Lector Guidelines

The Word of God is to be “proclaimed,” not merely “read.”  For Lectors to properly proclaim Scripture, they must be prepared.  The passages for each Sunday should be read, prayed with, and proclaimed aloud a number of times during the week before you are scheduled.  If you do not have a copy of the Workbook for Lectors, please pick up one in the sacristy or call the parish office.  Become familiar with the hints given in the Introduction of the workbook, and utilize the margin notes, as well as, the pronunciation aids given for each reading (click here for more pronunciation help).


  1. Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to Mass, dressed appropriately, and let the Sacristan and/or priest know that you are there.  Please request a substitute if you are unable to cover your scheduled time.  All Lectors should prepare each week in case they are needed to substitute.
  1. Make sure the Lectionary is on the ambo and the ribbon is in place for the correct readings.  Check to verify that there is a battery in the microphone and the ‘power’ is on: there are two switches and both must be ‘on.’  Do not turn the mic off when finished—once on, leave on.  Make sure that the stand for the Book of Gospels is on the Altar properly placed in the center.
  1. If a Deacon is not assisting, the Lector carries in the Book of Gospels. In procession, elevate the book so the bottom edge is above eye level, and process in immediately before the priest.  If a Deacon is assisting, the Deacon carries in the Book of Gospels so you may be seated in the front pew on the Tabernacle side.
  1. When processing in, stop at the base of the Sanctuary steps to the left of the priest.  If carrying the Book of Gospels, do not bow when the priest bows.  After the priest bows, approach the Altar from the back (where the priest stands during Mass) and place the Book of Gospels in the stand at the center of the Altar.  Then take your seat in the front pew with the servers.
  1. Following the Opening Prayer, stand, and with hands folded, approach the Sanctuary, bow to the Altar and then proceed slowly to the ambo.  When announcing the reading, simply say, “A reading from…” as is printed in the Lectionary.  (Do not say, “The first Reading is…”).
  1. After a pause, proclaim the Scriptures loudly and clearly, speaking slowly and distinctly, while making eye contact with the assembly, glancing occasionally at the monitor light.  A red light indicates you’re speaking too loudly and a green light indicates a proper volume.  (If there is NO light, speak louder or move closer to the mic, or check that both microphone switches are on).  At the end of the reading, pause, look at the assembly, and say “The Word of the Lord.”  Do not raise the book when doing so.  With hands folded, walk slowly back to your seat for the Responsorial Psalm.  After a brief pause following the Responsorial Psalm, return to the ambo following the procedures as before to proclaim the second reading.  (If there is no cantor/song leader, stay at the ambo after the first reading, and after a brief pause, announce the response and proclaim the Psalm, pause again, then proceed to the second reading).
  1. After you’ve finished the second reading, close the Lectionary and place it on the shelf below the bookstand of the ambo and take your seat where ever you wish in the assembly.  If the priest’s or deacon’s homily is there, place it on top of the Lectionary.  Again, anytime you pass in front of the Altar, stop and reverence the Altar with a profound bow (from the waist).
  1. At the end of Mass, if you carried in the Book of Gospels, or had processed in, you may join the recessional, however, do not carry the Gospels out.