Leading the liturgy of the word — Lay Leadership in Worship course this fall

 on June 1, 2023

Many of the parishes in the diocese are “in transition” and do not necessarily have a priest to celebrate the Eucharist each Sunday. Additionally, parishes are rediscovering the daily office and considering ways to have lay-led weekday services. Lay-led services are an opportunity for renewal: to encourage lay people to live into the vows they made in their baptismal covenant, which reminds us that each and every one of us, lay or ordained, is called to participate in worship by virtue of our baptism.

We are asked,

“Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?” We answer, “I will, with God’s help.”


If your parish is often or occasionally without clergy and you are a lay leader who would be able and willing to lead in services, you are invited to apply online to in order to be considered by the bishop to be nominated to attend an upcoming seven-week course. Upon successful completion of the course, a conversation will be held about how and when you might help lead Services of the Word in your parish.

The Diocese of Islands and Inlets is presenting its third offering of the Lay Leadership in Worship course from mid-September to early-November 2023. The course will provide the skills and resources for laity to lead worship services, Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Liturgy of the Word (a church service without the eucharist). To date, 50 lay leaders have been successfully trained in the diocese. Regardless of their knowledge and experience, all participants go on to deepen their understanding of liturgy and the offices, and gain confidence to become more effective leaders of worship.


Course description: The seven sessions will equip lay leaders to:

  • Understand the purpose of liturgy
  • Follow the liturgical year and the lectionary and examine their purpose in worship/liturgical formation
  • Understand our Anglican, geographical, social and historical context
  • Become familiar with the broad principles and structure of the Offices in the BCP and the BAS, as well as the Liturgy of the Word
  • Learn to plan worship collaboratively in your parish
  • Access the available liturgical, lectionary, prayer and sermon resources needed to plan and lead a worship service


Dates and location:

  1. Via Zoom, on Thursdays from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    Sept. 14, 21, 28; Oct. 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2.
  2. Three months of mentored practical experience in your parish/region, followed by a final Zoom class on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.


Cost: Free; however participants must purchase their own copy of the required reading well in advance of the course.


Required readingThe Liturgical Year: the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life by Joan Chittister (2009), from the Ancient Practices Series.

Qualifications: All those wishing to lead the Liturgy of the Word must provide proof of the following before applying for the course:

  1. a valid Police Information Check (with Vulnerable Persons Sector check)
  2. completed Safe Church training within the last five years
  3. read the diocesan policies and signed the policy acknowledgement form


How to apply: Those interested should complete the online form here as soon as possible. Applications will be accepted from June 1 – 30, 2023.

In partnership with Bishop Anna Greenwood-Lee, this course is brought to you by Sr. Ingrid Andersen, MEd, Incumbent at Church of the Advent, Colwood, Diocese of Islands and Inlets (BC) and other teachers and facilitators from throughout the diocese and beyond.

Skip to content