Religion Past and Present

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Reader (Lector)
(672 words)

[German Version]

I. Catholic Church

It seems that there was a synagogue tradition in antiquity of lay persons undertaking the reading in public worship of lessons other than those taken from the Gospels. From the early Middle Ages, readers were given clerical status (Clergy and laity), and assigned to one of the so-called minor orders at the preparatory stage before ordination of priests. Since the reordering of liturgical services by Paul VI’s apostolic decree Ministeria q…

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Steck, Wolfgang, Petzolt, Martin and Neijenhuis, Jörg, “Reader (Lector)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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