Who is a Church Reader and what does a Church Reader do?
According to the service for the tonsuring of a reader, this is the first degree in the order of the priesthood. So, tonsured readers, i.e. those who have been set aside or designated to read by the Bishop through the rite of tonsuring, are members of the clergy and they are assigned to a specific parish. It is not mandatory that all who read in Church be tonsured readers, but all who read must be prepared and well disposed to do so.
It is the reading in church which forms our encounter with the worship of the Church and defines our encounter with God. Before the reader begins chanting a text, its words are merely ink on paper, marks that do nothing by themselves. These graphic markings, however, become life-giving words when they are given utterance by the reader. This is the fundamental task of the church reader to give life to the worship of God as contained in the liturgical services of the Church.