Notes for Lectors

“The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, that I may speak to the weary a word that will rouse them” (Isaiah 50:4)

I. Preparation
o Don’t procrastinate! Give yourself plenty of time (days)
o Begin with prayer
o Read all the readings for your Sunday. Look for the common themes between them
o Focus on your particular reading
o Read silently. Try to understand the message it has for the congregation and how you can make this message clearer through the way you proclaim it
o Practice it aloud (a few times)
o Look up any words you do not understand or know how to pronounce (don’t hesitate to ask James, David, or Father Joe!)

II. Proclamation Techniques
o This is the word of God! You are not reading, you are proclaiming the Good News
o Stand up straight. You don’t have to lean into the microphone – it will pick up your voice.
o Don’t be afraid of silence. Pauses are necessary. The congregation needs them to be able to understand and keep up. Use this as reference:
o Commas: mental “one one thousand”
o Periods and Semicolons: mental “one one thousand, two one thousand”
o End of Reading (before “The Word of the Lord”): One-five one thousand
o Speak up! Don’t let the microphone make you speak softer – it’s important that everyone can hear you.
o Make eye contact with your audience. Know your reading well enough so that you can look up frequently
o Use inflection in your voice – this will help to portray the reading’s meaning as well as keep your audience attentive.

III. Other Important Reminders
o Dress Up! This is an important ministry you have and you want to show the congregation your respect for the Word – so look the part! We’re not talking suit and tie (although we wouldn’t turn you down), but please, no shorts, no sandals, and button your shirts appropriately. Sorry for sounding petty, but it has to be said.
o Arrive ten minutes early. It is important that David and I know that both of the readers have arrived, and it gives you the opportunity to look at the reading in the actual book and make sure the book and ribbon are in the right places.
o First reader: You will process the Book of the Gospels in at the beginning of Mass. You will come after the cross/candles but before Father Joe. Raise the book high to symbolize its importance. Place the book face front in the center of the altar, opening the book slightly so that it can stand better. You SHOULD NOT process the Gospel out at the end of Mass.
o Second Reader: When you have finished your reading and the congregation has responded “Thanks be to God,” please shut the book and place it to the side (evening lectors: please place it on the stone ledge next to the lectern)
o Both Readers: Please bow to the altar on the way to and from the lectern
o Please follow what is stated in the lectionary, the opening of each reading should be, “A reading from the Book of _______” or “A reading from the First Letter of Saint Paul to the ________” Do not make up your own opening.
o Please keep up with the schedules and the emails from David and I. If you cannot make a scheduled mass, please let me know ASAP. It is very important that you make it to your assigned mass.

Lector Coordinator: James Smyth – jms27
Liturgy Director: David Walker – dkw10

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