman Catholic priests celebrating the Holy Mass

United States

  • Pope: Pope John; His Holiness; Your Holiness; Holy Father
  • Patriarch of an autonomous church: Patriarch John; His Beatitude; Your Beatitude
  • Cardinal: Cardinal John Smith[1][2][3][4][5] (Some prefer to use "John Cardinal Smith"); His Eminence; Your Eminence
  • Cardinal who is also an Archbishop: Cardinal John Smith, Archbishop of New York; His Eminence; Your Eminence
  • Archbishop: The Most Reverend John Smith, D.D., Archbishop of New York (abbrev.: Most Rev.; bishops in the U.S. commonly employ a terminal degree as postnominals, e.g., J.C.D or S.T.D., or Ph.D., or, in its absence, the honorific D.D.); His Excellency; Your Excellency. (Titular archbishops almost never have their sees mentioned).[6]
  • Bishop: The Most Reverend John Smith, D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn (abbrev.: Most. Rev.; bishops in the U.S. commonly employ a terminal degree as postnominals, e.g., J.C.D, S.T.D., or Ph.D., or, in its absence, the honorific D.D.); His Excellency; Your Excellency. (Titular bishops almost never have their sees mentioned).
  • Abbot: The Right Reverend John Smith, O.S.B. (or appropriate order's postnominals); The Right Reverend Abbot (abbrev. Rt. Rev.); Abbot John or Abbot Smith or Dom John or Father John, depending on personal and abbey custom.
  • Abbess, Prioress, superior of a religious order of women or a province: Rev. Mother Jane Smith, O.S.B.; Mother Jane (the title of women religious superiors varies widely, and specific customs of the order should be noted)
  • Protonotary Apostolic, Honorary Prelate, Chaplain of His Holiness: The Reverend Monsignor John Smith (abbrev.: Rev. Msgr.); Monsignor Smith. Postnominal P.A. is often added for Protonotaries Apostolic. Postnominals are rarely used for Honorary Prelates or Chaplains of His Holiness.
  • Vicar General: The Very Reverend John Smith, or The Reverend John Smith, V.G.; Father Smith.
  • Judicial Vicar, Ecclesiastical Judge, Episcopal Vicar, Vicar Forane, Dean, Provincial Superior, Rector: The Very Reverend John Smith; Father Smith.
  • Prior whether superior of or in a monastery or a province or house of a religious order : The Very Reverend John Smith, O.P. (appropriate postnominals for the order); Father Smith.
  • Pastor of a Catholic parish, Parochial Vicar, Chaplain, Priest: The Reverend John Smith (abbrev.: Rev. John Smith); Father Smith.
  • Transitional Deacon (i.e., deacon preparing for priesthood): Rev. Mr. Smith or Deacon Smith.
  • Permanent Deacon: Rev. Deacon John Smith or Deacon John Smith; Deacon Smith or Father Smith.
  • Brother: Brother John Smith, O.F.M.; Brother John (in some teaching orders, "Brother Smith" is customary).
  • Religious sister or nun: Sister Jane Smith, S.C.; Sister Jane.
  • Candidates for ministry (Seminarian, Deacon candidate, “Lay Ecclesial Minister candidate): Mr. John Smith; Mr. Smith.

United Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries

The major difference between U.S. practice and that in several other English-speaking countries is the form of address for archbishops and bishops. In Britain and countries whose Roman Catholic usage it directly influenced:

  • an archbishop is "the Most Reverend" and addressed as "Your Grace" rather than "His/Your Excellency".
  • a bishop is "the Right Reverend", and is formally addressed as "My Lord" rather than "Your Excellency". This style is an ancient one, and has been used in the western church for more than a thousand years; it corresponds to, but does not derive from, the Italian Monsignore and the French Monseigneur. However, most bishops prefer to be addressed simply as "Bishop <name>".

In Ireland, and in countries whose Roman Catholic usage it influenced, all bishops, not archbishops alone, are titled "The Most Reverend".

