The Word of God.

Book of the Gospels

When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel. Therefore, the readings from the Word of God are to be listened to reverently by everyone, for they are an element of the greatest importance in the Liturgy. Although in the readings from Sacred Scripture the Word of God is addressed to all people of whatever era and is understandable to them, a fuller understanding and a greater efficaciousness of the word is nevertheless fostered by a living commentary on the word, that is, by the Homily, as part of the liturgical action.

Lector’s Ministry Guide

In this Ministry, we are called to proclaim the Word of God… an awesome responsibility. This is much more than just “reading”… it is PROCLAIMING…. SPEAKING FOR THE LORD. As in any Ministry, we must be witnesses to our faith and always bring our very best to the task.

Prior to Mass

Before the Procession we would like the Lectors to move into the foyer, (the entrance area) and make a point of welcoming people to our celebration. Whether it is a simple hello, good morning, good afternoon or a handshake.
Hospitality is certainly a focus of all ministries at Holy Name Parish. What a difference we can make.


  • The best preparation is to simply practice the reading in the week prior to actually proclaiming it. While it need not be memorized you should be able to look up at the congregation from time to time during the proclamation.
  • If the reading appears to have many unusual words or is challenging to understand you may wish to use the book entitled LECTOR’S GUIDE, located in the sacristy. This guide has a pronunciation guide and an indication of words or phrases to stress during the reading.
  • Take the guide from the Sacristy the week before you read and return it on the day you read, so it will be there for another lector to use.
  • DRESS APPROPRIATELY for Mass. Anyone who is in the altar area for any reason during Mass should follow this guideline. No shorts in summer, no short tops or mini skirts. Everyone should know what is appropriate! If you are not certain, ask Father.



  • Each Mass will begin with greetings and a welcome from one person acting as Commentator. The script is found in both the sacristy and at the lectern.
  • Take your cue from Father as to when to go to the Lectern to welcome the congregation.
  • Proceed to the front of the Church and bow to the Altar each time you approach or leave.
  • Introduce yourself and sincerely greet and welcome everyone!
  • You can add your own personal greeting style here if you are comfortable doing this.
  • Hospitality is one of the main goals of the Parish. Smile! Make eye contact!
  • The hymns for each Mass may be posted in the Sacristy. If not check with the choir. Please announce the TITLE AND NUMBER of the opening hymn.



  • The First Lector carries the Lectionary, holding it at head level and carrying it with reverence. Your position is directly behind the Altar servers. The Second Lector walks beside the first reader in the procession.
  • When you reach the front, bow to the Altar, together with the others in the procession. The First Lector brings the Lectionary to the Lectern. Place it down reverently, OPEN IT to the correct page and proceed to your seat.


Liturgy of the Word

After the Priest reads the opening prayer and the children are dismissed and gone downstairs (if there is a children’s liturgy), the First Lector comes to the front, Bows to the Tabernacle and proceeds to the Lectern.

The correct wording is, “A Reading from…” and ending with “The Word of the Lord.” Do not use the words “The First reading” or end with “AND” this is the word…

After you read, please wait quietly for about 10-15 seconds, before leaving the Lectern. Bow again to the Altar before returning to your seat.

  • If the choir is not singing the psalm (usually during the summer months), the First Lector will also read the Responsorial Psalm.
  • Before starting the psalm, wait 10-15 seconds. Begin with the Psalm Refrain and have it repeated by the congregation before reading the verses. The psalm is a prayer… try to make it sound like one.
  • After the Psalm is said or sung the Second Lector goes to the Lectern, following the same guidelines as the first.
  • The Commentator is now responsible for the PRAYERS OF PETITION. These prayers should be practiced prior to Mass. They often include special intentions and you may need to clarify the pronunciation of names.
  • Commentator: Please begin moving to the front during the Profession of Faith, so that you are ready at the Lectern when Father introduces the Prayers.
  • Again bow to the Altar as you approach and leave the Lectern. These prayers must be read with expression and with special emphasis on any names. Many times the congregation is asking “who was that we prayed for?”
  • After the Petitions remain at the Lectern until Father has concluded, usually after we say the Hail Mary for peace.



After the final blessing and dismissal, the Second Lector collects the Lectionary from the Lectern and joins the assembly in the front of the Altar. Again you are directly behind the Altar Servers. The First Lector and the Commentator join the recessional as well. The First Lector stands beside the Second Lector with the Commentator just behind them. Second Lector remembers to hold the Lectionary high and return it to the Sacristy.

Parish Concerns

The single most common complaint is not being able to hear or understand the reader. This may be because you are reading too fast or not projecting into the microphone. The microphone will amplify enough if you have it positioned properly. Try to position it directly in front of your chin. This way as you are reading your mouth will then be directly in front of the microphone.

Above all, use expression in your reading.