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Ecclesiastical titles 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 Kingdom and some other English-speaking countries

See also: Forms of address in the United Kingdom

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:

In Ireland, and in other countries whose Roman Catholic usage it influenced, all bishops, not archbishops alone, are titled the Most Reverend (Most Rev.).

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


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

The Philippines

In the predominantly Catholic Philippines, ecclesiastical addresses are adapted from American custom but with modifications. The titles listed below are only used in the most formal occasions by media or official correspondence, save for the simpler forms of address. Post-nominals that indicate academic degree or membership in a religious order are usually included.

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.

Eastern Orthodox Church

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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.

Anglican Church

Anglican and Episcopal

In the Anglican and Episcopal Church, added titles are referred to as "preferments" and are ordered by bishops. Such appointments that place a preferment title in front of "Reverend" are normally a permanent preferment, while those after "Reverend" are not. For example, a bishop or an archdeacon retain their titles even after leaving their ministry posts. Generally, the preferment of "canon", which can be given to either ordained or laity, is not a permanent preferment. However, Bishops have been known to prefer a lifetime honorific of "Canon" to lay canons. For religious orders, all preferments, except that of a mitred abbot, are temporary and associated with the role, not the individual.

Other Protestantism


A Lutheran priest of the Church of Sweden prepares for the celebration of Mass in Strängnäs Cathedral.


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A Methodist pastor wearing a cassock, vested with a surplice and stole, with preaching bands attached to his clerical collar



  1. ^ 'Mx' is pronounced 'Mix' and is commonly used for non-binary individuals.


  1. ^ "Archdiocese of Milwaukee Web Style Guide" (PDF).
  2. ^ "Catholic News Service Stylebook on Religion" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 December 2005.
  3. ^ "Religion Stylebook". 31 December 2010.
  4. ^ "University of San Francisco Editorial Style Guide" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
  5. ^ "Associated Press Style Guide" (PDF).
  6. ^ "How to Address Church Officials, Bishops, Priests". 2009-08-15. Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
  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. ^ "How to address the clergy", Crockford's Clerical Directory website.
  9. ^ Contact us, UK: Alton Abbey, archived from the original on 2011-11-10, retrieved 2017-12-17
  10. ^ 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."
  11. ^ "The Church of Ireland". Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  12. ^ Peterson, Jason P. (7 October 2013). "Lutheran Reformission: Should pastors be called Father?". Lutheran Reformission. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  13. ^ James Jerome Conn (1991): Catholic Universities in the United States and Ecclesiastical Authority.Gregorian Biblical BookShop
  14. ^ Katarina Schuth (1999): Seminaries, Theologates, and the Future of Church Ministry. An Analysis of Trends and Transitions. Liturgical Press

Further reading