Instructions for Lectors at Mass

To Become a Lector:

Talk to the Pastor.  It requires a simple training, and then you can get on the schedule.  We are always looking for more ministers.


Dress appropriately in a way that doesn’t distract from the ministry.

Arrive at church in enough time before Mass to review the readings.  Ask the presider to assist you with the pronunciation of any unusual names of words.

Note is there is a Deacon at the Mass, and whether the choir/cantor will sing the Psalm and Gospel acclamation. 

Check with the presider if there are any changes or if you are to read the longer or shorter version of a given scripture.

Place the lectionary on the ambo.  Check that the sound system is turned on.

Lector does not process in with the priest, deacon and servers, but will instead sit in the sanctuary.

After the Priest/deacon reads the announcements, the lector goes to the ambo to begin the vocation prayer.

*note that after the second reading I would ask that the lector goes to sit in the pews with the congregation.


After the opening prayer go to the ambo.  Introduce the readings by saying: “A reading from…” Read slowly, clearly and loud enough to be heard. Adjust microphone.  (note: we no longer say: “The first reading is a reading from…”  Simply read what it says, without including chapter and verse.)

Do not kiss or reverence the lectionary in any way these venerations are reserved for the book of the gospels. 

Between the two readings, if the responsorial psalm is being sung by a cantor, step back from the microphone (DW step to side, Crosby sit next to ambo)

(Crosby) At the end of the second reading, if there is a deacon present and he will use the Book of the Gospels, place the lectionary on the seat and then proceed to sit with the congregation.  If no deacon is present leave the lectionary on the ambo for the Gospel reading.  Return to your place in your pew, remembering to bow at the foot of the sanctuary.

If there is no deacon, the priest will read the Prayers of the Faithful (petitions). 

General Notes:

Please be sure to get a substitute if you are not able to be at the Mass when you are scheduled. 

Please practice the readings before Mass.  A copy of the readings can be found in the lector work books or on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website: