For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. –1 Corinthians 11:26
Lay Readers participate in the worship service by reading one of the specific lessons for the day, bringing to life the active word of God (Hebrews 4:12). We expect lay readers to be over the age of sixteen, as well as baptized and confirmed members of the Christian church. We also expect that the lay reader is able to read and describe the word of God for the young and old, the troubled, the hopeless, the sick and dying, and to those in need of comfort.
The above requirements and capabilities help our lay readers enhance the worship service and bring the scripture readings to a whole new level.
The Eucharist is the most central point of our worship – the time in which we are brought closest to Christ. This is what makes the job of our Lay Eucharistic Ministers so important.
No prior experience is required; however, strong faith and interest in Christ are essential for this special ministry. Lay Eucharistic Ministers must be adult and a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The primary requirement of the Lay Eucharistic Minister is to attend a workshop and complete the “Keeping God’s People Safe” sexual harassment training from the diocese of Chicago. Once they obtain a certificate from the diocesan trainer, a proper background check is performed and their name is ultimately submitted to the diocesan bishop for final authorization. Upon the bishop’s approval the candidate will receive special training by the rector as a final preparation to take on this ministry.
During the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the Lay Eucharistic Ministers assist the priest by offering wine to the worshipers. In the absence of a priest, they will take the consecrated Sacrament to members of the congregation who may be ill, confined, hospitalized, or are otherwise unable to attend our regularly scheduled worship.
Lay Readers and Lay Eucharistic Ministers must be dedicated to their ministries, demonstrate faith in Jesus Christ, exhibit a spiritual maturity and have a good reputation in the local congregation.