Lay Eucharistic Ministers are parishioners who have been trained and licensed by the Diocese of New Jersey for a 3-year period. They assist with the celebration of the Eucharist, particularly with serving the chalice at the altar rail for Sunday morning Eucharists, weekday services, funerals, weddings and Holy Days. Lay Eucharist Ministers also participate in worship by reading the Lessons and Psalms when there is no Lay Reader. If there are no acolytes present, the Lay Eucharistic Minister assumes those responsibilities as well.
Lay Eucharistic Ministers share a unique experience: that of serving in a defined, public lay ministry. Serving at the altar gives parishioners an opportunity to be at the heart of our worship and in an excellent way to become involved in the spiritual life of our parish. St. John's is blessed to have a group of dedicated men and women who serve in this capacity.
If you are interested, you can look up: Canon III Title 4: Of Licensed Lay Persons.
Lay Readers or Lectors are a dedicated group of men and women who volunteer to assist in our worship service by reading the Lessons and Psalms. They have a deep reverence for the Bible, and find joy in the ways God is revealed in Holy Scripture. For parishioners who enjoy participating at a less intense level, lay reading offers an opportunity to be a part of worship without actually wearing a vestment and "being on the altar".
The first female lay readers were licensed during the First World War due to the shortage of men. They existed in 22 Dioceses in England and 1 diocese in Canada. The first group were called "Women Messengers". There was then a gap until 1969 until more female lay readers were appointed.
In the Church of England, the office is known simply as Reader. Readers are the only nationally accredited and canonically governed lay ministry in the Church of England.
The office of Reader has existed in its present form since 1866, and there are now around ten thousand readers in the Church of England.
A Lay Reader Guide Book:
http://www.uscg.mil/tcyorktown/support/chapel/docs/Lay Reader Handbook PDF version.1.pdf
The Ministry of the Lector
The Episcopal Lectionary: Click here to enter the website of The Lectionary Page, maintained by Kelly W. Puckett. Here, you will find the liturgical calendar with links to the lessons from both the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). Check out the readings for next Sunday!
If you are interested in becoming a Lay Eucharistic Minister or Lay Reader
Contact Fr. Ron Pollock at FrRonPollock@stjohnsomerville.org or 908-722-1250.
Assignment Schedule and Contact List