Licensed Lay Ministry

There are three categories of licensed lay ministry, under the canons of the Episcopal Church, currently being exercised in the Diocese of Springfield: Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor, and Worship Leader.

Here, available for download, are the training guidelines for each of these positions. The Bishop will issue a license upon the request of the priest in charge of the parish where the ministry is to be exercised, the priest being satisfied that the lay ministry has been trained according to these guidelines.

Pictured below: The Last Supper, Museu de Évora, 15th century, public domain

Please click on the three options below for more information. You can get the full PDF of each position at the end of the paragraph where it says to "click here for the full PDF".

Worship Leader - Canonical/Historical Background

The office of Worship Leader is the more recent designation for what had been known for decades as Lay Reader. As such, it is the original licensed lay ministry in the Episcopal Church. It evolved in response to the desire of rural congregations to worship on Sunday even when the services of a priest were not available. Lay Readers were commissioned to officiate at non-sacramental rites—i.e. Morning and/or Evening Prayer. As congregations began to celebrate the Eucharist more frequently in the wake of the Catholic revival of Anglicanism in the nineteenth century, Lay Readers began to administer the chalice at Holy Communion. Consequently, it is still usually assumed that Worship Leaders will function, when needed, as Eucharistic Ministers. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL PDF.