What is a Lector?
A lector is the person who proclaims the first or second readings, Psalm, and lead the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass.
A lector must have a desire to minister in this capacity at the Eucharistic liturgy. This ministry in the Church requires a person who is of excellent character and serious about the practice of their faith.
The lector must believe that Sacred Scripture is the Word of God and have deep respect for God’s presence in that Word.
Who can be a Lector?
- a person at least 18 years of age
- a person in full communion with the Catholic Church
- a person serious about the practice of their faith
- a person who is willing to complete the parish training process
The two requirements for lectors listed in the General Instruction are that they are to be truly suited to perform this function and that they should receive careful preparation. The General Introduction to the Lectionary provides a more detailed description of the qualifications for non-instituted lectors:
The Liturgical Assembly truly requires readers, even those who are not instituted. Proper measures must, therefore, be taken to ensure that there are qualified laypersons who have been trained to carry out this ministry. (#52)
Regarding what is necessary for an individual to be truly suited, it would seem that this involves being a fully initiated Catholic living in communion with the Church. Thus, a lector should have preferably received both First Holy Communion and Confirmation and should not be living in an invalid marriage or in any other state of grave sin. A lector should be free of any canonical penalty and be living a life that befits the ministry to be undertaken. Being truly suited also implies the necessary talents to serve as a lector. Thus, individuals who are not able to proclaim the readings in a clear manner that expresses the dignity of scripture may not be suited for this service in church.
What is required for formation?
All new candidates for lector must receive training, normally done in a parish workshop. No person, no matter how well educated or trained, may be excused from training for the ministry of lector.
How does a person become a Lector?
Lectors will be chosen based on their skills in proclamation, their willingness to complete training for this ministry and their evidence of a deep spirituality.
If you are an adult and feel you may have the gift of proclaiming, email the Volunteer Coordinator.