The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia
A layman who reads the Church service in the absence of the Priest. Usually he is licensed to do so by the Bishop of the Diocese. The American Church has a canon on the subject, setting forth the method of appointment and regulating his work, from which it is learned that the lay-reader is very much limited in the service he renders being permitted to use only those portions of the service which do not belong properly to the Ministry. When the Priest is present a laymen may read the Lessons in the Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, and also the Litany as far as the Lord's Prayer.
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Miller, William James. Entry for 'Lay-Reader'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/acd/l/lay-reader.html. 1901.