Guidelines for



Thank you for volunteering to serve the parish in this way. The ministry of lector is one of the most visible roles of service at liturgy. We appreciate all of you who are willing to take that ministry seriously, prepare well for it, and help the community's Scripture reading become the living Word of God.

Lector’s Prayer

May the Lord be in my heart, on my mind, and my our lips, that I may worthily proclaim his Word.



1. As public witnesses to the Eucharist, our behavior and dress should reflect a real respect for the role of service we perform. That is why the Church asks that those who are not living the Catholic faith not come forward for this ministry. This does not mean we have to be perfect, only that in general, our lives conform to Catholic principles. It is expected that you will be a registered parishioner as well. At times, for various personal reasons, one goes through a period of uncertainty as to one's relationship with the Church. If that occurs, it is best to take some time off from exercising this ministry of Lector.

2. Dress should be appropriate for Sunday - Sunday Best: no tennis shoes, flip-flops, T-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, and so on. For men, we ask that dress slacks, shirt and tie be worn, and if possible a coat or jacket. For women, we ask that modest dresses or skirts and blouses be worn, or full-length dress pants (no Capri-style) and blouse. The Lector should be dressed in a way that can be an example for others.



1. Please follow the guidelines below. When we have a deacon at Mass, the responsibilities of Lector 1 change slightly. The deacon has the responsibility to carry the Book of the Gospels. Lector 1, in such cases, should sit down in the pew.

2. The lector has a responsibility to the whole community in a very clear way, since he/she will be the instrument through whom the people hear God’s Word. Preparation and practice are the lector’s responsibility.

3. There will be two lectors scheduled for every weekend Mass. Please do not presume the other lector will be there to do both roles, but it is good to prepare both readings.

4. Lectors should be in the sacristy area at least 15 minutes before Mass. The reason for getting there early is that there are ministers to see if both lectors are present, readings to review, as well as occasional special instructions. If there are optional readings or if there are long and short versions of a reading, check with the presider for the correct reading. Confirm that the large red Lectionary is on top of the ambo (not on the shelf in front), with a ribbon marking the proper readings, and open to the first reading. The ambo is the podium in where the readings are read from.

5.  Lectors need to sit in the front of the church.  Please sit in the front two rows on either side.

6. Lector 1, who does the first reading, is also the one who will process in as part of the entrance procession. At the time of the procession the Lector should be about 6 feet from the altar servers and, if there is no deacon, holds the Book of the Gospels up (front forward) so that it can be seen, about head

high or higher. The focus is on the symbol, the Book of the Gospels, which calls attention to the meaning behind the symbol—God's Word. When the procession reaches the front, it should not stop, but continue to flow. If Lector 1 is carrying the Book of the Gospels, he/she follows places the Book of the Gospels on the altar in the clear stand that should be in the front middle of the altar. Lector 1 then goes to their seat.

7. Lector 2 will be asked to say the “Prayers of the Faithful” and the “Prayers for Vocations.  If a deacon is present Lector 2 will not need to do this.

8. After the Opening prayer, Lector 1 waits for a moment so that everyone can get settled in place. He/she then moves toward the ambo, stopping at the base of the altar. Lector 1 bows toward the altar, and then proceeds to the ambo, and then reads the first reading.  Pause and then read the Responsorial Psalm.

9. After the Psalm is read Lector 1 and Lector 2 meet at the bottom of the Altar.  Both lectors bow.  Lector 1 takes a seat and Lector 2 moves to the ambo, and reads the second reading. After the reading, again pause slightly before saying “The Word of the Lord.” When done, he/she places the Lectionary on the back shelf of the ambo and returns to his/her chair.

10. After the homily and creed, the presider will introduce the Prayers of the Faithful. If Lector 2 does the Prayers of the Faithful (do only when a deacon is not present) he/she should move up to the ambo, during the Creed when we pray “I believe in one, holy, catholic....” near the end of the Creed, so that there doesn't have to be a delay from the Creed to the Intercessions.

11. At the end of the Mass, Lector 1 will process out in front of the Priest.  DO NOT carry out the Book of the Gospels.



1. Slow down!

Let people be seated and quiet down. Within the reading itself, do not rush through. Pause after the reading before saying “The Word of the Lord.”

2. Prepare!

It is so much richer and expressive if we have prepared well, looked up pronunciation of words and names, don't stumble over sentences, have taken time to really study the reading so that it makes some sense to us. All of us mess up occasionally—that is inevitable. But when the reason is our lack of preparation—that is wrong. The Lector Workbooks that you receive are not meant to dictate how you read a reading but to encourage you to prepare, look at where you place pauses and emphases. Please use it. Practice aloud.   You can also practice by listening to and watching the audio and video at the following website

3. Learn to read with a microphone. Microphones do not mean that we should speak softer or softly.

We should read above normal in volume and let the microphones amplify even that. Some of the lectors currently read too softly and are not able to be heard easily in parts of the church. We have a good micro-

phone. Do not stand too close to the microphone or else you'll "pop your p's". Adjust the angle of the microphone as well. There is no point in being a lector if we are not reading clearly, slowly and loudly enough so that people can understand the reading.

4. Please try to get to Mass early. It keeps you from rushing in, and you get a chance to look over the reading in the Lectionary we use.

5. Dress appropriately. It adds to everyone's experience of prayer and praise, if the lector dresses well. It is distracting, when you do not.

6. Watch the end of sentences and phrases. It is very easy to both drop the voice and to speed up near the end of a sentence or phrase, thus making the words difficult for the people to understand. Keep the same pace and loudness, even at the end of a sentence/phrase.

7. Practice names. It works best if lectors do not read the names so much as “know” the name. Practice the proper pronunciation before Mass. Then try to simply say the name, without having to read it, when you come to it in the introduction or prayer of the faithful.


1. What if only one lector shows? Hopefully, an available lector will have offered his/her services prior to Mass. If you can see none, please follow the instruction for Lector 1 and 2.

2. Substitutes: you are responsible for your own sub. Please do not presume that your partner will be there. We want two lectors, not one. If you misplace your list of lectors or your schedule, please call (283-2163). Another will be sent to you.

3. Tami usually makes up the schedules at 2-month intervals.  She puts a blurb in the bulletin letting you know that so that if you know you are going to be gone she won’t schedule you at that time.  If you have any other scheduling issues please call her.  Make a note of the times you are scheduled. Get a substitute if you cannot make your scheduled assignment.


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