Lector Procedures

Preparation The Week Before:

  • Each year, you will be provided with a lector workbook. We encourage you to use the workbook for your daily preparation for the weekend, even if you are not scheduled to be lector that weekend.
  • If you will not be able to serve as scheduled, you are responsible for arranging a switch or getting a sub. The Ministry scheduling program makes it easy to request substitutes and volunteer for unfilled shifts. If a change happens after noon on Friday, please email Shari@staparish.net or call/text 515-509-6851 with your name, shift and the the name of your substitute.

Preparation Just Before Mass:

  • Please come early. Fifteen minutes before Mass, each lector checks in with the Mass coordinator.
  • Verify that gospel book stand is on the altar. It may be in the sacristy or the credence cabinet.
  • Lector #2 brings the Lectionary to the ambo before Mass. (The Lectionary is in the bookcase in the sacristy.)
  • Lectors #1 and #2 should look at the Lectionary before Mass. Know exactly where your reading is in the book, so that if somebody else closes the book, you can find your place without panic.
  • Lector #3 reviews the copy of the Prayer of the Faithful and the announcements on the sacristy counter. Leave them there. Copies are already on the ambo—check that they are there.

Lector #1 in the Liturgy:

  1. Lector #1 leads the procession slowly, carrying the Book of Gospels and placing it in the stand on the altar.
  2. After the opening prayer, move to the ambo. Pause for people to settle and listen.
  3. Begin the proclamation exactly as written … “A reading from the book…” 
  4. Read the Scripture text slowly—enunciate, carefully, and with meaning.
  5. When you complete the text, pause for three seconds, look up, and state the acclamation with confidence: “The Word of the Lord.” 
  6. Count to 20 silently before leaving the ambo and leave the lectionary in place.

Lector #2 in the Liturgy:

  1. When the Psalm is finished count 20 seconds quietly and go to the ambo for the second reading.
  2. Wait an extra 3 or 4 seconds and begin the proclamation exactly as written … “A reading from the book…” 
  3. Read the Scripture text slowly—enunciate, carefully, and with meaning.
  4. When you complete the text, pause for three seconds, look up, and state the acclamation with confidence: “The Word of the Lord.” 
  5. Count to 20 silently before leaving the ambo. Take the Lectionary with you when you leave; place it on an empty seat in the first row.

Lector #3 At The Liturgy:

  1. Near the end of the Creed, (listen for “the holy Catholic Church”) go to the ambo. 
  2. After the presider invites the people to pray, read the petitions.
  3. After each petition, look up and wait for the community’s response.
  4. Stay at the ambo until the presider prays the closing prayer. As the assembly is seated, return to your seat.
  5. When the people stand for the prayer after communion, move to the ambo, and go to the microphone.
  6. After the people respond "Amen" to the prayer, begin the announcements.
  7. Leave the ambo as soon as you are done.

Additional Notes:  

  • The End of Mass:
    • None of the lectors process at the end of Mass.
    • Lector 2 returns the Lectionary to the sacristy.
    • Lector 1 returns the Book of the Gospels to the sacristy and places it in its box.
  • Microphones:
    • Don’t get too close.
    • Adjust the microphone angle at the top or at the base. 
    • Point it straight at your mouth.
  • Body Language:
    • Proclaim to everyone.
    • Make essential eye contact, turn your body (not just your head) to look at the worshippers. Turning yourself about 30 degrees to each side will make it look like you are proclaiming to both sides without turning your back on either.
  • Use Your Voice:
    • Enunciate clearly.
    • Project your voice.
    • Sound reinforcement works best when you “throw” your voice to the opposite side of the church and allow the system to augment a good projection of sound.
  • What to Wear:
    • Use common sense. The Word of God should get all the attention, and the lector should be as transparent as possible.
    • Appropriate clothes do not mean “formal” dress.
    • Avoid clothing that may be a distraction, particularly images or words that might be divisive.
  • Change of Contact Information:
    • Please notify Shari, shari@staparish.net or 515-509-6851 if you move or change your phone number or e-mail.

You proclaim the Good News not only for the St Thomas Aquinas community, but for the whole world to hear and understand and thus come to Jesus Christ. Take some time to pray before and after you read so that your ministry of the Word will indeed be for the glory of God. 

Thank you for sharing your gifts as a lector with the St. Thomas community.

US Bishops, Bible & daily readings

Lector Prep

The Word on the Web - solid, vetted, numerous web sites on the Word of God