Lay Readers are a dedicated group of Christian volunteer men and women licensed by their Bishop to assist in Worship services. They are present in most branches of the Anglican Church, though their mandates may differ in each National Church and Diocese.
Usually, they serve not only in their parish, but also in other parts of their Diocese. The actual ministry done by each Reader depends very much on one’s own calling, one’s own gift and one’s own parish or diocese requirements and needs. Lay Readers perform one or more of these functions:
Reading the lessons at church services
Leading non-sacramental church services such as Morning or Evening Prayer, Burial of the Dead
Assisting ordained clergy during the Eucharist and other sacramental services
Preaching at services;
Offering ministry to the sick, including visitation, prayers and sometimes even liturgy
Taking care of children education (i.e. Church School) and adult education ( Bible studies, etc.), or even organizing those programs
Organizing and maintaining prayer groups;
Providing ministry not only in their parish, but throughout their Diocese according to the needs.
As you see from the list above, Lay Readers are much more than just readers. In the modern Anglican Church, they truly are Lay Leaders.
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