Manual for Lectors

Immaculate Conception Parish

Manual for Lectors

General Guidelines

  • If you are unable to serve at your assigned time, please try to find a replacement to take your place in advance.  If you cannot find a replacement, please notify someone that you will serve with so that you will serve with so that they will now to try and find someone that day.
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of Mass.
  • Please review the readings before Mass.  There are several websites that have the readings for every weekday and Sunday.  There is a link to these sites on the Immaculate Conception parish website.
  • If there is an option for a long form or a short form of the readings, we will generally use the long form.  However, please check with the priest or deacon.  (If you prepare for the long form, it will be easy to switch to the short form.)
  • Please check the Lectionary to ensure that the readings that you have prepared are the same readings that the Lectionary is set to.  If there is a discrepancy, please check with the priest or deacon as soon as possible.

Entrance Procession

  • Wait at the back of Church for the entrance procession to begin.  The lector(s) will process in immidiately behind the candle bearers.  Please leave a space of roughly 5 pews between you and the altar servers to ensure appropriate spacing.
  • When you reach the altar, reverence the tabernacle.  This is done with a genuflection if you are physically able, if not, a bow is appropriate.  As soon as you make this reverence, you can move to your pew.


  • To clarify, at the beginning and end of Mass the tabernacle is reverenced with a genuflection.  However, during the course of the Mass, the tabernacle is not reverenced (unless you are placing something in it or removing something from it.)  Instead, the altar is reverenced with a bow.  Therefore, as you come to the ambo for your reading, bow to the altar.  When you are finished, again bow to the altar before return to your pew.


  • If a deacon is present, he will read the general intercessions.

Lector Tips

  • Know the introduction "A reading from..." so that you can make eye contact with the congregation.  It is not necessary to "scan" the entire congregation.
  • "A" is pronounced "uh."  Therefore, "Uh reading from...."
  • If you make a mistake, simply keep on going.  Do not say "sorry" or "excuse me."
  • Slow down.  Remember people are hearing you read much faster than you think you are speaking.
  • Let people know that the end of the reading is coming by slowing down the last few words.


  • At the dismissal, proceed to the front of the altar and stand between the altar servers and the priest/deacon.  When they turn around, you can turn around and follow the altar servers to the back of the Church.  The priest and deacon will reverence the Cross near the last pew.  Please wait until this takes place before departing.