Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth


``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


Addressing Clergy

Note that priests and their superiors and religious should be treated with the utmost respect. The rules of etiquette that apply when dealing with people of different social standing apply here as well, for example: during introductions, laymen are introduced to priests or their superiors and religious (e.g., "Father, I present Mrs. Doe. Mrs. Doe, this is Father Smith."); clergy and religious should be seated at the right hand of a host (or hostess, as the case may be); at social gatherings, they should be seated in the place of honor, etc.

A note on kneeling:
  • Kneel on the left knee for persons (Kings, Bishops, Archbishops, Patriarchs, Cardinals, Popes, etc.);
  • Kneel on the right knee for Christ in the tabernacle;
  • Kneel on both knees when the Eucharist is exposed.



Latin Catholic

Pope

Face-to-face Greeting

Holy Father
Your Holiness
Most Holy Father

Envelope Address

His Holiness, Pope John Paul II (abbreviated: H.H. John Paul II)

Letter Salutation

Your Holiness
Most Holy Father

Formal Closing

Kissing the Sacred Foot

Abbreviations

His Holiness: H.H.

Other

Kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, bow at the waist and proceed. Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Women should have their heads covered and be dressed in black (only Queens wear white in the Pope's presence); men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Note: If you'd like a very nice papal souvenir, bring a brand new white zucchetto with you when meeting the Pope. His Holiness will trade his for yours.

Cardinal

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Eminence
Your Grace (British)

Envelope Address

His Eminence, John Cardinal Doe, Archbishop of Erewhon
("Cardinal" goes between first and last names)

Letter Salutation

Most Revererend Eminence
Most Eminent Cardinal

Formal Closing

Kissing the Sacred Purple

Abbreviations

His Eminence: H.E.;
Eminence: Emus. (Eminentissimus)

Other

Kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, bow at the waist and proceed (do not do either if the Pope is present). Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Patriarch

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude

Letter Salutation

Your Beatitude

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Patriarch, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Patriarch, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Archbishop/Primate

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Excellency
Your Grace (British)

Envelope Address

The Most Reverend John Doe, Archbishop of Erewhon

Letter Salutation

Your Excellency

Formal Closing

Kissing the Sacred Ring

Abbreviations

Archieps. (Archiepiscopus), or Arch.

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Archbishop, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Archbishop, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Bishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Excellency
My Lord Bishop (British)
Your Lordship (British)

Envelope Address

The Most Reverend John Doe, Bishop of Erewhon
The Right Reverend John Doe, Bishop of Erewhon (British)

Letter Salutation

Your Excellency
Your Lordship

Formal Closing

Kissing the Sacred Ring

Abbreviations

Ep., Epus. (Episcopus)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. When it is your own Bishop, kneel on your left knee and kiss ring as sign of respect for his office. If kneeling would be awkward or impossible, or if he is not your own Bishop, bow at the waist and kiss his ring (do not do either if the Pope is present). Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Monsignor

Face-to-face Greeting

Monsignor

Envelope Address

The Very Right Reverend Monsignor Doe
The Reverend Monsignor John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Monsignor

Abbreviations

Right Reverend Father: RR. (for Reverendissimus)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. Repeat reverential gestures when leaving his presence.

Priest

Face-to-face Greeting

"Father," "Reverend Father," or "Your Reverence." Though it is common, it's not proper to address a priest using his first name, as in "Hi, Father John!"

Envelope Address

The Reverend Father John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Father
Reverend and Dear Father Doe

Abbreviations

Father: F. or Fr.
Fathers, Plural: FF.
Reverend Father: Rev. Fr. (or "R.P." for Reverendus Pater)

Other

Stand when he enters the room and remain standing until he invites you to sit. Men must remove their hats in his presence. If a priest visits your home, it is customary to ask for his blessing; the simple words, "Father, bless" are fine. When blessed by a priest, kneel on both knees until he is finished. It is also customary for many people, especially those in Latin cultures, to kiss the priest's hand to honor the Eucharist, as they alone are able to consecrate (unless the Pope is present).

Deacon

Face-to-face Greeting

Deacon

Envelope Address

Reverend Mr Deacon

Letter Salutation

Dear Mr. Deacon

Abbot

Face-to-face Greeting

Father Abbot

Envelope Address

Right Reverend John Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Right Reverend Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Abbot: Ab.

Letter Salutation

Dear Right Reverend Father
Dear Abbot

Brother

Face-to-face Greeting

Brother

Envelope Address

Brother John Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Brother Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Br. or Bro.

Letter Salutation

Dear Brother

Mother Superior

Face-to-face Greeting

Reverend Mother

Envelope Address

The Reverend Mother Jane Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. The Reverend Mother Jane Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Rev. Mother

Letter Salutation

Dear Reverend Mother

Sister

Face-to-face Greeting

Sister

Envelope Address

Sister Jane Doe, (Initials of Order)
Ex. Sister Jane Doe, O.S.D.

Abbreviations

Sr. (for Soror)

Letter Salutation

Dear Sister
Dear Sister Jane Doe



Eastern Catholic

Patriarch

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude

Letter Salutation

Your Beatitude

Metropolitan

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Beatitude

Envelope Address

His Beatitude the Most Blessed John, Archbishop of Erewhon and Metropolitan X Church in ErewhonII

Letter Salutation

Dear Metropolitan Doe

Archbishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Eminence

Envelope Address

His Eminence the Most Reverend John, Archbishop of Erewhon

Letter Salutation

Dear Archbishop John
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Your Eminence". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Bless, Your Eminence.")

Bishop

Face-to-face Greeting

Your Grace

Envelope Address

The Right Reverend Bishop John

Letter Salutation

Your Grace
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Your Grace". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Bless, Your Grace.")

Other

When greeting a Bishop, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Your Grace.” The Bishop will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

Archpriest

Face-to-face Greeting

Father

Envelope Address

The Very Reverend John Doe

Letter Salutation

Dear Father
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Father". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Father, bless.")

Other

When greeting an archpriest, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Father.” The Priest will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

Priest

Face-to-face Greeting

Father (First Name)
Ex. Father John

Envelope Address

Married Priests: The Reverend Father John
Monk Priests: The Reverend Hieromonk

Letter Salutation

Dear Father John
(it is customary to begin letters and phone conversations with "Bless, Father". It is customary to end letters with "Kissing your right hand" and to end phone conversations with "Father, bless.")

Priests' wives

Greek: Presbytera Jane
Russian: Matushka Jane
Serbian: Papadiya Jane
Ukrainian: Panimatushka Jane

Other

When greeting a priest, make a bow by reaching down and touching the floor with your right hand, place your right hand over your left hand, with palms facing upward, and say “Bless, Father.” The Priest will bless you and and place his right hand in your hands. Kiss his hand.

Deacon

Face-to-face Greeting

Father
Father Deacon

Envelope Address

Married Deacons: The Reverend Deacon
Monk Deacons: The Reverend Hierodeacon

Letter Salutation

Dear Father Deacon

Deacons' Wives

Greek: Diakonissa Jane
Russian: Matushka Jane
Serbian: Papadiya Jane
Ukrainian: Panimatushka Jane

Monastics

Female

Sister Jane
Formally: Nun Jane
Abbess: The Very Reverend Abbess

Male

Father John
Formally: Monk John
Abbot: The Very Reverend Abbot
(Do not refer to them as "Brother" per the Latin tradition unless you are also a Monastic. Do not use family names when addressing monastics)


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