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.
May the Lord be in my heart, on my mind, and my our lips, that I may worthily proclaim his Word.
DRESS AND DECORUM
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
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES OF LECTORS
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.
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
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.
TIPS FOR LECTORS
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.”
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 www.usccb.org
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
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.
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
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
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
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