From a reader…
Can laymen who are not in the seminary, upon request, receive the orders of lector and acolyte? My parish likes having me read, they say I am good at it, but I am not sure that I feel comfortable doing it unless I receive the minor orders.
First, keep in mind that the are no longer, in the Latin Church, minor orders, although the institutes set up under the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” regularly have the men go through the rites for them.
According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, now, there are two instituted ministries, lector and acolyte and the clerical state begins with ordination as a deacon, not with the tonsure.
I would just as soon see a revival of the minor orders.
That said, yes, it is possible for laymen (and men only) who are not seminarians to be instituted as lectors and acolytes.
In my opinion, it would be good for us to have more instituted lectors and acolytes in parishes.