FILIPINO CATHOLIC MISSION OF
Guidelines for Lectors
"Let the lector be aware of the office he/she has taken and make every
effort and employ every suitable means to acquire that increasingly warm
and living love, and knowledge of Scripture that will make him/her a more
perfect disciple of the Lord"
Pope Paul the VI
Generally accepted guidelines for lectors:
The above are general guidelines and suggestions applicable to lectors
in all parishes. For detailed FCMM Guidelines please see
The lector should strive to establish a deep and personal relationship
between himself/herself and the Word of God.
Reading skills can be developed through training and practice. Natural
talent is not by any means all that it takes to be a good herald of the
Word of God.
Lector should arrive at least 15 minutes before the mass.
He/she should ascertain the route of procession, verify the lectionary,
check microphone connection and adjust its position.
The lectors should walk at an appropriate pace. First reader carries the
lectionary elevated placing it on the lectern without bowing in front of
Lector may sit in the sanctuary or in the midst of the congregation.
Before reading, approach embo with dignity and bow in front of the altar.
Open the lectionary and announce the reading.
Reader should read slowly, with proper distinction and conviction. Eye
contact, deportment and personal faith contribute to lectors' effectiveness
in proclaiming the Word of God.
The eye contact may be accomplished in natural and easy way. Familiarity
with text will allow this to be somewhat prolong, rather than quick artificial
glances. It may be helpful to use one's finger to follow the line of reading.
Use pauses effectively - this is a powerful instrument when properly employed.
It indicates shift in the story, separates direct quotations, and allows
readers to follow and absorb the text.
At conclusion pause, look at the congregation and say "This is the Word
of the Lord".
If he/she would continue with responsorial, the reader should remain in
place with bowed head, reflecting upon the text of previous reading.
Responsorial should begin with reading the antiphon. Read slowly and clearly,
pausing and indicating with eye contact for the response. At the end the
lector should pause with bowed head to reflect on the words spoken.
Recess in the same order as during the procession.
Finally, be prepared! Study and practice well in advance, if possible,
before a mirror to be aware of facial expression, and with tape recorder
to verify pronunciation.
"Should you want to speak publicly or if you were to do so, I will
then be there to comfort you. Each word should be like a seed which must
bear many fruits among your listeners."
Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth Kindelmann
July 26, 1971
Prepare yourself a week before:
Arrive 30 minutes before the mass:
Spend time on the reading you will proclaim. Read it several times, pray
about it and learn about it (You may want to consult the original in the
Bible). The more you know about the reading, the more effectively you can
share it with others.
Practice the delivery with your family, other lectors or with a tape recorder.
Sunday First Reader-carry the lectionary solemnly above your head. Do not
bow at the altar (the Lord is in His words with you). Lay it down slowly
on the lectern, open to the correct page and go to your designated place.
Check if there are any specific instructions (especially during special
Practice reading from the lectionary.
First Reader-after the opening prayer, approach the lectern facing the
altar, bow and approach the microphone. Pause, and wait for any activity
in the assembly to die down before you begin.
The word of God should be proclaimed from the lectionary, not from a missalette
or any other piece of paper.
Proclaim in a strong voice, "A reading from...." and then pause for
at least 2 seconds (one thousand and one, one thousand and two). Do not
say, "The first/second reading is taken from....").
Read slowly, distinctly, with meaning and looking up from time to time
at various parts of the congregation.
At the end of the reading, be sure you do not swallow, "The word of the
Lord". Instead, pause for at least 2 seconds before the phrase and
then proclaim it as something in which you take great pride. (Do
say, "This is the word...." or "Brothers and sisters this is...."). Wait
for the response before moving away from the lectern, then bow to
the altar (with the next reader, if applicable).
When approaching or leaving the altar/lectern, move slowly and with dignity.
If the psalm is not sung, pronounce the response in a strong voice (only
the response itself; do not announce "the response is..."). Say
the response again with the congregation at a lower volume. The psalm is
prayed as a poetry. Wait for the last response to finish completely
before moving away from the lectern.
The lectors join the other servers in the recessional. The lectionary is
not to be processed out.
Arrive 30 minutes before the mass:
For the Prayer of the Faithful, approach the pulpit immediately after the
Creed, to be in place when the celebrant introduces the intercessions.
Do not announce, "Our response is....".
Check if there are any specific instructions.
Review/practice the welcome/introduction and the intercessions.
Obtain the list of mass offerings from the Worship Committee.
Read the intercessions prayerfully, pausing slightly before "We pray to
the Lord". Stay at the pulpit while the priest says the concluding prayer,
and say "Amen" with the congregation. Return to your designated place while
the people sit down.
The commentator does the announcements after Communion.
The commentator joins the celebrant, readers, E.Ms. and altar servers in
Please, observe the dress code. It was agreed for combination of black
pants/skirt and white shirt/blouse if possible. Else, for the lectors it
is recommended to wear sunday's best. The dress code should be observed
during Sundays, but also on weekdays if at all possible.
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