Reader Practical Guidelines
Make sure that you practice your reading (the readings can always be found on the link provided on the OLM web site.) If there are words you don't know how to pronounce, please consult the guide found in the sacristy. You should always dedicate some time in prayer for preparation. Many readers say a short prayer as they walk up to the lectern ("Come, Holy Spirit").
Louise Aulbach is the coordinator of the readers. Her responsibilities are to:
a. Maintain an updated list of all reader's names and telephone numbers.
b. Distribute this list to all the readers.
c. Schedule two readers each Sunday (if you can't be there, it is your responsibility to find a substitute)
d. Make sure that this schedule is printed in the Parish Newsletter. The first person listed in the bulletin walks in with the lectionary and reads the first reading (and the psalm if it is not sung) and the second person listed reads the second reading and the prayers of the faithful (the bidding prayers)
This is what each reader should know and do:
a. Make sure you arrive to church at least 15 minutes before Mass begins. If you don't you will be replaced by another reader. (This is to give you time to pick up the prayers of the faithful/bidding prayers and also allows you prayer time).
b. Please remove the lectionary to a quiet place (e.g., the bench outside sacristy door) and practice your reading. The sacristy should not be a gathering place of all ministers, it is too chaotic.
c. Make sure you are dressed appropriately.
d. The reader of the 1st reading walks in with the priest. This reader processes in with the Lectionary. (Holding it high - at least above your forehead so that you can see or lower, at the level of your chest). The reader walks in after the altar servers and before the priest. (The reader does NOT walk out with them after Mass).
e. When the priest gets to the first step of the altar, he and the servers bow. The reader does not bow or genuflect. (You already have the Word of God in your hand.) Stand dignified below the steps and when the priests and servers go up, you may go up and place the lectionary on the lectern, opening it to the first reading.
f. Go back to your seat.
g. After the opening prayer, reader #1 walks down the CENTER AISLE and stops before the first step and bows. Then go up to the lectern and read the first reading.
h. Please do NOT CHANGE OR MODIFY ANY WORDS. The ones the Church decided to use are just fine! So, you begin with "A Reading from…" then you pause at least 3 seconds, then read the reading SLOWLY and deliberately. After the reading is finished, wait 5 seconds then say: The Word of the Lord." Please do not change these words.
i. If the psalm is sung, you return to your seat. Always exit to the RIGHT of the lectern.
j. After the psalm has been prayed, Reader #2 walks up the center aisle, bows at the bottom of the steps, goes up the steps and then proceeds to the lectern. The second reading is then read. (See h)
k. After the second reading is finished, the reader returns to his/her seat. Exit from the right of the lectern. No bowing or genuflecting is necessary.
l. Towards the very end of the Creed, reader # 2 returns to the lectern in the same fashion as before. After the priest makes the introductory prayer, the petitions are read SLOWLY. Some readers like to pause 2 seconds before saying "Let us Pray to the Lord" or "Lord, Hear Us."
m. AFTER THE PRIEST FINISHES THE CLOSING PRAYER AFTER YOUR PETITIONS, walk back to your pew in a dignified fashion. (It is rude to walk while the priest is praying the closing prayer.) No genuflections or bows are necessary.
You are free to come and practice 20 minutes or so before Mass begins. That way you can also adjust the lectern and microphone. Remember, you may need to turn on the lectern reading and spot lights (the switch is underneath the ambo to the right).
If a fellow reader does something that strikes you as different, ask him or her the reason (they may have made a mistake or they may have had to respond to a situation). Please don't ignore these directives.