Talk:The Reverend

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What does Rev mean & How do you get it?[edit]

I hoped that this page would explain what "Reverand" means, and how the "style" is given. What exams do you have to take? Who confers the "style" etc.. What rights, responsibilities and privelages does a Revd have that someone without does not have? (talk) 08:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Stinssd wrote, 'Friend, the origin of being called a "Reverend" as a style or a title emerged alongside the clergy/laity in denominational churches. Early Christians were neither styled nor titled Reverend or any other title of distinction but considered themselves all members of a family of God in one body (the church) with one head (Christ). When distinctions began to appear, certain church officers began to be referred to with honorary titles. "Reverend" became one of these. Today, each denominational church titles its officers as the British Empire titles its Sirs. Because there are hundreds of denominational churches, receiving a title varies, based on traditional practice.

'Personally, I object to being called "Rev." As a member of the church of Christ, I strive to be as close to the early church as possible in my faith, practice, and doctrine. I will try to kindly say to people who call me this, "Please don't call me 'Rev.' I'm not a 'Rev.' [And with a grin, 'Rev.' is the last book of the Bible]. I humbly desire to be reverend in my conduct but not titled or styled such." I hope this helps.'

The early Christians had no Reverends but what they certainly did have is ordained officials. I do not personally believe in disencouraging such-like pious customs. However, we Germans have somewhat dropped our equivalent "Hochwürden" which remains practically only in the death announcements within newspapers, and at the beginnings of speeches, using functional styles like "Mr. Pastor" instead, a way of speaking which besides the Church, only the military seems to have retained... We still would never call a priest "Mr. Müller" though, and if a priest would ask me to do so I'd be quite sure to ask him immediately whether I could use his given name, as I don't want to address a priest the same way as I'd address a business partner. That being said - what rights, responsibilities, priviledges does a Reverend have? A Reverend as such, none except the priviledge to be addressed as Reverend, obviously. He doesn't even have a priviledged cassock with some violet or the like, since for this he needs to be a Canon or a Monsignor. Who confers the style? That quite extraordinary fellow who calls himself Custom, who does always do so on account of somebody being ordained. This Custom seems to have made its (his?) way into some papal decrees but I'm not so sure about them. Neither is it sure which ordination you need: A priest is always a Reverend, some say a deacon is too. In Germany, a deacon used to be called something as "Right Honourable", honourable being lower in degree than Reverend, a subdeacon who then still existed was "Very Honourable" and lower clergy plus religious was Honourable simply. It seems that all of them can in English be addressed as Reverend. Let me personally comment that there are some good reasons why, whatever the rest be, a different style for permanent vs. transient deacons should be objected. For the rights, responsibilities and priviledges of priests being priests, this should be discussed under the headline "priest", not under the headline "reverend". What exams do you have to take? Essentially, none, as ordination is to no degree an ending of an education and taking a religious vow, which sometimes confers the title, is so to still less a degree. But if you want to know what exams the Church usually receives before designating somebody a priest, that also belongs under another headly, e. g., "seminary". - That should describe the Catholic practice, not the others of course, but simplifyingly, whoever has an equivalent position in other denominations has also an equivalent title. -- (talk) 15:26, 16 October 2010 (UTC)


I've always been of the assumption that "Reverend" was NOT an exclusively Christian title, i.e. churches like the Universal Life Church give out the title, regardless of specific beliefs. Should the article be rewritten to reflect this?—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikebdoss (talkcontribs)

While some non-christians are now using the style of The Reverend for their clergy/leaders it is a style that origionates uniquely within the Christian religion, though Christians cannot stop others from using the term if they so choose. Some of the non-Christian groups, such as the Unitarian Universalist Association, have inherited the usage from their earlier origins within Christianity. Others, such as Won Buddhists, have simply approprated it, and may have done so incorrectly. The same thing has happened with other uniquely Christian words (such as church) and symbols, like the clerical collar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I would not say it was so much an appropriation as a translation. At the end of the day, to say that it is exclusively Christians is simply lying, as it is used by non-christian clergy, and legitimately so, as there are no laws restricting the use of the title. In the UK the title Reverend is used by a great deal of the Buddhist clergy, including the Therevada tradition and several Zen groups as well.

