Lector Preparation Method

This method will work in a group rehearsal setting as well as for solo preparation. In the latter case, a journal may be helpful for written reflection.


  1. Find a place and time free from distraction, preferably 15 minutes minimum. Set your Scripture passage and be seated in a relaxed way. After a few moments to catch your breath, begin.
  2. Read the passage slowly aloud, quietly to yourself. Pause for fifteen to sixty seconds. Perhaps a word, phrase, or an idea will come to mind. Write it down, but don’t try to analyze or justify it in any way.
  3. Read the passage a second time, slowly and aloud. Pause again for up to a minute. Maybe your word or phrase will come to your attention again. Maybe something else will. Consider this question: what may God be saying to you in this Scripture passage? Write down one or two sentences.
  4. Look over the passage again, reading it aloud again if you wish. What may God be trying to tell the parish through this reading? What message is important for your faith community to hear?
  5. Now (and only now) look at the commentary on the passage. Once you have assessed any personal or community message, are you ready to consider the original intent. How does this correspond with your own or your parish needs? How might this affect your presentation of this reading?
  6. Once you have considered the three factors: you, your community, the original intent, then you are ready to incorporate them into your proclamation. Find the core idea of the reading that is essential. Build up to that idea when you read aloud. Read the passage aloud once more. See if your partners in rehearsal, or perhaps a friend or spouse, can identify the vital point just from listening to you. As you prepare for the Mass, continue to practice the text once a day, keeping in mind the insights from your reflections. Keep the Bible passage in mind and prayer the upcoming week.