This handbook is prepared for and updated to provide the necessary guidelines and direction to clergy, lay readers and eucharistic assistants, outlining the basic standards of academic instruction, conduct and dress associated with the offices of the laity in the execution of their offices and duties.

This Handbook, the Office of Archdeacon and the Office of the Warden of the Lay Readers are understood to be supportive resources for the parish priests who are the primary trainers of the lay readers and administrants. The Warden of Lay Readers and the Archdeacon for Mission and Development are available to assist clergy and parishes in the development of the ongoing ministries of the laity while ensuring that common standards for training, liturgy, preaching, and pastoral care are being upheld.

The use of this Handbook, and its intent, is to build up and affirm the laity in their various ministries. These ministries require the support and consent of the Rector or Priest in Charge where the lay person(s) are serving.

This Handbook serves to provide a loose framework that is realistic, practical, and conducive to promoting expressions of lay ministry within the Church.

We see the value of allowing all people, who are responding to a call to ministry, to develop an expression of lay ministry that is helpful in achieving the building up of the Body of Christ within the local context in which they find themselves.

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
(Ephesians 4.11-13 NIV)