Terminology, oy

So, I have been referred to as “Rev. Griffith” more and more lately. I perfectly understand this when coming from non-Catholic church folks because they refer to their clergy in that way. But, for Episcopalians to continue to refer to clergy as “Rev. so-and-so” just shouldn’t be (see point 3 below). It is a failure of education somewhere along the line (well, there are certain other reasons that if mentioned may cause be to be labeled sexist, but never mind – see point 5 below).
Because terminology used for various clergy levels and positions, when dealing with our hyper-individualize culture, is all over the place, The Church Pension Group (CPG) has a handy “Always and Never” sheet for employees. Here are some of the rules:
1. NEVER say, “Are you an Episcopal?”
2. ALWAYS say, “Are you an Episcopalian?”
3.NEVER, NEVER, NEVER call an ordained “Reverend.” The word “the” should always go before “Reverend.” In writing, the full and correct use is “the Reverend” or “The Reverend,” depending on usage and/or the place in a sentence.
4. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER call an ordained person “a clergy.” You might say one of the following: “He/She is a clergyperson.” “He/She is ordained.” “He/She is a member of the clergy.”
5. ALWAYS ask ordained women if they want to be called Mother, Mrs., Ms., Dean, Bishop, or another title. She just might tell you that she prefers that you use her name.
6. ALWAYS ask ordained men if they want to be called Father, Mister, Dean, or Bishop, or another title. He just might tell you that he prefers that you use his name.
There are a few more…
So, this is an older and briefer list. We received an 8 page list of proper names, titles, and the hierarchical title protocol – for example, ecclesiastical rank (titles) always take precedence over military rank (titles).
Now, concerning “The Rev.” or “Rev. so-and-so,” in the Episcopal/Anglican Church, “The Rev.” is not a title, but is an adjective. “The Rev.” is a descriptive describing something about the clergyperson – he/she is kind of like revered. So, you probably wouldn’t call me “Boy Bob,” even though I am a boy.
(If any recent people that have interacted with me read this and think that I’m referring specifically to you, please don’t. This has simple been a noticeable trend I’ve noticed over the last few years.) Call me Bob or Mr. Bob or Fr. Bob, but not Rev. Bob.