Reverend

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The Reverend is a style most often used as a prefix to the names of Christian clergy and ministers. There are sometimes differences in the way the style is used in different countries and church traditions. The Reverend is correctly called a style but is often and in some dictionaries called a title, form of address or title of respect.[1][2] The style is also sometimes used by leaders in non-Christian religions such as Judaism and Buddhism.[citation needed]

The term is an Anglicisation of the Latin reverendus, the style originally used in Latin documents by the Roman Catholic Church. It is the gerundive of the verb revereri (to respect) which may be taken as a gerundive or a passive periphrastic, therefore meaning [one who is] to be respected/must be respected. The Reverend is therefore equivalent to The Hono(u)rable or The Venerable.[citation needed]

It is paired with a modifier or noun for some offices in some religious traditions: e.g., Roman Catholic bishops are usually styled The Most Reverend (reverendissimus); Anglican bishops are styled The Right Reverend; some Reformed churches have used The Reverend Mister as a style for their clergy.

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Usage

In traditional and formal English usage, both British and American, it was and is considered incorrect to drop the definite article, the, before Reverend. When the style is used within a sentence, the begins with a lower-case letter. Common abbreviations for Reverend are Rev., Revd, and Rev'd. Except in formal situations, it is common in American usage not to use the when Reverend is used as a title or form of address (i.e., before a name). When the term reverend is used alone without a name as a third-person reference to a member of the clergy, it is treated as a normal English noun and therefore requires either a definite or indefinite article (e.g., We spoke to a/the reverend yesterday.).

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