Procedures for Lectors


Before Mass

  • Begin the week practicing your Scripture readings and meditate on them in a prayerful manner to capture their power and meaning for your life and that of the parish community.  Let the Word come alive in you.  As the week progresses, begin reading the Scriptures out loud, slowly, so that you can develop your tone and pronunciation.  Each time you read out loud, you will progress from reading the Word to proclaiming the Word.  By the weekend, you will be familiar with the readings and aware of any “tricky” areas.  This will improve your comfort level.
  • Arrive early at church (at least 15 minutes) to practice the Scripture readings from the Lectionary, the General Intercessions and the AnnouncementsIf you DO NOT arrive early, please understand that you may be replaced.
  • Check  that the Lectionary is on ambo opened to correct reading
  • Check  that the General Intercessions/Announcement sheet is placed on the ambo shelf before Mass begins.
  • Dress appropriately at all times, even on the days for which you are not scheduled.  (See 2012 Clothing Guidelines.)


Beginning/During Mass

  • Entrance Procession:  Lector lines up behind the servers and in front of the deacon (if present) or the priest. In the absence of the deacon, Lector carries the Book of Gospels.  If the deacon is present, Lector carries only missalette/songbook. (The Lectionary is never carried.)
  • In the Procession, Lector is to bow at the base of the steps and immediately move to the altar and place the Book of Gospels on the altar, then proceed to your pew.  If you are not carrying the Book of Gospels, after bowing at the base of the steps, move directly to your pew.  DO NOT WAIT FOR THE PRIEST.  
  • For Proclamation of the Word, walk slowly and reverently to ambo.  Before identifying each reading, pause, look up and proclaim slowly, “A reading from the ….”
  • Read slowly and loudly, with respect for pronunciation.  If it feels as if you are reading too slowly, you are probably at the correct speed.
  • At end of each reading, pause, look up, wait 2 seconds and then proclaim “The WORD of the LORD.” 
  • At Responsorial Psalm, pivot sideways and face choir.  At conclusion of Responsorial Psalm, pause a few moments before beginning 2nd reading.

NOTE: Check with Organist before Mass that Cantor is chanting Responsorial Psalm; if Cantor is not, Lector is to proclaim Responsorial Psalm from ambo.  Be sure to lift one arm at the Psalm refrain to let assembly know they are to join in speaking the Psalm refrain.

  • After the readings, take the Lectionary back to the pew.
  • At time of General Intercessions, if the deacon is not present, wait until Profession of Faith (Creed) is over, then go immediately to ambo.  Announce the response ONLY if it      is different from the normal “Lord, Hear Our Prayer.” 
  • For reception of Communion, line up with the Eucharistic Ministers (Lector is closest to servers) and enter the Sanctuary to receive Communion after clergy receives both species.  In Sanctuary, Lector stands next to server, then returns to pew after receiving Communion.
  • At time of announcements, approach the ambo immediately AFTER the Closing Prayer to make the announcements, then leave the Sanctuary. You may wait at the bottom of the side steps for the final blessing.
  • As soon as the final hymn begins, the lector should follow the servers to the center aisle.  The cross and candle bearers should be in the center aisle facing the altar.  The lector should be in front of them.  The priest (and deacon) will reverence the altar and come to the base of the steps.  At that time, the clergy and Lector will make a profound bow. Then all turn and process to the exit.

      DO NOT carry the Book of Gospels or Lectionary in exit procession.


After Mass

  • The Book of Gospels, the Lectionary and the General Intercession/Announcement sheet are to be returned to the Sacristy.
  • NOTE:  If you are NOT ABLE to participate at a scheduled liturgy, it is the responsibility of the lector to get a replacement.  All lectors have a schedule with the telephone numbers of all the lectors
  • IMPORTANT:  Please remember to dress appropriately while performing your ministry.