The history of the title is certainly uniquely christian, but there is still some rephrasing required here

Lostsocks 22:59, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Lutheran and other American Protestant usage[edit]

On December 8th, a user changed the remark about Lutheran usage (on commonality of "Pastor" vs "Reverend" to indicate the opposite of what had been said previously). I believe I authored the original line about Lutheran usage and have thus reverted this change (conceptually anyway, I actually rewrote the sentences). Perhaps my revised reversion will be more to the liking of whomever made said change; however, I stand by my assertion that Lutherans tend much more toward using "Pastor" than "Reverend"--even the ELCA annual yearbook lists clergy as "Pr. John Smith" with "Pr." being the abbreviation of "Pastor"

I'm curious if anyone has noticed patterns of usage that vary from region to region or from denomination to denomination (that is among non-Lutheran and non-Anglican Protestants). My own anecdotal observations seem to indicate a higher usage of "Reverend" (including the incorrect usages) on the East Coast versus a higher usage of "Pastor" in the Midwest--but this is based in little evidence. In a similar vein, although not completely related to this article, in my own denomination (United Church of Christ), I've noticed New Englander clergy identifying their position as "minister" (I'm the associate minister at First Congregational in so-and-so) and Central Atlantic and Midwestern clergy identifying their position more often as "pastor" (I'm the associate pastor at First Church in so-and-so).—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Catholic Deacons[edit]

According to the "Official Catholic Directory" of the Amercian Catholic Church, no distinction is made between permanent and transitional deacons with regard to this style. Both are entitled to use "Reverend Mister." Nor does it cite the use of the definite article before any of the Catholic ecclesiastical titles. 18:38, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

The National Directory for the Formation, Minsitry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States, published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2005 clarifies that "Reverend Mister" is not to be used for permanent deacons - it is only for transitional deacons (literally, as they transition from "Mr." as seminarians to "Rev." as priests.) Permanent deacons are simply "Deacon", though custom also allows "Rev. Deacon".Protoclete (talk) 23:29, 15 April 2011 (UTC) 22:26, 13 December 2006 (UTC)==Other== What is the relevance of Psalm 111:9? The Bible clearly states that holy and reverend is his name in Psalm 111:9

Withing the Roman Rite Archdiocese of Anchorage, useage is as follows: Archbishop, Ordinary, Coadjutor, or Emeritus: Most Reverend Monsigneur: Right Reverend Vicar: Very Reverend or Father Priest: Reverend or Father, seldom both Deacon, permanent or transitional: Reverend Mister or Deacon

The use of "the" before hand is infrequent, not consistent. My father happens to be a Permanent Deacon in this Archdiocese.

Exemplar links: (Not in Anchorage, but shows The Rev. Mr.) (Archdiocese of Anchorage)

Note Very Reverend Leo Walsh is the same as Father Walsh. My father's mail from the Archdiocese is addressed either "Deacon ___ ___" or "Rev. Mr. ___ ___".

Wfh 08:36, 31 March 2007 (UTC)


I'm Epicopalian and my priest's first name is Lula. She is referred to as "Mother," even in bulletin. Conversationally, she is referred as "Mother ____ ." It is not "in jest."

--J. J. in PA 05:16, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


i just cut the section on usage. while i will admit i know nothing about the historical use of the term, i have never encountered even a mention of reverend being solely an adjective. i always saw "the reverend bob" vs "bob the reverend" equivalent to "father bob" vs "bob the priest". in any case, the cut section cites no refs and is remarkably prescriptivist -- there's a world of difference between noting historical usage and demanding what you consider correct usage. --dan (talk) 18:52, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

