Getting Ready

While you are still at home you can go to www.usccb.org to read and listen to the readings for the day.  Arrive in the sacristy about 15 minutes early.  There will be two readers.  If there is no deacon decide who will read the Universal Prayer.  Place the lectionary on the ambo a few minutes before Mass begin.  Then proceed to the back of the church for the procession.

The ordinary situation is for the Book of the Gospels to come up in the procession.  If it is difficult for the readers to go up the stairs without the railing the Book of the Gospels can be put on the altar before the Mass begins.

When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his word, proclaims the Gospel.  Therefore, the readings from the Word of God are to be listened to reverently by everyone, for they are an element of the greatest importance in the Liturgy.  Although in the readings from Sacred Scripture the Word of God is addressed to all people of whatever era and is understandable to them, a fuller understanding and a greater effectiveness of the word is nevertheless fostered by a living commentary on the word, that is, by the Homily, as part of the liturgical action.

Vocal Expression of the Different Texts

In texts that are to be pronounced in a loud and clear voice, whether by the Priest or the Deacon, or by a reader, or by everyone, the voice should correspond to the genre of the text itself, that is, depending upon whether it is a reading, a prayer, an explanatory comment, an acclamation, or a sung text; it should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering.

Silence

The Liturgy of the Word is to be celebrated in such a way as to favor meditation, and so any kind of haste such as hinders recollection is clearly to be avoided.  In the course of it, brief periods of silence are also appropriate, accommodated to the assembled congregation; by means of these, under the action of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God may be grasped by the heart and a response through prayer may be prepared.  It may be appropriate to observe such periods of silence, for example, before the Liturgy of the Word itself begins, after the First and Second Reading, and lastly at the conclusion of the Homily.

 Scripture Readings

In the celebration of the Mass with the people, the readings are always read from the ambo.

After each reading, whoever reads it pronounces the acclamation, and by means of the reply the assembled people give honor to the Word of God that they have received in faith and with gratitude.  The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the Gospel. The lector may also announce the intentions for the Universal Prayer and, in the absence of a psalmist, recite the Psalm between the readings.

The Liturgy of the Word

After the Opening Prayer (Collect), all sit. The Priest may, very briefly, introduce the faithful to the Liturgy of the Word. Then the reader goes to the ambo and, from the Lectionary already placed there before Mass, proclaims the First Reading, to which all listen. At the end, the reader pronounces the acclamation The word of the Lord, and all reply, Thanks be to God.

Then a few moments of silence may be observed, if appropriate, so that all may meditate on what they have heard.

Then the psalmist or the reader proclaims the verses of the Psalm and the people make the response as usual.

If there is to be a Second Reading before the Gospel, the reader proclaims it from the ambo. All listen and at the end reply to the acclamation, as noted above. Then, if appropriate, a few moments of silence may be observed.

The Introductory Rites

In the procession to the altar, in the absence of a Deacon, the reader may carry the Book of the Gospels, slightly elevated.  In that case, the reader walks in front of the Priest but otherwise walks along with the other ministers.

Upon reaching the altar, the reader makes a profound bow with the others.  If the reader is carrying the Book of the Gospels, the Book of the Gospels is placed upon the altar.  Then the reader takes a place in the assembly.

 

The Liturgy of the Word

The reader reads from the ambo the readings that precede the Gospel. In the absence of a psalmist, the reader may also proclaim the Responsorial Psalm after the First Reading.  In the absence of a Deacon, the reader, after the introduction by the Priest, may announce the intentions of the Universal Prayer from the ambo.

The Concluding Rites

At the conclusion of the Mass, the lector does not process with the Book of the Gospels. The Lectionary is never carried in procession. The lector may join in the procession at the end of Mass in the same order as in the procession to the altar.