X
Lay Licensing

Eucharistic Ministers
Eucharistic Visitors
Nomination Form
Nomination Form

Lay licensing is a process by which the Office of the Bishop grants formal and official permission to individuals who are not ordained clergy to carry out quasi-clerical acts. The Office of the Bishop provides licensing for:

  • Catechists
  • Eucharistic Ministers
  • Eucharistic Visitors
  • Evangelists
  • Pastoral Leaders
  • Preachers
  • Worship Leaders

All of the above need to complete Safeguarding God’s People except for Eucharistic Ministers. Anyone serving in any of the other licensed ministry roles needs to have successfully completed the Safeguarding God’s People training within the last five years. More information about the Safeguarding God’s People program can be found here.

Background

Lay licensing is the process by which the Office of the Bishop grants formal and official permission to individuals who are not ordained to carry out certain ministerial acts in accordance with Title III, Canon 4, Sections 1-9 of the Canons of The Episcopal Church. For additional information about lay licensing, please visit www.episcopalarchives.org

Below is a brief description of the licensed ministry positions:

Catechist -A Catechist is a lay person authorized to prepare persons for Baptism, Confirmation, Reception and the Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.

Eucharistic Minister – An Eucharistic Minister is a lay person authorized to administer the Consecrated Elements at a Celebration of Holy Eucharist. Please see attached qualifications.

Eucharistic Visitor  -An Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the Consecrated Elements in a timely manner following a Celebration of Holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the Celebration. Please see attached qualifications.

Evangelist – An Evangelist is a lay person who presents the good news of Jesus Christ in such a way that people are led to receive Christ as savior and follow Christ as Lord in the fellowship of the Church. An Evangelist assists with the community’s ministry of evangelism in partnership with the presbyter or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation, or as directed by the bishop.

Pastoral Leader -A Pastoral Leader is a lay person authorized to exercise pastoral or administrative responsibility in a congregation under special circumstances, as defined by the Bishop. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.

Preacher -A Preacher is a lay person authorized to preach. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.

Worship Leader -A Worship Leader is a lay person who regularly leads public worship under the direction of the Member of the Clergy or other leader exercising oversight of the congregation or other community of faith. Please contact the Office of the Bishop for qualifications.

Term of the License

Licenses do not expire, however, they will be revoked in the following circumstances:

  1. Transferring to a New Congregation: Lay licenses cannot be transferred to another congregation. When a licensed individual transfers to a new congregation, he or she will need to reapply for a license to serve.
  2. Inactivity: Lay licenses expire when the licensed individual is no longer an active member of the congregation at which their license was issued.
  3. Improper Conduct: Lay licenses may be revoked by the Bishop at the recommendation of the rector, vicar or priest-in-charge of a congregation, with the consent of the vestry, in cases where the licensed individual has acted improperly. A letter signed by the rector, vicar or priest-in-charge and the bishop’s or senior warden must be submitted to the Office of the Bishop to formally request revocation of the license.
  4. Failing to Complete Safeguarding God’s People Training: Lay licenses are revoked if the licensee fails to have their Safeguarding God’s People training recertified once every five years.


Eucharistic Ministers

Description

A Eucharistic Minister (EM) is a lay person authorized to administer the consecrated elements at a celebration of holy Eucharist licensed by the bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in accordance with Title III, Canon 4, Sections 1 and 6. EMs report to the rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge. The term is indefinite, providing that the license is not revoked due to the licensee transferring to another congregation, becoming inactive at the church at which the license was issued or engaging in inappropriate conduct.

Qualifications

  • Nominated by the rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge
  • Nomination endorsed by the vestry/bishop’s committee
  • Confirmed communicant in good standing
  • Displays in his or her life the values reflected in the Baptismal Covenant
  • Regular and faithful attendance in worship
  • A reconciling presence
  • Lives out the Good News
  • Welcomes the stranger
  • Respects the dignity of every human being

Training

The nominee should be trained formally by the rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge, or another qualified source. The EM may attend training for Eucharistic Visitors if desired (optional). Successful completion of Safeguarding God’s People is encouraged but not required.

It is recommended that Eucharistic Ministers be commissioned annually using the service found in the Book of Occasional Services 2003, on pages 189-90.


Eucharistic Visitors

Description

A Eucharistic Visitor is a lay person authorized to take the consecrated elements in a timely manner following a celebration of holy Eucharist to members of the congregation who, by reason of illness or infirmity, were unable to be present at the celebration. They are licensed by the bishop of the Diocese of San Diego in accordance with Title III, Canon 4, Sections 1 and 7 and they report to the rector, vicar or priest in charge. Their term is indefinite providing that the license is not revoked due to the licensee transferring to another congregation, becoming inactive at the church at which the license was issued, engaging in inappropriate conduct or failing to successfully complete the Safeguarding God’s People training at least once every six years.

Qualifications

  • Nominated by the rector, vicar, or priest-in-charge
  • Nomination endorsed by the vestry or bishop’s committee
  • Confirmed communicant in good standing
  • Displays in his or her life the values reflected in the Baptismal Covenant
  • Regular and faithful attendance in worship
  • A reconciling presence
  • Lives out the Good News
  • Welcomes the stranger
  • Respects the dignity of every human being

Training

  • Attendance at a diocesan training event for Eucharistic Visitors is required
  • Successful completion of Safeguarding God’s People training is required

It is strongly recommended that Eucharistic Visitors always go in pairs when visiting private homes. It is acceptable for them to go individually to hospitals and other sites where there is no expectation of privacy. It is also recommended that Eucharistic Visitors be commissioned annually using the service found in the Book of Occasional Services 2003 on pages 189-90.

Receive the latest news.

© Episcopal Diocese of San Diego 2020. All Rights Reserved.