An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Lay Ministry

The term refers to the many ways the laity of the church live out their baptismal covenant. The laity are the people of the church, those who have been baptized. […]

Lay Order

The laity are the people of the church, those who have been baptized. The term “laity” generally refers to those who have not been ordained. In a vote “by orders” […]

Lay Preacher

A lay person licensed by the bishop to preach. This ministry is licensed under the provisions of the canon for licensed lay persons. The lay preacher must be a confirmed […]

Lay Professional

Lay people employed in the mission and ministry of the church who regard their work as a vocation. These lay professionals see their work as their response to God's call […]

Lay Reader

A lay reader may lead the Daily Offices of the church. If needed, a lay reader may lead the liturgy for the Holy Eucharist through the prayers of the people, […]

Lay, Henry Champlin

(Dec. 6, 1823-Sept. 17, 1885). Bishop of the Southwest, Arkansas, and Easton. He was born in Richmond, Virginia. Lay graduated from the University of Virginia in 1842, and from the […]

Laying on of Hands

A significant ritual action in several sacramental rites. It is an external sign of the bestowal of God's grace through the prayer or the ministry of the one laying on […]

Layman’s Magazine

The first weekly publication in the Episcopal Church, this periodical was edited by the Rev. Benjamin Allen (1789-1829) from 1815 through 1816. It carried church news and stories for lay […]

Layman’s Magazine of the Living Church

This journal was published as one of the weekly issues of The Living Church. It was also published as a separate monthly periodical from Feb. 1940 until Sept. 1941.

Le Jau, Francis

(1665-Sept. 10, 1717). Colonial rector and missionary. He was born in Algiers, France, of Huguenot parents. Le Jau fled France when the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 1685. The […]

Leadership Academy for New Directions (LAND)

A mission development program for the church in small communities. It is primarily designed to serve archdeacons, rural deans, rectors of cluster parishes, members of diocesan boards or commissions, or […]

Leadership Program for Musicians Serving Small Churches

A joint venture of the Standing Commission on Church Music and the Virginia Theological Seminary. The goal of the program's work is to discover and implement ways to help small […]

Leaming, Jeremiah

(1717-Sept. 15, 1804). The first person elected Bishop in Connecticut, Leaming declined to be consecrated because of age and infirmities. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Leaming was baptized on May 12, […]


A book stand or reading desk that holds the book used for reading scripture in public worship. It may also be used for preaching the Word, and it may hold […]

Lectio Continua

The liturgical reading of selections of scripture by starting at the beginning of a particular book and working through consecutive readings to the end. This contrasts with selective readings (“propers”) […]

Lectio Divina

The term means, at root, the “reading of Holy Scripture.” In Jerome and in the Rule of St. Benedict, it meant the scriptural text itself, the lectio, the “lesson” or […]


See Lesson.


An ordered system for reading the Holy Scriptures at the eucharist and the Daily Offices. It is usually presented in the form of a table of references for the psalms […]

Lectionary Cycle

The Lectionary in the BCP and other contemporary lectionaries use a three-year cycle, referred to as Years A, B, and C. Year A begins on the First Sunday in Advent […]


A lay person trained in reading scripture who is appointed by the clergy person in charge of the congregation to read lessons or lead the prayers of the people. The […]

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.