lay reader


noun Anglican Church.

a layperson authorized by a bishop to conduct certain parts of a service.

Origin of lay reader

First recorded in 1745–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lay reader

Historical Examples of lay reader

  • Could he introduce it, with modifications, when he next wrote a letter to his brother, the lay-reader?

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

  • I am impelled, I repeat, to depart from my custom of refusing to endorse semi-medical publications intended for the lay-reader.

  • For years he acted as lay-reader at one or other of those churches, travelling some distance in all weathers to do so.

  • While they are sitting there a lay-reader expounds to them the elements of Christian teaching.

    Changing China

    William Gascoyne-Cecil

  • His parents, who were dead, had been in trade; his sisters had married commercial travellers; his brother was a lay-reader.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for lay reader

lay reader


Church of England a person licensed by a bishop to conduct religious services other than the Eucharist
RC Church a layman chosen from among the congregation to read the epistle at Mass and sometimes other prayers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012