Lectors are men and women who have a strong sense of commitment to proclaim the Word of God at liturgy. Training and resource books are provided to assist Readers in their ministry.
All Lectors should take time prior to the Mass to study the scriptures and practice their reading aloud. Ten minutes before Mass is not practice, but ten minutes a day during the week prior to Mass is practice. The readers should also take the time to pray and to read the other scripture texts of the day in order to understand the context of their particular reading. Through this study and practice, the reading will become the living Word of God.
The Sacred Scriptures, above all in their liturgical proclamation, are the source of life and strength….Love of the Scriptures is therefore a force reinvigorating and renewing the entire people of God. (Introduction to the Lectionary #47)
When the Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to His people, and Christ, present in His own Word, proclaims the Gospel. Therefore, all must listen with reverence to the readings from God’s Word, for they make up an element of greatest importance in the Liturgy. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal #29)
- Lectors are scheduled for weekend Masses under the direction of the Director of Music & Liturgy at Old St. Mary, with the automated scheduling system Ministry Scheduler Pro. Scheduling of Mass times, how often per month, etc., is at the discretion of the Lector.
- Each Lector is responsible to update their own profile in the system Ministry Scheduler Pro on a regular basis; when you can serve or when you will NOT be available during a given month.
- An automated monthly schedule is made available to all ministers. If you are unable to serve on a day you are scheduled, it is your responsibility to find a substitute through Ministry Scheduler Pro. If you have trouble at any time you can email or call the Director of Music & Liturgy to assist you.
Appropriate attire is expected for all ministers at all times. You are asked to be neat and presentable when carrying out your important ministry. It would be advisable to come to church ready to serve whether you are scheduled or not.
Men are encouraged, but not required, to wear ties. A nice sport shirt, sport coat, suit, sweater, etc. and dress slacks are fine.
Women are encouraged to dress neatly. Do not wear anything that is distracting or inappropriate in church. Clothing that is low cut, showing the midriff, too short or bares the shoulders or back is not appropriate dress for women in church at any time.
Not acceptable attire is anything that is attention grabbing. This would include revealing clothing, shirts with printing on them, or flashy earrings. At no time is ANY denim acceptable.
- Lectors are expected to arrive for their scheduled Mass with the readings prepared! Please use your lector workbook to practice your assigned readings.
- Lectors who are scheduled for Mass should check in with the sacristan before Mass begins. Please do this at least 15 minutes before Mass begins.
- After checking in, please familiarize yourself with the location of the readings in the Lectionary, the three-ring binder with the Call to Worship, General Intercessions and Parish Announcements. Please ask for assistance with the pronunciation of unfamiliar names or words with the sacristan or presider. These will also be made available to you online two days before your scheduled liturgy.
- Two lectors are assigned for each weekend Mass.
- Lector 1 will be responsible for:
- Call to Worship
- Proclaiming the First Reading
- Leading the General Intercessions (Prayers of the Faithful)
- Lector 2 will be responsible for:
- Carrying the Book of the Gospels (during the entrance procession)
- Proclaiming the Second Reading
- Reading the Announcements after Communion<
- Just before Mass begins, all ministers leave the sacristy for their stations
Lector 1 walks to the north sacristy via the rear altar tunnel with Lectionary and 3-ring binder in hand. Lector walks to the ambo and places the Lectionary on the top of the ambo – making sure that the book is opened to the First Reading of the Mass. Next, place the 3-ring binder on top of the open Lectionary – making sure that it is open to the “Call to Worship” page. Walk to your assigned seat within the sanctuary. Lector 1 should keep an eye on the back of church awaiting the sign from the presider to begin with the “Call to Worship” at the ambo, when finished place the binder on one of the lower shelves of the ambo so that the Lectionary is ready with the First Reading. Lector 1 then walks down the steps of the sanctuary, and stands at the foot of the sanctuary to wait for the procession to move up the aisle from the back of church.
Lector 2, with the Book of the Gospels, the presider, and altar servers leave the sacristy through the side hallway to the back of church in preparation for the procession at the beginning of Mass. The Lector, carrying the Book of the Gospels, processes immediately before the presider. If a deacon is present, he will carry the Book of the Gospels. In this case, Lector 2 does not join in with the procession into church. Instead, Lector 2 should go to the assigned seat off of the north aisle (Blessed Mother’s side) near the front of church.
- When the entrance procession reaches the foot of the sanctuary, Lector 2 places the Book of the Gospels into its stand (plastic holder) on the Altar. (Do not bow, do not stop – go immediately to the altar.) Both lectors meet together at foot of the altar, line up with the other ministers in front of the altar. Lectors should be to the far left of the line (Blessed Mother’s side). All bow to the altar (head – not torso) with the presider. Lectors then go to their place in the pew.
- Lectors will be seated in the second pew on the north side (Blessed Mother’s side) of church on the side aisle. Reserve signs are posted for these spaces.
Liturgy of the Word
- After the reading of the Collect (opening prayer), all are seated. Lector 1 exits the pew and approaches the sanctuary. Bow to the altar, in the center, and go to the ambo and proclaim the First Reading. Immediately after reading “The Word of the Lord,” turn the page of the Lectionary so that the proper Second Reading is showing and available for Lector 2. Return to your pew. There is no need to bow on returning to your seat.
- After the Responsorial Psalm, Lector 2 exits the pew and approaches the sanctuary. Bow to the altar, in the center, and go to the ambo and proclaim the Second Reading. Immediately after reading “The Word of the Lord” at the conclusion of the Second Reading, Lector 2 removes the Lectionary from the top of the ambo, closes the book and places it on a shelf below. Lector 2 then returns to the pew. There is no need to bow on returning to your seat.
- At the beginning of the last paragraph of the Profession of Faith (Creed), Lector 1 exits the pew, bows in front of the altar and goes to the ambo to lead the General Intercessions. The priest will introduce the General Intercessions. When the presider has concluded the closing prayer of the intercessions, Lector 1 returns to the pew. If there is a Baptism at Mass the lector is to move into the sanctuary as the Baptism is taking place in the back of the church so that they are ready with the General Intercessions as soon as the presider returns to the sanctuary.
Communion & Conclusion
- Lectors receive Holy Communion with the rest of the assembly.
- After all of the faithful have received Holy Communion, the presider will return to the chair. After he is seated, Lector 2 proceeds to the ambo to read the Announcements. At the conclusion of the Announcements, Lector 2 returns to their pew. Please note: The Lector should NOT preface the Announcements, i.e. “We have several Announcements.”
- Lectors DO NOT join in with the other ministers during the recessional. Remain in the pew and join in robustly singing the closing hymn.