This section is important and there is no valid reason reason to just remove it. The section doesn't "demand" anything but correctly explains the traditional grammatical useage. Anglicanus (talk) 16:03, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
you're right, cutting it entirely was stupid of me. however i repeat: this section cites no references, and there is a large difference between traditional usage and "the correct usage of the English language" (as if there is such a thing). surely, if there have been "repeated protests of grammarians" a few records of this protest could be sourced. i poked through the history a bit, and it seems a more balanced (to me, at any rate) version existed until the end of last year, when mamathomas changed it from traditional vs modern to correct vs incorrect. --dan (talk) 09:07, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Online sources[edit]

The online dictionary sources recently added to the article may or may not have been from "reputable" sources but they still contained various dubious and contentious factual claims which people with a more informed knowledge on this subject would immediately recognise and question. It doesn't advance the quality of this article when such dubious information is used - the standard of far too many articles are being seriously lowered by the use of such online sources. Unfortunately the Wikipedia emphasis on citations rather than expert knowledge works against things when the only available online sources are so inadequate. Afterwriting (talk) 12:53, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Just because a reputable printed source of information is also available online does not make it less reputable. And if you can find reputable sources that are not online that contradict the information in the article now, please feel free to add it, but your personal claims about what is expert knowledge is not enough. I'm sure you'll agree that Wikipedia's emphasis on citations in no way prevents or contradicts the inclusion of expert knowledge. On the contrary, WP specifically encourages citations from printed reputable sources that are not online. --Espoo (talk) 22:59, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

And just because something is apparently from a reputable source doesn't mean it's also correct - and, in this case, the claim of "formal" use for "The Reverend" is incorrect. Afterwriting (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

The Reverend[edit]

The style, in English, is "The Reverend" - not "the Reverend". Within sentences, however, it is correct to use "the Reverend" - but when actually referring to forms of the style within sentences in the article it is correct to use "The Reverend", "The Very Reverend" etc. Afterwriting (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


Since there are two possible uses, and one editor won't allow for a disambiguation link at the top of the page (see Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(disambiguation_pages)) of the redirected page, the logical next step is to have a disambiguation page and to redirect to that page. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:09, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

For the record this "one editor" is myself and I am currently engaging in discussion with another editor as to whether it is appropriate or not for one particular article (about Reverend Musical Instruments) to have a disambiguation link on this article's page. Without any discussion on here the editor above - who has been reading the comments on my talk page (where he delights in bullying, falsely calling me a "liar" and other uncivil behaviours) - suddenly takes it upon himself to create a disambiguation page. This is also an editor who assumes ownership of articles and won't tolerate other editors making changes that he doesn't agree unless they agree to discuss them first. Anyone reading this can form their own conclusions about his motives. Afterwriting (talk) 16:38, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

In response to discussion with the other editor on my talk page I have now restored the disambiguation link (rephrased) and the other article has been renamed to Reverend Musical Instruments. This should now resolve this matter. Afterwriting (talk) 17:02, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Perfect. This is the way it should be. Thanks for the speedy resolution. For the record, I look for situations of Afterwriting (talk bullying others. I don't bully. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:29, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
For the record, Walter Gorlitz is the most hypocritical editor that I have ever had the misfortune of dealing with on Wikipedia. His comment that he doesn't bully is an absolute joke. He has also engaged in stalking me on Wikipedia for some time. He will now deny this and any other faults on his part and call me a liar. This is his way of showing how good a Christian he is. Afterwriting (talk) 15:04, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Resorting to ad hominem attacks again. How typical. The edits you're reverting are important to the section. While I'm not an expert on Methodists, I doubt that you can say the same thing. The information you're deleting assists in separating the denomination from other groups. Please, stop taking ownership of this article. For the record, you're the bully as can be seen here and other places. I am not stalking. This page has been on my watch list for months, as can be seen from the comment above and the edits to this page. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:26, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Walter, thy name is Hypocrisy. Afterwriting (talk) 15:37, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Please avoid personal attacks, particularly when they are unfounded. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:36, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
Wrong again, I can say the same thing. I'm not an expert on Methodists. Afterwriting (talk) 16:16, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

