The lector is one who proclaims the scriptures at mass. While often referred to as a “reader”, the lector is so much more than this. Truly, the lector is proclaimer and prophet in ministry to the community assembled. For the reader merely recites words for the ear, but through a proclaimer the words come alive as God’s message to the heart. That is, words become the Word.
If you are interested to become a lector, please contact Mrs. Chris Allen at 304.689.6394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lector Formation and Training
Prepared by Deacon Louis Provenzano
Characteristics and Spirituality of the Lector: The lector proclaims the Word of God to the assembled faith community. Men and women who accept the call to this ministry are presumed to be people of faith and lovers of Scripture, eager to serve the Christian community. The prophet Isaiah expresses this ministry well:
“The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, that I may know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” -Isaiah 50:4
Effective Proclamation Skills:
Important Tips for Developing Effective Proclamation Skills
Literary Forms Common to Sacred Scripture
Steps to Effective Preparation for Ministry of the Word
General Instructions of the Roman Missal
Summary of the Guidelines and Prodedures for Ministers of the Word
Effective lectors are reverent, confident and deliberate. They continue to pray, develop and nourish their own spirituality. When proclaiming the Scriptures, their love and faith are evident to the hearers of the Word. Their lives change because they are constantly converted and motivated by the Word of God.
The Deacon or lector carries the Book of the Gospels and follows the servers and cross bearer in procession. The book is carried with the binding to the right, with both hands and few inches away from the breast, not held aloft like a banner. Lectors do not bow when holding the book. The Gospel Book is placed on the altar during the procession. The Lectionary is placed on the ambo before Mass. Lectors read from the Lectionary – not from a missalette or a sheet of paper. After the second reading, the lector places the Lectionary on a shelf or a stand. Ministers of the Word do not carry out the Lectionary or the Book of the Gospels in the recessional. Liturgical Books are always handled with reverence and honor.
Lectors communicate with the assembly in nonverbal ways – body language, dress, posture, attitude, etc. Dress simply and move with a demeanor of honor and reverence. Personal conversations, joking or laughing in the Narthex should be avoided as the Minister of the Word is a visible sign of our faith in action.
Preparation of the Lectionary
Lectors should review the Lectionary before Mass, noting the markers, the page, and the reading. This is important if another book is used in preparation. The lector places the Lectionary on the ambo. Check the microphone and the place of seating. Lectors ask the celebrant about the procedure for the entrance and the recessional.
Liturgy is one integral action – it functions like a symphony. Those who are in leadership roles in liturgical worship should be present from the beginning of Mass to the end. Come early to prepare and to pray. Inner quiet and composure will convey prayerfulness and the Spirit of God.
Liturgy is a celebration, a ritual prayer of the assembly with the leadership of the celebrant and the liturgical ministers. The focus is on expressing and celebrating the immediate faith experience of all present. Those in liturgical leadership enhance this experience with full, active and conscious participation. Dignified and restrained participation shows an alert awareness of the significance of ritual worship.
Lectors carefully choose their attire for simplicity and appropriateness. On festive occasions all liturgical ministers may wear an alb or consider appropriate clothing with the color and spirit of the season or feast.