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Canon 27 Of Lay Readers

Section 1.

The Rector, at his discretion, may use qualified communicants, male and female, to read the Old Testament Lesson, Psalm, and Epistle Lesson within the context of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Holy Communion. This person shall be known as a Lector.

Section 2.

The Bishop may, under such conditions as he may prescribe, license any male communicant over the age of eighteen (18) years as a Lay Reader. Such license shall be for one year and is renewable at the Bishop's discretion. For cause which to him may be sufficient, the Bishop may at any time revoke the license of any Lay Reader.

Section 3.

Each person desiring to be licensed as a Lay Reader shall be properly instructed and trained by the parish priest before making application to the Bishop, making use of this Church's MANUAL FOR LAY READERS as a guide and text.

Section 4.

A Lay Reader, so licensed, may be placed by the Bishop in temporary pastoral charge of a parish which has no rector, in which case he shall function under the direction and oversight of the Bishop, or he may exercise his office in a parish, under the direction of the Rector thereof. In no event shall he function outside of an established parish, or elsewhere than in the diocese in which he is licensed, except on the express instructions of the Bishop.

Section 5.

The functions of a Lay Reader are limited to the following:


(a) Morning and Evening Prayer, omitting the Absolution, and making no substitution for it;
(b) The Litany;
(c) The Penitential Office;
(d) The Offices of Instruction;
(e) The Burial Offices, substituting the Grace for the Priestly Blessing;
(f) The Epistle only in the Holy Communion;
(g) Sermons, homilies, and addresses approved by the Bishop or Rector;

(2) Preaching sermons of his own composition if specially licensed for that purpose by the Bishop; and

(3) Giving such pastoral care which does not require the ministry of a priest or deacon to any congregation committed to his charge by the Bishop.