Addressing a Deacon


#1

Hi,

We address a Priest as Father or Reverand, so how should one address a Deacon, do you call them Deacon or just simply use their first name.

Yours in the Spirit

Pious


#2

I would call them “Deacon,” or “Deacon Smith,” or, if they prefered, and invited me to do so, “Deacon John.”


#3

Transitional deacons in some religious institutes such as the Legion of Christ are addressed as “Father.” Permanent diocesan deacons are usually addressed as “Deacon.” If you encounter a Catholic man wearing clericals you may not know if he is a priest, deacon, seminarian or lay choir member (if you’re in Rome). Addressing them a “Father” shouldn’t cause an offense. It’s like misidentifying a rank in the military. “Thanks for the promotion!” is the usual military reply.


#4

In the Latin Church you can simply address them as “Deacon” or “Deacon Lastname” – I generally go by “Deacon Ed” to my parishioners. In my Melkite Church deacons are called “Deacon” “Father” or “Father Deacon” (since we also use Arabic it’s “Abouna” or “Abouna Shamas” which translate as “Father” and “Father Deacon”). The Arabic term “Abouna” also indicates a sense of “ownership” as in “our Father” – although that is not the term used in the Lord’s Prayer.

Deacon Ed


#5

[quote=JKirkLVNV]I would call them “Deacon,” or “Deacon Smith,” or, if they prefered, and invited me to do so, “Deacon John.”
[/quote]

But what if his name is Peter :smiley: , only joking, I know what you meant, thank you.

And thank you pazdziernik for your input.

Yours in the Spirit

Pious


#6

Some deacons say “just call me Bill.” I say okay “Deacon Bill”!


#7

[quote=Deacon Ed]In the Latin Church you can simply address them as “Deacon” or “Deacon Lastname” – I generally go by “Deacon Ed” to my parishioners.

[/quote]

Thank you Deacon Ed.

Yours in the Spirit

Pious.


#8

[quote=Pious]Hi,

We address a Priest as Father or Reverand, so how should one address a Deacon, do you call them Deacon or just simply use their first name.

Yours in the Spirit

Pious
[/quote]

Addressing a deacon by just his first name is disrespectful. Ask him how he prefers to be addressed, as Deacon Tom or Deacon Jones. But ALWAYS use the prefix of Deacon (except in the Eastern Rite, where I think they are referred to as Father Deacon).


#9

[quote=Detroit Sue]Addressing a deacon by just his first name is disrespectful. Ask him how he prefers to be addressed, as Deacon Tom or Deacon Jones. But ALWAYS use the prefix of Deacon (except in the Eastern Rite, where I think they are referred to as Father Deacon).
[/quote]

Yes I thought that using their first name would be disrespectable, but all the parishioners from this parish were all calling him Peter, but I just called him Deacon.

Yours in the Spirit

Pious


#10

I tell my parishioners that they can call me anything except late for dinner. But, only my children can call me “Father.”

Deacon Tony


#11

I think that this is a linguistic problem that we have to work out yet. While I appreciate that most people insisting on calling deacons “Deacon fill-in-the-blank,” are doing so out of respect for the order in question, but it strikes me as somewhat incongruous. Calling a deacon “Deacon” is like calling a priest “Priest__” or a monastic brother “Monk___” or a mendicant “Friar___,” which is also why I dislike calling bishops “Bishop.” We’ve got the honorific “Your Excellency” and “Your Grace,” and “Father” always works, but I just don’t know what to do about deacons. I mean this in all charity and am more than open to reproof (or other suggestions).


#12

[quote=Detroit Sue]Addressing a deacon by just his first name is disrespectful. Ask him how he prefers to be addressed, as Deacon Tom or Deacon Jones. But ALWAYS use the prefix of Deacon (except in the Eastern Rite, where I think they are referred to as Father Deacon).
[/quote]

This is a cultural thing.

In the Eastern Churches, especially the eastern european ones, it is tradition to use the first name.

We typically address our priests, deacons, and bishops by first names.

For example. I attend a Melkite parish, the priest is Father Ken, the deacon is Father Deacon Ed (different Father Deacon Ed than the one posting here) and the bishop is Archbishop Cyril.

This is not disrespectful. It is just our way.


#13

[quote=FenianMan]I think that this is a linguistic problem that we have to work out yet. While I appreciate that most people insisting on calling deacons “Deacon fill-in-the-blank,” are doing so out of respect for the order in question, but it strikes me as somewhat incongruous. Calling a deacon “Deacon” is like calling a priest “Priest__” or a monastic brother “Monk___” or a mendicant “Friar___,” which is also why I dislike calling bishops “Bishop.” We’ve got the honorific “Your Excellency” and “Your Grace,” and “Father” always works, but I just don’t know what to do about deacons. I mean this in all charity and am more than open to reproof (or other suggestions).
[/quote]

Right. Calling them “Deacon” is an informalism that may even have become standard by now, (at least on second reference) but developed for just the reasons you stated. The old school practice would say, you call him “Mr. Jones”. If writing, you would use “The Rev. Mr. Jones”.

Okay, unrelated but my pet peeve – using Reverend as a noun. “Did you know Martin’s cousin is a Reverend?” Very incorrect.


#14

An interesting dicussion. The form of verbal address for Deacons in the Latin Rite is Deacon Lastname. Written salutation, Reverend Mr. Firstname Lastname. Their is no distinction in the forms of address or vesture for Transitional or Permanent Deacons. Some dioceses make some, but this is incorrect.

In Eastern Rites the practice of addressing Deacons as Father Deacon is the accepted form.

The one poster who mentioned “Mr.” is correct in pointing out that this was an accepted mode of address, but now that Deacons are


#15

[quote=Deacon Canicus]An interesting dicussion. The form of verbal address for Deacons in the Latin Rite is Deacon Lastname. Written salutation, Reverend Mr. Firstname Lastname. Their is no distinction in the forms of address or vesture for Transitional or Permanent Deacons. Some dioceses make some, but this is incorrect.

In Eastern Rites the practice of addressing Deacons as Father Deacon is the accepted form.

The one poster who mentioned “Mr.” is correct in pointing out that this was an accepted mode of address, but now that Deacons are
[/quote]

Dear Deacon:

In the last go around, the bishops decided that each diocese would pick the appropriate written address. It could be either “Mr. First Last” or “Deacon First Last” – my diocese has chosen to use “Deacon.”

The written address for Eastern Deacons is “Rev. Deacon First Last” and internally to “Deacon First” (in general, last names are not used in the Eastern Churches and, technically, bishops give up their name entirely!).

However, the “Rev. Mr.” form of address is used only by transitional deacons. we’ll see if the new directory changes that…

Deacon Ed


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