“I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamations were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of spirit and power, so that your faith might not rest on human words, but on the power of God.”
— 1 Corinthians 2:3-5
As our parish community gathers in thanksgiving to praise and worship God at Mass, we are aware of His presence among us. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, Jesus becomes present under the appearance of the bread and wine. The revelation of His presence in the Liturgy of the Word is entrusted to the Lector, who proclaims the good news of salvation in the scripture readings.
The importance of this sacred ministry demands thoughtful preparation and dependable service as scheduled. An annual Ministry Day is held to assist all ministers in understanding and carrying out their roles. Each lector is given a Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers. Copies of the current missalettes are available in the sacristy. Please consider serving your parish in this important ministry.
Guidelines for Lectors
- Prepare to Proclaim the Word. A well prepared proclamation is necessary in this ministry. Lectors are encouraged to use the Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers, which they should have in their possession. Most often, there will be two lectors assigned for each celebration, but sometimes one of the assigned lectors will be unable to be present. For this reason, it is suggested that each lector prepare not only the assigned reading, but the other as well. Our Sunday readings fit together for a purpose: to complement one another weekly in their message. It may be that by praying/reading all of them, including the Gospel, and preparing to proclaim all of them, the assigned reading may become more alive for the lector, and it will thus be more prayerfully and powerfully proclaimed. It is suggested that this process be begun the Monday prior to the assigned ministry date. Lectors may then perhaps read them and pray with them several times during the week.
- Be on time. Lectors should report to the sacristy at least ten minutes prior to the start of the liturgy and sign in. If a lector cannot be present, he/she should arrange for a substitute as early in the week prior to the assigned date as possible. In doing so, the replacement will be given ample time to prepare, as per the above instructions.
- The Book of the Gospels. The lector will process in and will place the Book in a standing position on the altar facing towards the people. After placing the Book, the lector should be seated as described above.
- Proceeding to Proclaim the Word. In processing to the lectern/ambo, it is important that a reverent and prayerful pace be kept. The lector walks in the center of the aisle, and upon reaching the step, and prior to entering the sanctuary, bows at the waist reverently towards the altar and tabernacle.
- The First Reading takes place after the Opening Prayer (a good signal to move to the lectern/ambo is when the presider sits for the first time.)
- The Second Reading begins after the Responsorial Psalm (the lector waits until the music has finished before moving to the lectern/ambo.) If only one lector is to proclaim both readings but not the responsorial psalm, the lector should simply step back from the Book reverently, remaining at the lectern/ambo for the singing of the Responsorial Psalm.
- Reading. Upon reaching the lectern/ambo, the lector should adjust the microphone to the proper height. The lector looks at the congregation and begins with “A reading from…” The lector pauses, and then begins the reading. At the end of the reading of the pericope, he/she pauses again, establishing eye contact, and ends with “The Word of the Lord.”
- After Reading. As the lector exists the sanctuary and reaches the congregation level, he/she turns back to the altar/tabernacle and reverences them with a bow.
- Prayer of the Faithful (Intercessions.) As with the readings, these are to be proclaimed boldly. The lector responsible for the Second Reading should also be responsible for these. The lector is not to proceed to the lectern/ambo until the congregation has finished praying the Creed. On certain occasions, the Creed will not be prayed. The lector should double check with the presider, so there will be no delay or embarrassment in this procedure.
- Announcements. The lector who is responsible for the First Reading will also take care of the announcements. This lector should be seated on the bench behind the lectern/ambo after receiving communion. Upon completing the announcements, the lector should remain at the lectern/ambo.
- End of the Liturgy. When the music begins for the song of Sending Forth, the lector then proceeds back to his/her place in the congregation. The lectors will not process out. The Lectionary remains on the Lecturn. After Mass, return the Lectionary to the Sacristy.
Parish Contact: Julie Spaccarelli, firstname.lastname@example.org