The word “laity” is derived from the Greed word meaning “people.”

It is the general term used for all the members of the Mystical Body, of the Church universal, of the Catholic and other Christians who are not members of a professed religious order, society, or congregation, or are not ordained deacons, priests, or bishops.  Sisters and brothers in religious life are considered members of the laity, except in canon law.

Through baptism and confirmation, the layperson becomes a member of the Church and is permitted to celebrate the Eucharist, offering with the bishop and priests this spiritual sacrifice.

It follows that the laity should assist the clergy in Christianizing their community and world.  And the layperson, through their development in sanctity, will bring about a growth of the Mystical Body.

It is therefore of the utmost importance in understanding the laity and its role in the Church that we know the “full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful’ in the liturgy.  Upon this, to a large extent, the unity of the people of God depends.

The laity and the clergy have a common end, salvation for all.  (7:47)