Guidelines for Lectors

Our Lectors are a dedicated group of individuals whose love of Scripture is reflected in their ministry of proclaiming the Word of God.

The ministry of the reader is:
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To proclaim the readings from Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel.

bullet To announce the intentions for the General Intercessions.
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In the absence of a psalmist, to read the Responsorial Psalm between the first and second readings.

All Lectors receive their own copy of the Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers (published by Liturgy Training Publications) which helps them to prepare for weekend liturgies. New Lectors also receive personal training to help them feel comfortable.

For assistance with pronunciation of Biblical names, see the Lector's Guide to Pronunciation in the back of the General Intercessions binder or visit the Biblical Words Pronunciation Guide website to hear the word pronounced.

Please obtain a substitute if you are unable to be present for your assigned Mass. This is a matter of common courtesy. Please do this as soon as possible so that the other person may have time to prepare.

Please be in the sacristy at least 15 minutes before Mass begins and remember to sign in. This avoids last minute rushing around and confusion. Use this time to meet with the other reader who is scheduled for the Mass and decide in advance who will be doing announcements and which reading you will be doing. If a deacon is not present, also decide who will be reading the petitions.

Prior to the start of Mass, review the readings and place the Lectionary on the ambo. Review the announcements and the General Intercessions (if necessary), noting the names of the sick and deceased. Please ask for assistance if you are unsure of the pronunciation of the names. Please do not add your own petitions or names to those in the book.

Begin the announcements as soon as the bells for Mass begin to ring. Upon completion of the announcements, leave the binder at the podium to be used by the deacon or lay reader during the Prayer of the Faithful.

Before the readings begin, the readers and cantor will walk to the center of the sanctuary and bow to the altar. When it is your turn to read, go directly to the ambo and begin the reading. Do not bow, genuflect, or perform any additional actions, as these are not part of the rubrics for Mass. Read loudly (but not too loudly) and slowly, at a natural pace that is conversational in quality.

If the Responsorial Psalm is being read, rather than sung, then the response should be recited only by the congregation and not the lector. In the event that the response is lengthy and may not be remembered, then you may softly recite it to assist with the response. You need not raise your hand to signal the time for the response. Simply pause and look up.

At the conclusion of the second reading, remember to close the Lectionary and place it on the side of the ambo so that the priest or deacon can easily set the Book of the Gospels in place. Readers and cantor will again walk to the center of the sanctuary and bow to the altar before returning to their places on the right side.

If you are reading the General Intercessions, please move quietly into position at the podium during the final sentences of the Nicene Creed. At the conclusion of the Prayer of the Faithful, remain standing at the podium until the priest has finished the concluding prayer before returning to your place.

After Mass has ended, please retrieve the binder with the announcements and General Intercession from the podium and return it to the sacristy. Also, retrieve the Lectionary and Book of the Gospels from the ambo and place them in the sacristy for the next Mass. This is also an important part of your ministry.

Please dress appropriately. Unkempt, sloppy or revealing attire is not appropriate.

Those who exercise the ministry of Lector must be truly qualified and carefully prepared, in order that the faithful will develop a warm and lively love for Scripture from listening to the reading of the sacred texts.