folder Lectors

Guidelines

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1. Prepare beforehand:

  • a. If you are not able to be at the Mass you are assigned, please try to find a substitute.
  • b. Be sure to use your copy of the Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers to prepare the readings. This book offers excellent commentaries and suggestions.
  • c. Two or three days before you are to proclaim the Scripture selection, read it over and give some time to reflect upon its content. Then practice by reading it ALOUD numerous times at home. As you become more and more familiar with the text you will find that you begin to interpret its content with greater clarity.
  • d. Prepare both readings in case your partner fails to appear for his/her reading.

2. Before the Mass you are assigned to serve:

  • a. Please arrive 15-20 minutes before Mass and check in at the Mass Coordinator’s desk.
  • b. At least one of the lectors should check that the Lectionary on the ambo (Lector’s podium) is open to the correct place for the first reading.
  • c. The second reader can preview the Prayer of the Faithful by reading the copy in the front of the book used to sign in.
  • d. It is recommended that both readers sit in the front few pews. Families are welcome to sit with them as well. The first pew on the left center is designated as the lector’s pew. The lector need not necessarily sit in this pew, as long as he/she sits in the first couple of rows and on the end to easily get out.
  • e. The first lector will process up in front of the celebrant either in front of or beside the deacon at the beginning of the Mass. If a deacon is present, then the deacon will carry the Book of the Gospel up to the altar. Whoever carries it must hold the book high enough for the gathered assembly to see it and the front cover facing forward. The person carrying the Book of the Gospel will walk directly up into the sanctuary and around the altar. If it is the deacon, he will place the Book on the altar face down and bow in conjunction with the others in the procession, who will be off the stairs in the carpeted area in front of the altar. If the Book is carried by the first lector, then he/she will proceed up and around the altar as the deacon would have, place the Book on the altar face down, come back down to stand to the left of the priest (facing the altar) and bow in unison with the others in the procession. The priest and servers will continue up into the sanctuary while the lector will go to his/her seat. If the first lector is physically unable to carry the Book of the Gospel in the procession, then the second lector may do it.

3. During the Mass:

  • a. When the priest completes the Opening Prayer, the first lector will proceed to the center of the altar, bow and then proceed to the ambo.
  • b. Pause, make eye contact, and gain control of the assembly. Maintain eye contact with the assembly throughout the reading.
  • c. Begin the reading. “A reading from…” Not “Ă reading…” (short A), but “Ā reading…” (long A). Enunciate clearly, proclaiming at a pace consistent with the meaning and interpretation of the reading, but without being theatrical.
  • d. When the reading is completed, pause for a slow, silent count of three before stating, “The Word of the Lord.” It should be evident that this closing phrase is not a part of the reading.
  • e. Proceed down, in front and to the left of the altar (aligned with the left candle). The cantor will being coming over in front and to the right of the altar (aligned with the right candle). Both first reader and cantor will bow to altar in unison. The cantor proceeds up to ambo to lead the singing (proclaiming) of the Psalm. The first lector will return to his/her seat.
  • f. When the Psalm has been completed, the cantor will proceed down from the ambo in front and to the right side of the altar (aligned with the right candle). The second lector will proceed over in front and to the left of the altar (aligned with the left candle). Both second reader and cantor will bow to the altar in unison. The cantor returns to his/her seat. The second lector proceeds up to the ambo to proclaim the second reading.
  • g. Again after the reading is complete, the reader should pause for a slow, silent count of three before stating, “The Word of the Lord”.
  • h. Place the Lectionary on the shelf of the ambo.
  • i. Proceed down, in front of the altar in the center, bow and return to his/her seat.
  • j. If there is a deacon to read the Prayer of the Faithful, then skip this and the next step. As the celebrant (and assembly) is completing The Creed, the second lector should proceed in front and center of the altar, bow, proceed up to the ambo, and prepare to read the Prayer of the Faithful (get the binder out).
  • k. The celebrant will introduce the prayers. The Lector should read the prayers and when the celebrant has concluded these prayer, then proceed down in front and center of the altar, bow and return to his/her seat.
  • l. At the end of the Mass, when the recessional hymn has begun and the servers come down from the sanctuary to the front and sides of the altar, the first lector should again proceed to the left of the celebrant’s position with the servers. Once the celebrant has kissed the altar and come down as well, all will bow.
  • m. After the bow, all will turn, the servers will begin the procession. The lector (and deacon, if present) proceed, then the celebrant.

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