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Encyclopedia > Lay people

In religious organizations, the laity comprises all lay persons collectively. This can mean either any person who is not a member of the clergy or of any monastic order or, within such an order, a monastic who is not a priest (c.f., lay brother). In recent centuries, the term is often used more generally, in the context of any specialized profession, to refer to those who are not members of that profession. Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Roman Catholic priest A priest or priestess is a holy man or woman who takes an officiating role in worship of any religion, with the distinguishing characteristic of offering sacrifices. ... Lay brothers are Catholic religious occupied solely with manual labour and with the secular affairs of a monastery or friary. ... A profession is a specialized work function within society, generally performed by a professional. ...


1 Buddhist lay persons
2 Related articles

Episcopal Church

In the Episcopal Church the laity can have say in legislation. At General Convention up to four lay persons from each diocese is elected to represent the diocese in the House of Deputies, one of the two governmental houses in the Episcopal Church. On the local parish level, lay persons are elected to a church council called a vestry. The Episcopal Church may refer to several members of the Anglican Communion, including: Episcopal Church in the United States of America Scottish Episcopal Church Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East Episcopal Church of Cuba idk of the Sudan Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church ... The General Convention of The Episcopal Church takes place every three years, and it the way legislation is passed in the Episcopal Church. ... In some Christian churches, the diocese is an administrative territorial unit governed by a bishop, sometimes also referred to as a bishopric or episcopal see, though more often the term episcopal see means the office held by the bishop. ... A parish is a subdivision of a diocese or bishopric within the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Church of Sweden, and of some other churches. ...

Roman Catholicism

In previous years the laity had a much smaller role in the work of the Catholic church. In the past, church leaders felt that the role of the laity was little more than to "Pray, Pay, and Obey." The Roman Catholic Church believes its founding was based on Jesus appointment of Saint Peter as the primary church leader, later Bishop of Rome. ...

In the years following the Second Vatican Council the role of the laity in the Church has been greatly expanded to include lay ministers of various kinds. Also, as a result of the priest shortage, members of the laity have had to take on some of the roles previously performed by priests. The Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was an Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965. ... Unlike in several Protestant churches, in the Roman Catholic Church the term minister is not commonly used to refer to a member of the clergy nor as a common term of address. ... Roman Catholic priest A priest or priestess is a holy man or woman who takes an officiating role in worship of any religion, with the distinguishing characteristic of offering sacrifices. ...

The Lay Preacher in the Wesleyan / Methodist tradition

A very early tradition of preaching in the Wesleyan / Methodist churches was for a Lay Preacher to be appointed to lead services of worship and preach in a group (called a 'circuit') of meeting places or churches. The lay preacher walked or rode on horseback in a prescribed circuit of the preaching places according to an agreed pattern and timing, and people came to the meetings. After the appointment of ministers and pastors, this lay preaching tradition continued with these people being appointed by individual churches, and in turn approved and invited by nearby churches, as an adjunct to the minister or during their planned absences.

In the Uniting Church in Australia, that was constitued in part from the Methodist Church, persons can be appointed: Logo of the UCA The Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) was formed on June 22, 1977 when the Methodist Church of Australasia, Presbyterian Church of Australia and Congregational Union of Australia came together under the Basis of Union document. ... The United Methodist Church is the largest Methodist denomination, and the second-largest Protestant one, in the United States. ...

  • by the congregation as a Lay Preacher; and/or
  • by the regional Presbytery to conduct Communion.

Arguably the most famous Wesleyan Lay Preacher currently active is King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV of Tonga. The Eucharist is either the Christian sacrament of consecrated bread and wine or the ritual surrounding it. ... King Taufaahau Tupou IV Taufaahau Tupou IV (born July 4, 1918) has been the king of Tonga since the death of his mother Salote Tupou III in 1965. ...

The comparable term in the Anglican / Episcopal churches is "Lay Reader".

Buddhist lay persons

In Buddhism there is also a dichotomy between laity and monastic/clergy. The structures and dynamics of this situation should provide interesting and instructive commentary on the Christian phenomena of the clergy/laity split/organization. Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ...

Related articles

  Results from FactBites:
Laity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (856 words)
The word lay derives from the Anglo-French lai (from Late Latin laicus, from the Greek λαϊκός, laikos, of the people, from λαός, laos, the people at large).
Lay Readers, Pastoral Leaders, Lay Preachers, Lay Eucharistic Ministers, and Catechists in the Episcopal Church are licensed by rector of the church.
by the congregation as a Lay Preacher; and/or
Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People - Good News Ministries Online (5508 words)
The characteristic of the lay state being a life led in the midst of the world and of secular affairs, the laity are called by God to make of their apostolate, through the vigor of their Christian spirit, a leaven in the world.
Similarly lay people who have followed their particular vocation and become members of any of the associations or institutions approved by the Church, aim sincerely at making their own the forms of spirituality proper to these bodies.
lay persons of a genuinely apostolic spirit supply the needs of their brothers and are a source of consolation no less to the pastors than to the rest of the faithful (cf.
  More results at FactBites »



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