In the E. and RC Churches, one of the Minor Orders. In early times the main function of the lector was to read the OT Prophecies, the Epistle, and in some places the Gospel. In the RC Church the office was constituted the lower of the two remaining ministeria in 1972 and allotted various duties. Only men are eligible for the office, but the duties of the lector may be performed by a man or woman. For the office in the Anglican Communion, see reader.