) is a person who is not qualified in a given profession and/or does not have specific knowledge of a certain subject. In religious organizations, the laity
consists of all members who are not members of the clergy
, usually including any non-ordained
members of religious institutes
, e.g. a nun
or lay brother
In Christian cultures, the term lay priest was sometimes used in the past to refer to a secular priest, a diocesan priest who is not a member of a religious institute. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the term "Lay Priesthood" to emphasise that local congregational leaders are unpaid. Terms such as lay priest, lay clergy and lay nun were also once used in Buddhist cultures to indicate ordained persons who continued to live in the wider community instead of retiring to a monastery.
In the context of specialized professions, the term lay is often used to refer to those who are not members of that profession.
The word lay (part of layperson, etc.) derives from the Anglo-French lai, from Late Latin laicus, from the Greek λαϊκός, laikos, of the people, from λαός, laos, the people at large.
The word laity means "common people" and comes from the Greek λαϊκός (laikos), meaning "of the people".
Synonyms for layperson include: parishioner, believer, dilettante, follower, member, neophyte, novice, outsider, proselyte, recruit, secular, laic, layman, nonprofessional.
This page was last edited on 4 April 2018, at 13:07.
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