The Very Reverend
|The Reverend styles|
The Very Reverend is a style given to certain religious figures.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the style is given, by custom, to priests who hold positions of particular note: e.g. vicars general, episcopal vicars, judicial vicars, ecclesiastical judges, vicars forane (deans or archpriests), provincials of religious orders, rectors or presidents of cathedrals, seminaries or colleges/universities, priors of monasteries, canons, for instance. Monsignors of the grade of Papal chamberlain were formerly styled as The Very Reverend Monsignor, while domestic prelates and protonotaries apostolic were styled The Right Reverend Monsignor. Now, apart from legitimate custom or acquired right, most monsignors are simply styled The Reverend Monsignor. The title is also accorded in the Dominican Order to holders of the title of Master of Sacred Theology.
In the Eastern Orthodox churches, the style is used for archpriests and unmarried parish priests, while married priests are typically styled The Reverend.
In the Anglican Communion, the style is used with certain senior priests in a diocese. The senior priest of a cathedral, whether a dean or a provost, is usually styled as The Very Reverend regardless of whether the priest is also the rector of the cathedral parish, or whether the cathedral is a parish church. In the Episcopal Church USA, the dean of a seminary or divinity school is also styled in this form. The deans of dioceses in the Scottish Episcopal Church (who do not head a cathedral chapter) and the Anglican Church of Canada (who do) are also styled as The Very Reverend.
In some churches with a Presbyterian heritage, the style is used for former Moderators of the General Assembly, such as:
- a former Moderator of the United Church of Canada,
- a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
- a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
By custom, the Dean of the Chapel Royal, the Dean of the Thistle and (if a Church of Scotland minister) the Principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews, are also styled The Very Reverend.