Leading our worship is a privilege and honor. Accordingly, the bishop has authorized our rector to prayerfully license laymen to serve in the “subdiaconate” — that is, as subdeacons — acolytes and/or layreaders. Potential layreaders may volunteer or the rector/associate rector may recruit them. All layreaders must be confirmed communicants in good standing and licensed by the rector, who reviews each license annually.
The lay role in the conducting worship dates back to the ancient Church. A truly meaningful ministry, this is a very special and integral part of parish spiritual life and is not to be taken lightly, but as a calling and service to our Lord. Each altar server, whether layreader or acolyte must be a man of solid Christian belief and action, committed to service –especially regular worship and parish life. In ancient days, it took years of preparation before a man was allowed to participate in Divine worship at the altar.
Layreaders descend from an ancient order of clerics in minor orders and are tasked with assisting the clergy in Holy Communion, administering alms basins for offerings, reading the Epistle in Holy Communion, conducting worship as Psalmist in the offices, officiating in Morning or Evening Prayer, and assisting in Litany, Baptism, or Funeral Offices, as needed, as well as in other special services, such as the Blessing and Procession of the Paschal Candle or the Procession of the Palms at Palm Sunday. Together with the acolytes, they form a vital spiritual partnership to conduct our ancient liturgical rites and ceremonies in accordance with the canons of the Church and meet a real need for the parish to maintain a full schedule of worship services. In those rare times when no clergy are available, layreaders may, with the rector’s approval, read a sermon written by licensed clergy.
Lay Reader/Acolyte Director: Mike Wodkins, email@example.com