The Lector proclaims the Word of God to the assembly when we gather for Liturgy. The importance of hearing God’s word is reflected in the scriptures when we hear: “If today you hear God’s Word, harden not your hearts”. Therefore, the Lector proclaims the Word so we may hear and respond as one family with one voice.
Activities / Responsibilities:
Those who proclaim the Word of God and the other proceedings (Prayers of the Faithful) of the Mass must prepare ahead of time for this important ministry. It is important that the Word of God be in their hearts and on their lips. They proclaim the Word on a regular basis according to the proceedings for the Mass attended (Easter and Christmas are special masses) and based on an established schedule developed by the coordinator for this ministry. Lectors should arrive 15 minutes before the liturgy will begin. Lectors are responsible for obtaining a replacement from the lectors’ list provided to all lectors when they know in advance that they cannot read on the scheduled evening/day.
Please dress in a way that conveys the significance of ministering God’s Word.
The Parish asks that volunteers for this ministry commit to a minimum period of two years, with the option of renewing on a yearly basis thereafter.
Responsibilities During Liturgy
- Re-read and contemplate the messages of the readings and the Prayers of the Faithful. Check with the celebrant regarding any hard to pronounce words/place names.
- Ensure the readings are the correct ones for that particular date as per the Missal – always best to verify, since mistakes can be made and/or the ribbon marking the reading can be accidentally moved.
- The Lector responsible for reading announcements and Prayers of the Faithful will proceed to the altar to read announcements as the celebrant, other lector, altar servers and celebrant proceed to the back of the church. (Note: The lector at Saturday evening mass normally performs all roles: announcements, readings, and Prayers of the Faithful.)
- Be particularly conscious of speaking clearly, loudly and slowly. Parishioners, especially elderly ones, may have difficulty hearing.
- Once the announcements have been read, this lector takes his/her seat.
- As the opening song begins the Lector processes in just after the altar servers and in front of the celebrant with the Book held in front at chest level or above the head, depending on the comfort of the individual (if the steps leading up to the altar are a problem, please hold the book at chest level until the steps have been cleared). The decorative side of the book’s cover should be visible to parishioners while carried in procession.
- Join the celebrant and servers in a bow of reverence to the altar.
- Proceed to lector stand and lay the Book on the lector stand and open to appropriate page.
- Proceed to the seating area.
Liturgy of the Word:
- When the congregation sits down after the opening prayer, remain standing and come forward to the lector stand.
- Adjust the microphone to the proper height, being careful to leave enough room so that the pages do not brush against the microphone.
- Begin the reading with the printed introduction: “A reading from the book of...” etc. End the reading with “The Word of the Lord.”
- Be particularly conscious of speaking clearly, loudly and slowly. Parishioners, especially elderly ones, may have difficulty hearing and feel left out if they cannot hear.
- Pause after the first reading.
- If the Psalm is sung, then remain standing at the lector stand. If the Psalm is not being sung then proceed to read the Psalm.
- Begin the second reading with the printed introduction: “A reading from the book of...” etc. End the reading with “The Word of the Lord.”
- Return to the seating area on the altar.
- The lector normally reading the announcements will also read the Prayers of the Faithful at the appropriate time during mass. Please ensure to read clearly, loudly and slowly. Pause before saying “We pray to the Lord”. Do not rush.
- When finished reading the Prayers of the Faithful, return to the seating area.
- After the final blessing and during the closing song the celebrant will proceed to kiss the altar. At that time the lector comes forward from his/her seat and picks up the Book at the lector stand.
- The lector moves to the floor immediately in front of the altar - lowest platform of the sanctuary - and with the altar servers bows as the celebrant bows.
- Process out the second to the last in the procession with only the celebrant behind.
- Return the Book/Lectionary to the vestry. Make sure that the bookmark is on the correct page.
Skills, Experience, and Qualifications:
- Be an active participant in Parish worship, understanding that to be on the altar means that one is representing the congregation as a whole.
- Because the Liturgy of the Word is so important to our worship at Mass, we ask that Lectors read well, remain relaxed and confident and be able to share the gift of God’s Word with conviction and strength. Since this is an important ministry in the Church, we ask that those interested participate in workshops and be receptive to feedback from the Parish Priest/celebrant or coordinator with respect to improving the required skills.
- Be willing to seek guidance/advice from the Parish Priest and/or coordinator in order to better interpret the readings.
- Clarify proper pronunciation of words/place names within readings as much as possible.
Personal Traits and Qualities:
- Desires to serve the community and to commit time and talents to this ministry.
- Is honest, trustworthy and enthusiastic.
- Is able to communicate well with others.
- Has the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
- Is comfortable with being accountable and is sensitive to the observance of proper boundaries.
Orientation and Training:
- Provided by the Responsible Ministry or a designated parishioner.
- Training as a lector consists of learning to read from Sacred Scripture in a way that will inspire all who hear the text. Prayerful reflection on the readings several days before Mass is essential to your ministry.
Support, Supervision, and Evaluation:
- The Pastor and/or Pastoral Team is the first level of support, supervision and evaluation
Benefits and Working Conditions:
- Here is an opportunity to become more familiar with the Word of God and grow deeper in your knowledge of the Scripture which is central to our faith. In sharing the Word with the community, you also enhance the worship of others.
- Will directly contribute to the social well-being of the community.
- Will further develop relational skills.
- Opportunity to perform community service and gain experience for the purpose of school or career advancement.
- This is a volunteer position requiring a time commitment of approximately three or four hours per month.
- Must be able to attend training sessions as required.