Echoes of Heaven
Ranks in the Church
The churches of the world have many similar titles and ranks. These are close enough they are translatable between the languages of the world, so while it might not be accurate to say the Elves have “bishops” they have a rank that is close enough to a Church bishop for translation.
The churches that follow a Savior have a hierarchy to their priesthood, in descending order of importance, as follows:
Faerarch: The head of the Church is called the Faerarch. Each of the other Savior-based churches has a head pontiff as well. One addresses the Faerarch as “Your Holiness.” The other heads are named the Barakkhâl (Dwarven), the Néliéril (Elven), the Ordi (Gnomish), and the Nomon (Halfling).
Patriarch: Large, autonomous sections of the Church are ruled by a patriarch. Gwyr, for instance, is the Patriarch of the Theocracy of Gaerydd. One addresses a patriarch as “Your Beatitude.”
Cardinal: A Cardinal is essentially a bishop (or more likely a major archbishop) with an honorific. Cardinals are bishops who either run an office of the Church or an important see. The College of Cardinals elects the new Faerarch when the old one dies. One addresses a cardinal as “Your Eminence” or “Cardinal Hand.”
Metropolitan: An archbishop that rules several dioceses from a metropolitan see. One addresses a metropolitan as “Your Grace.”
Major Archbishop: An archbishop with an important autonomous diocese. One addresses a major archbishop as “Your Grace” or “Archbishop <name>.”
Archbishop: The bishop of an archdiocese or a bishop with an important role, such as a bishop that acts as a diplomat to a nation. One addresses an archbishop as “Your Grace” or “Archbishop <name>.”
Bishop: The head of a diocese, also certain assistant bishop positions–or a retired head of a diocese. One addresses a bishop as “Your Excellency” or “Bishop <name>.”
Monsignor: An honorific added to a priest, often because he is working in a role for the Faerarch, either in his household or in special duty. One addresses a Monsignor as “Monsignor” or “Monsignor <name.>”
Priest: A full clergy member, the priest often runs services or serves some academic role for the Church. One addresses a priest as “Father,” or “Father <name.>”
Brother: A member of a monastic order, often ordained. One addresses a brother as “Brother <name.>” Orders other than the priesthood tend to have their own, shallow structure.
Deacon: A deacon is either a person in seminary or an ordained minister that has not been granted the title of priest. Often a deacon is a person who marmarried before earning his ordainment (in the Church of Angenus) and is thus relegated to aiding a priest or bishop for the rest of his clerical career. One addresses a deacon as “Deacon <name.>”
The Atavistic Church has other titles. As Atavists are not nearly as many as the ubiquitous Church, they have a less robust structure. They are as follows:
Heirophant: The head of the Atavistic church is the Heirophant. One addresses the Heirophant as “Your Holiness.”
Confidant: A grand druid who has been granted special office by the Heirophant is a confidant. The confidants elect the Heirophant. One addresses a confidant as “Your Eminence.”
Grand Druid: A grand druid is a great druid who rules multiple territories. One addresses a grand druid as “Your Grace.”
Great Druid: A great druid rules over a territory. One addresses a great druid as “Your Excellency.”
Master: A master is a druid who has achieved a honorific, either through scholarship or deeds. One address a master as “Master” or “Master <name.>”
Druid: An ordained minister of the Atavistic Church. One addresses a druid as “Ati,” an ancient title of respect.
The pagan churches have too many differing hierarchies to list here.