Lector Guidelines

Dear Lector,


Once again thank you for the effective service which you extend to our parish through your proclamation of the Word of God. As I have stated in the past, at no other parish have I experienced the consistently professional quality of lectors as I have here at St. Joseph’s. Your dedication certainly contributes greatly to the dignified and prayerful atmosphere of our liturgy.


There are a few points that I would like to remind you of at this time.


  1. Please note your scheduled times carefully. Because of holydays and such, the schedule does not always follow a regular cycle.


  1. Be sure you prepare the correct readings from the workbook. For example, on some Sundays of Lent there are two sets of readings, one for the regular cycle and one for the RCIA ceremonies. We always use the regular cycle and the readings as they are found in the missalette.


  1. Please dress appropriately for your ministry. Be aware of the sensibilities of all those present at our liturgies.


  1. Please arrive at least ten minutes before the start of Mass. By that time I need to look for a replacement in case someone does not show up. This gives the replacement sufficient time to look over the readings.


  1. When you arrive at the pulpit, place the lectionary unopened on it.


  1. For the first reading, take your time in going to the pulpit, reverently open the lectionary (symbolically opening The Word) and wait for the people to be settled in their seats. They can’t receive the Word if you begin reading before they are paying attention.


  1. Read in a smooth, flowing manner, with proper emphasis. Pause for progressively longer times at commas, periods and paragraphs. Use inflection to denote quotations.


  1. At the end of the reading, pause, look up at the people, and say to them “The Word of the Lord.” Wait for the people to respond to you “Thanks be to God.” Then, and only then, turn the page, move the ribbon and turn to leave. Many of you are racing through this and not showing respect to the people to whom you are speaking and who are responding to you.


  1. For the second reading, wait until the music of the responsorial psalm is completely finished before standing to go to the pulpit. Again, do not rush.


  1. At the end of the Creed, go immediately to the pulpit for the Prayer of the Faithful. Once we’ve said “Amen” do not wait but move at once.


  1. At the end of each petition of the Prayer of the Faithful look up and with the inflection of your voice invite the people to “pray to the Lord.”


  1. At the end of the Prayer of the Faithful do not leave the pulpit until the people have responded “Amen” to the concluding prayer.


  1. At the end of Mass, as soon as the celebrant begins to step down to reverence the altar, go immediately to the pulpit to get the lectionary. Do not delay the procession by hesitating at this point.


  1. In the sacristy place the lectionary open to the proper page for the next lector along with the Prayer of the Faithful.


Again, thank you for serving our parish as proclaimers of the Word of God. Your faithfulness and dignity certainly add reverence to our worship celebrations.



Fr. Chinnaiah