PROCLAIMING THE WORD
“The Lord God has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to answer the weary a word that will waken them.” Isaiah 50:4
“When Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people…Therefore, the readings from the Word of God are to be listened to reverently by everyone, for they are an element of greatest importance in the Liturgy.” General Instruction of the Roman Missal, #29
Proclaiming the Word on Sundays and Solemnities (Holy Days of Obligation):
1. Lectors will receive the “Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word,” which contains all the readings for Sundays and Solemnities. Please study the readings in the workbook and come to Mass prepared to proclaim the Word, even if you are not scheduled. Always dress appropriately in case you are called upon to read.
2. There is a sign-up sheet in the Server’s Sacristy that has the names of the scheduled Liturgical Ministers for each Mass. Please sign in when you arrive.
3. You will receive a list of the other lectors along with contact information. If you are unable to fulfill your ministry on a day you are scheduled, please make arrangements for someone to fill in for you.
4. Sit near the front of the Church and at the end of the pew so you can get out easily when it is time to come up for the reading.
5. It is a good idea to come to the Clergy Sacristy before Mass and familiarize yourself with where the readings for the day are in the Lectionary. We also ask that you remain in the Sacristy and join the other ministers in prayer before Mass begins.
6. Prior to Mass the first reader will read the introduction to the Mass located in the binder. Watch for Father or the Deacon to give you the signal to begin. After reading the introduction close the binder, place it on the table beside the Ambo and return to your pew.
7. When coming forward for the reading, reverence the altar with a bow from the waist before entering the sanctuary, and again upon leaving the sanctuary. If you are proclaiming the first AND second reading, you do not have to reverence the altar upon entering and leaving each time. Make a reverence before entering the sanctuary for the first reading and upon leaving after second reading.
8. Before beginning the reading make sure people are seated and attentive.
9. After the second reading close the lectionary and place it on the table beside the Ambo.
10. If there is an option for a long version and a short version of a reading, check with Father or the Deacon to see which option is preferred. When in doubt, read the long version.
11. If there is no Deacon present at the Mass, the lector will be called upon to read the Prayers of the Faithful. If there are two lectors present either lector may read the Prayers of Faithful.
12. After the Prayer after Communion, the lector will read the announcements in the binder. Either lector may do this.
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
· Come prepared.
· Project your voice. The microphone is to assist you in being heard but it is not a substitute for speaking clearly.
· Speak to the assembly, don’t just read to them. Remember you are proclaiming the Word of God not just reading words from a book. Make eye contact, enunciate, vary the pace, the pitch and the tone of your voice.
· Pause between the introduction (“A reading from…”) and the beginning of the reading, pause again between the end of the reading and the conclusion, (“The Word of the Lord…”)
· Don’t over-emote. Proclaiming the Word of God is a liturgical act, not a Broadway production.
· Don’t announce the number of the reading, i.e., “The first reading is….” Simply begin with the introduction. Also, if the Responsorial Psalm is read, do not announce that it is the Responsorial Psalm. Simply pause briefly after the first reading, then begin with the first antiphon.
· If you make a mistake while reading don’t stop and apologize, simply correct yourself and move on.
· Do not pick up the Lectionary to read or to announce “The Word of the Lord.”