I have found several confusing and unsubstantiated reference to the idea that there is no official organization that bestows the title "Reverend". The writer in the first paragraph of discussion states, "What exams do you have to take? Essentially, none, as ordination is to no degree an ending of an education and taking a religious vow, which sometimes confers the title, is so to still less a degree." Basically, can anyone call themselves Reverend? David Neubert (talk) 04:25, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

The Creativity Movement[edit]

The Creativity religion has ordained ministers, and I believe it is wise to include that on the "other" category. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zeit Totzuschlagen (talkcontribs) 15:26, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Please note that this article is only concerned with how "The Reverend" is used - or not used - as a clerical style in the mainstream Christian churches and other historical religious traditions such as Judaism and Buddhism. The article is not intended to be a listing of religious groups that have "ordained ministers" - especially fringe "religions" such as the Creativity Movement. Anglicanus (talk) 15:40, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The Revd Preb[edit]

Does anyone know what Preb signifies? I've found it in [1] in the context of The Revd Preb. Dr Paul Avis (General Secretary, Council for Christian Unity, Archbishops’ Council). (talk) 16:13, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia Article, Prebendary. Respectfully, Tiyang (talk) 04:29, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

List Anglicans first?[edit]

It seems silly to list Anglicans first when the term was first coined by the Church. The Anglican Church didn't even exist for fifteen hundred more years until after the Church coined the term. I know Wikipedia is anti-Catholic central though, so I shouldn't expect much else from the brainwashed, intellectually dishonest, leftist editors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

They should be included in the Protestant section, but there's no sense that the list should be chronological. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:22, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

FYI  : There is no correct plural form of The Reverend.[edit]

Since this issue arose in another article I thought I would include my response here for the information of other editors.

From A Dictionary of American-English Usage based on Fowler's Modern English Usage:

"Reporters giving lists of clergy have difficulties with the plural of the abbreviation; but, since reverend is an adjective (& not, like parson in the now disused 'Parson Jones & Smith,' a noun), there is neither occasion for not correctness in such forms as Revs. & Revds. ..." Afterwriting (talk) 13:19, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

"Class title"?[edit]

I have twice reverted the recent addition by User:Tpkunesh of the claim in the first sentence that the "The Reverend" clerical style is also a "a class title of the First Estate". Even if this claim is true it is completely unreferenced and I cannot see any reason why it belongs in the first paragraph let alone as the first information in the article. "The Reverend" is not correctly referred to as a "title". It's an honorific style. If Tpkunesh wants his / her information about the style being a "class title" etc to be included anywhere in the article then it will require a very reliable reference. But, in any case, I do not accept that it should be the very first information in the article. I don't believe that any encyclopaedia of worth would have such a definition of "The Reverend" as the very first statement. Afterwriting (talk) 16:58, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't need to be referenced any more than "honorific style" needs to be referenced. I'm not fond of either wording.
"First estate" is a term from prior to the French Revolution and I don't think it was used extensively outside of the French-speaking world. It would be good to know that it does have support. That is my concern, but class title is not an issue for me, although it would be better if the term had its own article on the project, or even the wictionary. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:18, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
@Tpkunesh: Are you planning on discussing?
For clarification, it would be better if "class title" had its own article not two separate articles. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:14, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I have removed this dubious information again. It does not appear to be verifiable. We know that "The Reverend" is a clerical style. This is easily verifiable. Besides which, when a disputed content issue is under discussion then the policy is that the previous version is restored. Afterwriting (talk) 14:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
The style has been removed again. It can be restored when it's referenced and less dubious itself. Is it a style or a title? Until it's resolved, neither should be in-place. Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:53, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Calling it a "style" is not "dubious" at all. That is the correct definition although it is sometimes ignorantly called a "title". Afterwriting (talk) 15:12, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the reference.
It's not ignorantly called a title though. Your trash talk continues years after I first met you. Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:24, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Calling it "ignorant" is not "trash talk" at all as it is not correctly called a "title". Therefore anyone doing so is ignorant (which is a perfectly neutral and factual word) of the correct definition. And please do not make any further gratuitous personal comments. Thank you. Afterwriting (talk) 15:36, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
I understand. Please forgive me for the slight. Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:01, 11 April 2015 (UTC)