Use of the Very Reverend

How to Address a Very Reverend

The Very Reverend is not an office. Rather, it is a courtesy title used when addressing a high member of the clergy such as an Anglican Dean.  I have also encountered a Roman Catholic dean (of a deanery) addressed as the Very Reverend, but I’ve never seen it suggested in an official Roman Catholic forms of address style book, so I am slow to suggest it. I wonder if they just picked up a British form?

Confirm the office held by the individual, then follow the link to Anglican Dean.

—-The Very Reverend is used before a (full name) or (initial[s]) + (Surname). Examples of correct forms include:
——–The Very Reverend Mark M. Phillips
—-—-The Very Reverend C. M. Phillips

—-‘The Very Reverend’ describes an individual: The person is a very reverend person. It is not used without a name:
—-—-Incorrect: The Very Reverend Dean of St. Peter’s Cathedral
—-—-Correct: The Very Reverend Mark M. Phillips
—-—-Correct: The Dean of St. Peter’s Cathedral

– Robert Hickey

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"