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Lay Brother

A member of a religious order employed primarily in manual labor who, unlike a priest, is not obliged to recite the Divine Office daily. He has, however, to attend daily Mass and say a short, regular office (varying from order to order). The custom of unordained monks originated in the eleventh century to fill the gap created in monasteries by the fact that priests were excused many manual chores. A lay brother has a special habit and serves a novitiate. There are also lay sisters.