They are often referred to with the title "Doctor", or have D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) placed after their name, where justified by their possession of such degree.

The form of address and style is different, however, for bishops and archbishops of other denominations. See Forms of address in the United Kingdom for further information.


Similar to, and the source of, most of the U.S. English titles, with some variation:[citation needed]

  • (Permanent) Deacons are Rev. Deacon John Smith, and may be addressed as "Father"
  • Religious sisters are Rev. Sr. Jane Smith
  • Religious priests are Padre Giuseppe Smith or Padre Giuseppe
  • Diocesan priests are Rev.do. Giuseppe Smith; Don Giuseppe

The Philippines

In the predominantly Catholic Philippines, ecclesiastical address is adapted from American usage. The titles listed below are only used in the most formal occasions by media or official correspondences, save for the simpler forms of address. Post-nominals that indicate educational attainment or membership in a religious order are usually included.

  • The Pope is always given the title "Ang Kaniyáng Kabanalan" (Filipino for "His Holiness").
  • a cardinal is formally styled and addressed as "Ang Kaniyáng Kabunyian" (literally, "His Illustriousness"; English: "His Eminence"). Cardinals are informally addressed as "Cardinal <name>". Unlike in the US or Commonwealth countries, a cardinal's name is always written or printed as "<first name> Cardinal <last name>".
    • Though de facto Philippine Primate, the Archbishop of Manila receives the same title as all other cardinals, as he is conventionally elevated to the cardinalate in the consistory following his appointment, provided that his predecessor is over 80 years old.
  • a bishop/archbishop is formally titled "'Ang Mahál na Obispo/Arsobispo" ("His Excellency, the Bishop/Archbishop"), and more commonly as "Ang Lubháng Kagalanggalang" ("The Most Reverend <name>"). He is often addressed as "Bishop/Archbishop <name>".
  • ordinary priests, both diocesan and those belonging to a religious order, are formally titled "'Reberendo Padre" ("Reverend Father", abbreviated "Rev. Fr.") before their given name and surname. Priests are colloquially addressed "Father" (abbreviated "Fr.") before their name, which may either be a formal name or nickname.
    • A monsignor is given the same title as other priests, but is instead formally and colloquially addressed as "Monsignor" (abbreviated "Msgr."). As defined, the written form of address for such a priest is Monsignor (first name) (last name) or The Reverend Monsignor (first name) (last name), while the spoken form of address is Monsignor (last name).[7]

Eastern Catholic clergy

Although the styles and titles of Eastern Catholic clergy varies from language to language, in the Greek and Arabic-speaking world the following would be acceptable, but is by no means a full list of appropriate titles. It is notable that surnames are never used except in extra-ecclesial matters or to specify a particular person where many share one Christian name or ordination name. Where not noted, Western titles may be supposed. The following are common in Greek Melkite Catholic usage and in Greek Orthodox usage in the United States.

Bishop / Archbishop: In Arabic, a bishop is styled "Sayedna," while in Syriac-tradition churches, he is styled "Mar". If an Eastern Catholic Archbishop or Patriarch is made a Cardinal by the Pope, he may be addressed as "His Eminence" or use the hybrid title "His Beatitude and Eminence".

Priest: In Arabic, "Abouna", and in Greek "Pappas".

Deacon: Identical to a priest in all ways except "Father Deacon" is also heard ("Abouna Shammas" or "Pappas Diakonos").

Subdeacon: Reverend Subdeacon in written address, but the Christian name with or without "Brother" is usually used, except some traditions where "Father Subdeacon" is used. In Arabic, this is confused by the word "Shammas" being used for both the subdeaconate and the deaconate, the distinction being a "Deacon of the Letter" and a "Deacon of the Gospel," respectively. Often a Deacon will be addressed as "Father" and the subdeacon as "Brother" to make the distinction clear.

