We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $17,743 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

LAY BROTHER

A member of a clerical religious order or congregation who is not a priest and who is not preparing for the priesthood. The term was originally used to identify those men religious who were not clerics (hence brothers), and who were not bound to the chant or recitation of the Divine Office, hence lay, as distinguished from choir monks, who were also not clerics. But in modern times the term is more commonly applied to all male religious who are not, or will not be, ordained. It is customary, however, to simply call them "brothers" without the prefix "lay." The reason is that brothers are full-fledged members of the religious community to which they belong, although their rights and privileges in the community are determined by their respective rule or constitutions. the term "lay brothers" is not applied to the members of the nonclerical men's religious institutes. They are called brothers.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

The regal papacy remembered 0 hours ago
An archbishop's unconvincing defense of marriage 3 hours ago
Sacramental Issues, among Others May 5
Beyond Our Ken: Henri de Lubac's Paradoxes of Faith May 4
The French campaign for freedom of thought May 4

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21