Lay Leaders of Prayer
Purpose: Leaders of Prayer are lay persons commissioned to lead the faithful in acts of worship which in the past were most often led by the ordained clergy but which may be also led by lay people.
Among these services are Morning and Evening Prayer, Liturgy of the Word with or without the distribution of Holy Communion, devotions, the vigil service and rite of committal from the Order of Christian Funerals, and in an emergency, Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest. Leaders of Prayer are commissioned not only to lead currently scheduled acts of worship in the parish in the absence of a priest but also to expand the opportunities for communal prayer.
The formation for this ministry consists of an eight-week series conducted by the diocese. The course addresses the verbal and non-verbal elements of presiding at prayer as well as the structure of the various forms of prayer they may be called upon to lead. They are commissioned for a period of three years for service in their parish under the direction of the pastor.
According to diocesan directives, Leaders of Prayer are to be vested in an alb for all services conducted within the church building. The alb is a white garment, a baptismal garment. It is traditionally the garb of the people and not specifically clerical vesture. When the baptized put on the alb to minister in the liturgy, it becomes clear that they are doing so in virtue of their baptism and their share in the priesthood of Christ.
Saint Michael Lay Leaders of Prayer
Mary Lou Mack
have responded to the call to take part in this ministry with dedication and enthusiasm.