God is good, all the time; all the time, God is good!

Holy Family Guidelines for Readers


Updated Feb. 25, 2019


  1. The schedule of Weekend, Holy Day, and Daily Assignments is made out every six weeks using Ministry Scheduler Pro. Your schedule will be e-mailed to you if your e-mail address is current. Once the schedule is issued, it is your responsibility to request a substitute on Ministry Scheduler if you cannot make it for any reason. Send your current e-mail address to deaconlarry@earthlink.net, or go into Ministry Scheduler and modify your profile.
  2. Access your assignments when you receive them and store it in a safe place where you will remember where it is located.
  3. Prepare properly for proclaiming the Reading. This includes conforming to the dress code (click here). You should read and study the material in the “Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers” by LTP for the date you are scheduled. A copy of the Workbook will be available to each of you when you take training or near the beginning of Advent each year. Generally you will be assigned just one reading. However, please prepare both readings in case your partner does not show up.
  4. You are required to attend the Tuesday Reader Session from 7 to 8 PM in the Daily Chapel if you are scheduled to read on the coming weekend. Reasonable attendance will be a criteria for continued scheduling on Weekends.
  5. Arrive no less than 15 minutes before Mass. Go to the Ministry Gathering Room on the left side of the back of the church (also called the Bride’s Room), and check off your name on the schedule. If your partner does not arrive by Mass time, you will need to do both readings.
  6. Reader 1 (assigned to do the first reading) should check to see that the Lectionary is at the ambo and that the proper place for the reading is suitably marked with a ribbon. They should also check to see that the paper with the General Intercession petitions is visible at the ambo. (The Lectionary should never be carried in during the Procession and should always be at the ambo. A suitable hardbound book should be used as the Lectionary- not a missalette).
  7. If you are Reader 1, you should check with the priest in the sacristy (knock on the door immediately to the left just before you enter the Church from the Narthex) to determine if there will be a Deacon at the Mass. If there is a Deacon, Reader 1 should then be seated in the congregation ahead of Mass. If there is no Deacon, Reader 1 will be part of the Entrance Procession, and will carry the Book of Gospels. Reader 2 (assigned to do the second reading and the General Intercessions) should check to see if there is a Deacon. If there is a Deacon, the Deacon will read the General Intercessions. After checking in, Reader 2 should be seated in the congregation. Neither Reader will read the Responsorial Psalm unless the Priest specifically requests it.
  8. If there is no Deacon, then Reader 2 should go before Mass to the ambo, and determine the Mass intention for that day by referring to the calendar taped to the ambo. The Reader should be prepared to add this intention to the General Intercessions. Because each Mass is offered for a unique intention, these Mass intentions are not written out with the other intentions. The intention should be carefully worded. For example, if the person is deceased, the intention should read “In a special way, we ask you to please pray for the repose of the soul of XYZ”.
  9. If Reader 1 carries the Book of Gospels, he or she should be positioned in the Procession in front of the Priest and in back of the Altar Servers. The Reader should not carry any other article with him or her during the Procession (no handbags, missalettes, rosary beads, or prayer books). During the Procession, the Book of Gospels should be elevated with the finished side faced toward you. The Reader should continue up the steps, walk around the back of the altar, and place the Book of Gospels prominently at the center of the altar with the finished side face down, after which the Reader should go to his or her seat in the congregation. (Before Mass you may place a placard available in the Ministry Gathering Room on your seat, or have a family member save you a seat).
  10. Reader 1 should begin to approach the ambo reverently at the end of the Opening Prayer. He or she should approach the ambo, making a bow to the altar on the way. If the mike is not on (green light), then turn on the microphone.  If the microphone needs to be repositioned, please turn it off, move it, then turn it back on. Announce the reading by looking at the congregation (e.g.: “A reading from the Book of Job”) and then pause a few seconds. Proclaim the reading and then leave so the music for the Responsorial Psalm can begin. If the cantor is approaching the altar, wait at the foot of the altar for the canto to arrive, bow in synchronization, and then return to your seat in the congregation. Otherwise, bow at the foot of the altar and return to your seat. (If Reader 1 does both readings, he or she should take a seat beside the Altar Servers behind the ambo during the Responsorial Psalm).
  11. Reader 2 should begin to approach the ambo a few seconds after the end of the Responsorial Psalm, bowing toward the altar on his way. If a cantor has used the ambo for the Responsorial Psalm, bow in synchronization with the cantor and then return to your seat. The announcement and reading should be done in the same way as the first reading. When the reading is complete, reverently close the Lectionary and place it on the shelf under the top of the ambo so that the Priest or Deacon has room for the Book of Gospels and return to your place.
  12. If there is no Deacon, Reader 2 should begin to return directly to the ambo at the last sentence of the Profession of Faith (Creed). Announce the response, usually “Lord hear our prayer”. The General Intercessions are then read clearly and distinctly. Wait until the Priest finishes the closing prayer before returning to your seat.
  13. The Readers do not participate in the Recessional. After Mass, Reader 1 should go to the ambo and bring the Book of Gospels back to the Ministry Gathering Room while Reader 2 sets the Lectionary to the proper place for the next Mass.
  14. The Diocese of Orlando also requires that all Readers be fingerprinted and attend a training session on “Safe Environment” for kids and other vulnerable people. Fingerprinting may be arranged by contacting the Diocese of Orlando (click here for the link). Safe Environment Training is available on line at the Diocesan Website as well by clicking on the “Safe Environment Training” option on the right.

This procedure should be followed at all Masses. Thank you for participating as a minister of the Word.