St. Columbkille is always looking to recruit and train new Readers. If you are interested in this opportunity to serve our parish in this very special manner, then please contact Fr. Chris at 617-782-5774 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read below for a full explanation of what your role and responsibilities would be. Fr. Chris is willing to review these details with you and ensure that you are properly trained.
Step-by-step Details for Readers
Before Mass, the Reader(s) have 3 tasks.
The first is to ensure that the Lectionary (the Book of Readings) is on the ambo and opened to the correct page for the day’s readings. The book is organized according to the weeks of the liturgical year, not calendar dates. To determine the proper week/readings, refer to the ORDO (a small book that is located in the Sacristy) or consult http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/. On the calendar on the right-hand side of this web page, click on the Sunday to which you’ve been assigned; at the top of the page is listed the Sunday (e.g. “Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time”) and a number that corresponds to the Lectionary. Once you determine the proper week/readings, ensure that the Lectionary is on the ambo and opened to the proper page. If you have any questions, then ask the priest, deacon, emcee, or sacristan.
The second task is to ensure that the Prayers of the Faithful (intentions), including the names of the deceased person(s) for whom the Mass is being celebrated, if any, are on the ambo or at a convenient place for the Reader who will be reading the intentions. The names of those for whose memory a Mass is being celebrated are published in the bulletin, so it is the normal practice that a copy of the bulletin is placed with the intentions.
Since the Reader processes in holding the Book of the Gospels, the third task to get the Book of the Gospels and bring it with you to the back of the church. The Book of the Gospels is located on the altar, the ambo, the credence table, or in the Sacristy. If you are not sure which book it is, or where it is located, then ask the priest, deacon, sacristan, or emcee.
You will be in the Procession with the priest and other ministers, which means you, the other ministers, and the priest will gather in the back of the church before Mass begins. The priest or the other Ministers will inform you of where you ought to be in the procession. During the procession, if you are the Reader who is to hold the Lectionary, then hold it upright with both hands at chest-level as you process.
Once the Procession begins, walk slowly and deliberately toward the altar.
a. If Eucharistic Ministers(s) and/or altar servers are present, then you will process behind him/her/them. Simply follow them. When you get to the altar, bow slightly, walk to the altar, place the book on the front center of the altar, and then walk to your seat, which is on the left side (as one faces the altar from the congregation). Remain standing at your seat until the priest, other Ministers, and people sit down. When they sit, this is your signal to approach the ambo.
b. If Eucharistic Minister(s) and/or altar servers are not present, then you will lead the procession, following the same procedure described in step 3.a.
After the Opening hymn, greeting, and Collect (opening prayer):
a. If the veteran reader is present, proclaim the First Reading. After you proclaim the First Reading, return to your seat. You are now finished until step 5!
b. If the veteran reader is not present, proclaim the First Reading. After you proclaim the First Reading, then you will either sit down (4.b.1) or remain at the ambo (4.b.ii).
i. If a cantor is present, then sit down after you proclaim the First Reading, since the cantor will sing the Responsorial Psalm. After the Psalm, approach the ambo to proclaim the Second Reading. After the Second Reading, sit down.
ii. If a cantor is not present, then after the First Reading remain at the ambo and immediately proclaim the Responsorial Psalm and the Second Reading. After the Second Reading, sit down.
If the veteran reader is not present, then after the priest proclaims the Gospel, finishes his Homily, and sits down at the presider’s chair, approach the ambo and read the Prayers of the Faithful (intentions).
After the intentions are read, you (and the veteran reader) will leave the altar and go to your seat(s) in the congregation, where you will remain for the rest of the Mass. As you step off the altar, you will (both) reverence the altar (by bowing to it) before going to your seat(s).
At the end of Mass, during the closing hymn as the priest kisses the altar, you will step out into the center aisle. Face the altar. You, the other ministers, and the priest will together reverence the altar (by bowing to it), turn around, and process out.