"The gods cannot possibly answer every plea for aid. Therefore, we must be grateful for the help we are given, and we must always remain prepared to help ourselves."
Anonymous Lay Priest[1a]
Lay Priest

Priests who serve their god's will through worldly deeds are known as Lay Priests. Unlike their magical counterparts, lay priests do not labour day and night studying esoteric scriptures to achieve communion with the divine. Instead, lay priests deliver sermons to common folk, for ultimately the faith of the masses is what elevates gods above daemons and spirits. Lay priests are not just preachers, however; they are also tradesmen, scholars and administrators. A god's sphere of influence is manifested by the lay priest's expertise in his field, and the divine ideal is exemplified by his public conduct.[1a]

A Day in the Life

In the early morning, priests share insights from their prayers and discuss spiritual dilemmas over breakfast. Lay priests then open the temple to visitors and give counsel to supplicants; meanwhile the divine priests meditate in preparation for morning prayer. After prayers, lay priests open the temple's scriptoria, workshops or chapels, where they labour throughout the morning with the aid of initiates. Initiates may be instructed to continue work on their own if any crises of faith or other administrative matters require the lay priest’s attention.[1a]

Priests consult with each other during the midday meal and decide whether divine intervention should be summoned to fix any unresolved problems. If the ascetic priests' powers are needed elsewhere, then lay priests conduct afternoon services at the temple. Otherwise, lay priests spend the afternoon proselytising among the common folk and administering temple business. Evening prayers are usually attended by all the temple's priests.[1a]

From Deeds to Words

  • Manann: The temples of Manann are staffed by priests who dedicate their lives to nautical cartography, shipbuilding and marine sciences. Their sermons ebb and flow in pace, much like the waves themselves.[1a]
  • Morr: Gardens of Morr require stoneworkers, carpenters and undertakers for burial preparations. Lay priests often perform these tasks when not writing solemn eulogies or attending funeral rites.[1a]
  • Myrmidia: The armouries at Myrmidian temples are maintained by expert weaponsmiths, and lay priests advise army generals on strategic matters. Religious services often resemble military parades.[1a]
  • Ranald: Hidden shrines of Ranald are frequently relocated by the subterfuge of lay priests, who also seek out prospective cult members. The holy word of Ranald is a brief whisper of advice from the shadows.[1a]
  • Shallya: Hospices of Shallya employ skilled physician-priests to attend the sick and injured. Sermons preaching love and compassion are delivered in gentle, soothing tones to ease the listener’s soul.[1a]
  • Sigmar: Sigmar’s temples are staffed by priests with skill in statesmanship and diplomacy. Sigmarite lay priests are also historians of the Empire, and their sermons usually incorporate moral history lessons.[1a]
  • Taal and Rhya: Holy places of Taal and Rhya are tended by priests who are also hunters, woodsmen, farmers and midwives. They address their small congregations using expressive, uncomplicated language.[1a]
  • Ulric: The priests of Ulric’s temples are both warriors and politicians. In the northern Empire, priests are also rugged outdoorsmen who preach the honourable traditions of the battle god in rural communities.[1a]
  • Verena: Verena’s temples are massive libraries staffed by scribes, archivists and scholars. Lay Priests often study to become lawyers or magistrates. Liturgical rites resemble long, formal university lectures.[1a]


  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Career Compendium
    • 1a: pg. 131

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