Open Thread

by epi on October 9, 2012

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly October 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Question: I will be ordained soon and will be taking on the title of Reverend. How are friends and family to address my husband and I in written form?

Reply

Winifred Rosenburg October 14, 2012 at 8:50 pm

http://www.emilypost.com/communication-and-technology/social-names-and-titles/774-professional-titles

If you have the same last name it is The Reverend Kelly and Mr. John Smith. If you have different last names it is The Reverend Kelly Smith and Mr. John Jones.

Reply

Elizabeth October 14, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Kelly,

Congratulations on your ordination. I have done a bit of internet sleuthing, and have found a couple of websites that may be of use to you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Reverend
http://www.formsofaddress.info/Pastor.html

Both of these websites describe “Reverend” as equivalent to how a judge would be addressed, “The Honorable John Smith.” In most denominations, one does not refer to someone directly (in speech) as Reverend John Smith, but there are other terms like “Father” and “Pastor.”

“Reverend” is most typically used in written address, as you asked. Since you will have a title and (presumably) your husband will not, then the most correct form of address to the both of you would be:

The Reverend Kelly Smith and Mr. John Smith

Another point of etiquette: unless you are asked, it is not proper to instruct people how to address you. Presumably this is something they can figure out on their own, and you should not instruct people to address you as “reverend” (in most cases – your denomination may be different), as that would be like a judge demanding that people refer to him as “the honorable so-and-so.”

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: