The terms in usage by the Diocese are actually “Lay Eucharistic Ministers,” and “Lectors,” but we at St. Andrew’s still seem to fall back on the older terminology simply by long usage and familiarity. Perhaps the newer terms truly describe what one does in this mission: Lectors read the Word, and Lay Eucharistic Ministers help distribute the Eucharist to the people. In effect, this is our role in fulfilling the mission of our parish – To Know Christ and To Make Him Known. We participate in the most outwardly visible aspect of worship at our church, the regular Sunday services.
We read the Bible passages, the prayers and then serve the wine to the people during Holy Communion. In effect, it brings the lay portion of worship out of the pews and into the more visible and public areas of corporate worship. We also serve when asked at funerals, weddings, and other special services, and on occasion, we lead the public in Morning and/or Evening Prayer and the other public offices of the church. We speak the words that open up the word of God, that make the liturgy come alive, and we participate in the Eucharistic sacrament by becoming a vessel that helps distribute Christ’s Body and Blood to the communicants. It is a special kind of service, and one that helps make our worship together truly a participative experience, and not just something provided by the clergy. We help people meet Christ in worship and in the sacrament.
Training is provided by the Coordinator and the Rector to help people learn to read in an understandable manner and to know the “ins and outs” of Episcopal worship. We provide pronunciation guides for all those “impossible” Old Testament names, and we work to learn about the components of the service, so that we feel comfortable in our participation. Eucharistic Lay Ministers, or Chalice Bearers, are required to have a little more experience and normally serve first as Lectors. Again, they are trained by the coordinator and the Rector to assist at the sacrament and bring the wine to the people.
Joe Jaros email@example.com
Fr. Sean firstname.lastname@example.org