Reader: Readers are addressed as "Reader" or "Brother" depending on the preference of the addresser.

Seminarians: "Brother" or "Brother Seminarian" is the most common title; the appellation "Father Seminarian" or "Father Student" is not seen outside of rural Greek and Arabic-speaking laity.

Tonsured individuals of no title: Brother.

Eastern Orthodox Churches

An Eastern Orthodox priest blesses his congregation at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy

Usage varies somewhat throughout the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and not every church uses every clerical rank. Surnames are typically not used for archpastors (rank of bishop or above) or monastics.

  • Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople: Ecumenical Patriarch John II, His All-Holiness, Your All-Holiness
  • Patriarch: Patriarch John II of Terirem, Patriarch John, His Beatitude, Your Beatitude
    • Note: Some Patriarchs use the honorific "His/Your Holiness"
  • Archbishop
    • of an independent Church: The Most Reverend (Rev.) Archbishop John of Terirem, Archbishop John, His Beatitude, Your Beatitude
    • of a sub-national Church: The Most Reverend (Rev.) Archbishop John of Terirem, Archbishop John, His Eminence, Your Eminence
  • Metropolitan: The Most Reverend (Rev.) Metropolitan John of Terirem, Metropolitan John, His Eminence, Your Eminence
    • Titular Metropolitan: The Most Reverend (Rev.) Metropolitan John of Terirem, His Excellency, Your Excellency
    • Note: Some Metropolitans use the style "The Very Most Reverend" (V. Most Rev.)
    • Note: A Metropolitan who is the head of an independent Church is addressed as "Beatitude" rather than "Excellency"
  • Bishop: The Right Reverend (Rt. Rev.) Bishop John of Terirem, Bishop John, His Grace, Your Grace
    • Titular/Auxiliary Bishop: same as for Bishops, above
    • Other Languages: Sayedna (Arabic), Despota (Greek), Vladika (Russian, Serbian)
  • Priest (Presbyter): The Reverend Father (Rev. Fr.) John Smith, Father John
    • Protopriest: The Very Reverend (V. Rev.) Protopriest John Smith, Father (Fr.) John
    • Archpriest: The Very Reverend (V. Rev.) Archpriest John Smith, Father (Fr.) John
    • Archimandrite: The Very Reverend (V. Rev.) Archimandrite John, or The Right Reverend (Rt. Rev.) Archimandrite John, Father John
    • Hieromonk (Priest-monk): The Reverend (Rev.) Hieromonk John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Other Languages: Abouna (Arabic), Pappas (Greek), Batushka (Russian)
    • Priest's Wife: Presbytera Mary (Greek), Khouria Mary (Arabic), Matushka Mary (Russian), Papadiya Mary (Serbian), Panimatushka (Ukrainian)
  • Deacon: The Reverend Father (Rev. Fr.) John Smith, Deacon (Dn.) John Smith, Father John, Deacon Father (Dn. Fr.) John, Deacon (Dn.) John
    • Protodeacon: The Reverend (Rev.) Protodeacon John Smith, Father (Fr.) John, Deacon Father (Dn. Fr.) John, Deacon (Dn.) John
    • Archdeacon: The Reverend (Rev.) Archdeacon John Smith, Father (Fr.) John, Deacon Father (Dn. Fr.) John, Deacon (Dn.) John
    • Hierodeacon (Deacon-monk): The Reverend (Rev.) Hierodeacon John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Deacon's Wife: Diakonissa Mary (Greek), or the same titles as a priest's wife
  • Abbot: The Right Reverend (Rt. Rev.) Abbot John, Abbot John, Father (Fr.) John
  • Abbess: The Reverend (Rev.) Mother Superior Mary, The Very Reverend (V. Rev.) Abbess Mary, Reverend Mother Mary, Mother Mary
  • Monk: Monk John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Rassophore Monk: Rassophore Monk John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Stavrophore Monk: Stavrophore Monk John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Schemamonk: Schemamonk John, Father (Fr.) John
    • Novice: Novice John, John; or Brother (Br.) John
      • Note: the title "Brother" is a result of Latin influence; the title is only given to some novices with a special blessing.
  • Nun: Nun Mary, Mother Mary
    • Rassophore Nun: Rassophore Nun Mary, Sister Mary
    • Novice: Sister Mary

