The only common use of this adjective or past participle that comes readily to my mind is in the phrase I learned as a child : “lapsed Catholics”.
You lapse into a coma, but also into disbelief, which is anything but a coma. Your subscriptions lapse. Time elapses. “Lapsus linguae”, a slip of the tongue, “lapsus mentis”, something slipped your mind. The word means to slip, to slide, to fall. A lapsed Catholic is like a . . . “fallen” woman.
In the early Church, those who had denied their faith and later sought forgiveness and reconciliation, posed a problem to the representatives of a presumably forgiving God. They were the “lapsi”. Had they committed the unforgiveable sin ? Could a confessor give them his “Ego te absolvo” ? (“I absolve you”).
It is not surprising that the Church still finds it difficult to tolerate, let alone pardon (as if we needed it !) those who have dared to question its dogmas and decided to leave the fold. As a Franciscan novice, I was introduced to a book we never read, of which the title was enough to warn us about possible defection : “Shepherds in the Mist”. This was the ultimate lapsus, that of the ex-priest, “reduced” (!), with or without papal dispensation, to the lay-state. Reduced – raised ? Lapsed – liberated ?