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Procedures for Lectors

“Anyone can read Scripture in public; only a believer can proclaim them” -Rule of St. Benedict

In Preparation for Mass

  • Use Ministry Scheduler to maintain your availability, if you know you will be out of town, please request a substitute.
  • Please use the Workbook to help you prepare the reading. Remember, you are proclaiming the Word of God.

Arrival at Mass 

  • Arrive 15 minutes before the start of mass and sign in. The sign-in sheet will be in the sacristy. Ask which priest will be the celebrant? Is there a deacon? If there is no deacon, the lector is responsible:
    • to process with the Book of the Gospel.
    • to read the prayers of the faithful and the announcements.
  • If there are two lectors, please discuss who reads which reading, prayers of the faithful and the announcements.
  • Ask lots of questions, especially if there is a visiting priest.
  • Just before mass starts, the lector should take the book (lectionary) to the Ambo, open to the correct page, and adjust the microphone.

Processing with the Book of the Gospels

  • Take the Book of the Gospels from the sacristy to the back of church to join the priest for the procession. You will be just in front of the priest. Carry the Book in front of your face or just below so you can see in front of you as you walk down the aisle.
  • When you get to the step at the altar, stop, make a slight bow of the head and then walk around
    the altar and place the Book in the middle of the altar, face up (if you are unsure where to place the book, ask the priest to show you where they like it placed).
  • Return to your pew.


  • Before, between and following the readings, silence is desirable.
  • First reading: wait for the congregation to sit and then approach the alter, make a reverence to the Alter of Sacrifice (a simple bow of the head is perfect) and then proceed to the Ambo. Adjust the microphone. Make sure the book is open to the proper page.
  • If the reading is on the left page, it is OK to move the book to the right, so the reading is under the microphone. Use your right hand to support the book.
  • When the congregation is silent, begin your proclamation of the Word.
  • When the first reading is finished, step back off the platform, wait in silence for five seconds and then return to your seat. Make a reverence to the Alter of Sacrifice on your way back.
  • If you are the only lector, after the 5 seconds of silence, you may sit in the pew directly
    behind the Ambo.
Psalm -the cantor will sing the psalm, after she/he is finished and seated.
  • Second reading: stand and approach the Altar, make a reverence to the Altar of Sacrifice and then proceed to the Ambo. Turn the page to the second reading, make any adjustment to the book you need, adjust the microphone so it is directly in front of your mouth. Begin your proclamation of the Word.
  • When finished with your reading, close the lectionary and place it in the wooden pocket.
  • Step back off the platform and wait in silence for five seconds. Return to your seat making a reverence to the Alter of Sacrifice.

Prayers of the Faithful (during the Creed)

  • When we get to the last paragraph, please stand and go to the Ambo, step up on the platform, and be ready to read the Prayers of the Faithful when the Priest introduces them.
  • Read the Prayers of the Faithful, and when finished, wait. The priest will say a concluding prayer. When this is finished, return to your pew.


  • After you receive communion, go directly to the pew behind the Ambo and wait for the appropriate time.
  • The priest will introduce the announcements and then you can read them. When finished, return to your seat.

After Mass

  • Lectors should take responsibility for the Lectionary and the Book of the Gospels and return them to the sacristy.
  • Open them to the proper page for the next mass.


  • Fr. Grassi and some visiting priests will not read from the Book of the Gospels, so there is no need to process with the Book of the Gospels.
  • After the second reading, leave the lectionary on the Ambo, Fr. Grassi will read the Gospel from the Lectionary.
St. Josaphat Church is a very difficult environment in which to be heard clearly.  Please speak very slowly, and wait until the echo to die after every phrase, or else the congregation will not understand you.  Unfortunately, people who speak at a normal conversational pace cannot be understood over the microphone.