Lay Ministry & Licensing Information

Episcopal Diocese of Washington
Lay Ministry & Licensing Information

More Information
on Lay Ministries and Licensing

Eucharistic Minister
A Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the Consecrated Elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. A Eucharistic Minister should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith.

Eucharistic Visitor
A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. A Eucharistic Visitor should normally act under the direction of a Deacon, if any, or otherwise, the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith. Prior to licensing, the individual expecting to receive this license must complete Eucharistic Visitor Training conducted by their rector/priest-in-charge and complete the Diocese Prevention of Sexual Misconduct Training.

Catechist
A Catechist is a lay person authorized to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, and shall function under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith. Catechist are encouraged to take the Diocesan Prevention of Sexual Misconduct Training

Pastoral Leader
A Pastoral Leader is a Lay Person licensed to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a Congregation under special circumstances by the Bishop. As defined by the Bishop the licensed individual may lead regularly the Offices authorized by the Book of Common Prayer. Prior to licensing, a Pastoral Leader shall be trained, examined, and found competent in the following subjects: (a) The Holy Scriptures, contents and background; (b) The Book of the Common Prayer and The Hymnal; (c) The conduct of public worship; (d) Use of the voice; (e) Church History; (f) The Church's Doctrine as set forth in the Creeds and An Outline of the Faith, commonly called the Catechism; (g) Parish Administration; (h) Appropriate Canons; (i) Pastoral Care.

Our current understanding of the Canons is that a Pastoral Leader incorporates all the functions of the other five licensing categories; therefore, an individual possessing this license would not need licenses to function in the other categories. Requests for this license must be evidenced by advanced education or preparation in appropriate historical and theological fields. A Pastoral Leader shall not be licensed if, in the judgment of the Bishop or the Ecclesiastical Authority, the Congregation is able to and has had reasonable opportunity to secure a resident Member of the Clergy in charge.

Worship Leader
A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith. Requests for this license must be evidenced by advanced education or preparation in appropriate historical and theological fields.

Lay Preacher
A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach. Persons so authorized shall only preach in congregations under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community. Requests for this license must be evidenced by advanced education or preparation in appropriate historical and theological fields.

Who May Be Licensed in Lay Ministry?

A confirmed communicant in good standing may serve as Pastoral Leader, Worship Leader, Preacher, Eucharistic Minister, Eucharistic Visitor or Catechist, if licensed by the Bishop or Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the person is a member.

A person licensed in this Diocese under the provisions of this Canon (Title III, Canon 4) may serve in another Congregation in the same Diocese at the invitation of the Member of the Clergy in charge.

Please read the Requirements & Standards for Lay Ministry document for more information. 

What Training is Required?

Training for Eucharistic Ministers and Visitors is provided by the clergy in each congregation. In addition, it is strongly recommended that each Eucharistic Visitor attend the Prevention of Sexual Misconduct training offered periodically by the Diocese.

Guidance about training is described in the Requirements & Standards for Lay Ministry document. 

Please note that first-time licenses for Worship Leader, Pastoral Leader or Preacher, all require additional information. 

How Are Licenses Issued?

Licenses are issued only at the request by the Member of the Clergy in charge of the Congregation in which the person will be serving. The license shall be issued for a period of up to one year, and shall be revocable by the Bishop, or upon the request of the Member of the Clergy in charge of the Congregation.

The clergy office should complete the On-line License Request Form, whether it's a new license or renewal.  A confirmation of the request will be sent to the church office, listing the names, associated licenses, and the expiration date.  All licenses for any particular region will expire on the same date, regardless of the date of issue.

 

 

 

Lay Ministry Documents

 
Lay Licensing Request Form
Dowload Form [pdf]
 
 

Vocations

For information on vocations and discernment to the priesthood, visit Vocations and Discernment

Questions?

For routine questions, contact Kim Bujak or call 202-537-6526

For questions regarding requirements and training or  first-time licenses for Worship Leader, Pastoral Leader or Preacher, contact Ann Talty or call 202-537-6548

© 2014 Episcopal Diocese of Washington. All Rights Reserved
Designed and developed by: BrowserMedia
Episcopal Church House, Mount St. Alban, Washington D.C. 20016-5094
tel: 202-537-6555 • toll-free: 800-642-4427 • fax: 202-364-6605