Lutheran Churches

A Lutheran priest of the Church of Sweden prepares for the celebration of Mass in Strängnäs Cathedral.
  • Deacons: Commonly styled Deacon and their last name, such as Deacon Smith.
  • Pastors/Reverends: “Reverend” or “Pastor” is usually written, but the person is commonly orally addressed as Pastor Smith or "Pastor John"; the latter frequently used by members of their congregation. The formal style for a priest is either The Reverend or The Very Reverend, but for male priests, the title Father and the person's last name are frequently used, such as Father Smith.[8]
  • Bishops: The Right Reverend (Name). In America the style The Reverend Bishop or simply Bishop and the person's last name are more frequently used.
  • Archbishops: The Most Reverend (Name).
  • Ecclesiastical Doctors, e.g. Dr. sc. rel. (Doctor of religious sciences/studies), Dr. mph. (Doctor of christian metaphysics, Dr. sc. bs. (Doctor of Biblical Studies) et al.: Reverend/Pastor/Father Doctor (Name).

Anglican Communion

Methodist Churches

A Methodist pastor wearing a cassock, vested with a surplice and stole, with preaching bands attached to his clerical collar
  • Deacons, Ordained Elders, and Licensed ministers/priesters are addressed as Reverend, unless they hold a doctorate, in which case they are often addressed in formal situations as The Reverend Doctor. The Reverend, however, is used in more formal or in written communication, in addition to His/Her Reverence or Your Reverence. In informal situations Reverend is used.
  • Bishops are styled as Bishop or Your Grace.
  • Religious brothers and sisters are styled as Br. or Sr.; for example, if their name was John Smith and they belonged to a religious order, they would be addressed as Brother John Smith.


  1. ^ Archdiocese of Milwaukee Web Style Guide : “Generally include the see of a residential cardinal in the first reference. Use Cardinal as a title before the first name, not after, unless explicitly preferred by the cardinal. Capitalize Cardinal only when it is a part of a formal name. Example: Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin of Chicago. Note: Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin, not Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.
  2. ^ Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion
  3. ^ Religion Stylebook: "Cardinals should be referred to conventionally, as in Cardinal Avery Dulles, not Avery Cardinal Dulles
  4. ^ University of San Francisco Editorial Style Guide: "On first reference capitalize these titles before the individual's name: Cardinal Timothy Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles" Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Associated Press Style Guide: "The preferred form for first reference is ... Cardinal Daniel DiNardo"
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Secretary of State 2000: “26. For Supernumerary Apostolic Protonotaries, Prelates of Honour and Chaplains of His Holiness there may be used the title 'Monsignor', preceded, where appropriate, by 'Reverend'”.
  8. ^ Peterson, Jason P. (7 October 2013). "Lutheran Reformission: Should pastors be called Father?". Lutheran Reformission. Retrieved 17 December 2017. 
  9. ^ "How to address the clergy", Crockford's Clerical Directory website.
  10. ^ Contact us, UK: Alton Abbey 
  11. ^ Nathan, George Jean (1927). The American Mercury, Volume 10. Knopf. p. 186. Retrieved 17 December 2017. When traveling in England they are customarily addressed as "My Lord" or "Your Lordship" and thus put on the same footing as the Bishops of the Established Church of that country, who, when sojourning in America, are properly so addressed. Similarly, a visiting Anglican Archbishop is "Your Grace." He is introduced as "The Most Reverend, His Grace, the Archbishop of York." 
  12. ^ "The Church of Ireland". www.ireland.anglican.org. Retrieved 12 October 2015.