Proclaim the Word you live!

The reader (also known as the “lector”) plays a critical role in Catholic liturgy. He or she proclaims the Scripture used in the Liturgy of the Word.

Volunteers in the reader ministry require skills in public reading, knowledge of the principles of liturgy, and an understanding and love of the scriptures. Training is provided. Commitment to the SS. Isidore and Maria Parish Reader Ministry includes:

Preparing for Mass:

  • The week before Mass 2022, review the FIRST and SECOND readings from the Reader Handbook and practice aloud multiple times so all pronunciations are correct and your tempo, inflection, pitch, and delivery is smooth. You may use for an audio download of all readings to check pronunciations. The goal is to read as naturally as possible, bringing this Sacred Scripture to life dynamically without theatrics. Ask God to help you prepare, understand, and proclaim the Word as God’s servant. Even if you are not the scheduled reader, prepare if you need to substitute for another reader at the last minute. Plan attire that is church appropriate and will not distract from the readings. 
  • Arrive 15-20 minutes before Mass to review all the readings (i.e., Introduction at the start of Mass; First & Second Readings in the red lectionary). Check all pronunciations in question with Father or the Deacon assisting Father. 
  • If there are choices for reading passages (i.e., long or short versions), ask Father or Deacon which one he prefers.
  • Fill in the blanks to complete the Introduction script on the table in the sacristy, such as the Celebrant and assisting Deacon, Cantor, Eucharistic Ministers, and Altar Servers. They will all report to the sacristy before Mass. In the unlikely event that the Cantor or Deacon is not present, be prepared to read the Responsorial Psalm in place of the cantor, or the Universal Prayers for the Deacon.
  • The Introduction, Universal Prayers, and red lectionary open to the correct page should be placed on the ambo about 5 minutes before Mass (if not there already). 
  • Take your place in the sanctuary on the chair closest to the ambo and wait for Father to wave to you from the back of the church as a prompt to start the Introduction before the procession.

During Mass:

  • Take a deep breath, smile, and relax as you step up to the ambo. Use positive body language, such as good eye contact and posture.
  • Make sure you read at a natural but slower pace so the sound system will clearly project your voice without as much reverberation. 
  • Keep a consistent volume for each sentence, so your words do not drop off at the end. Speak loudly enough for all to hear, even in the back of the church. 
  • Your inflection should agree with the tone of the reading. 
  • Make as much eye contact as possible without losing your place.
  • Read with reverence, being mindful that you are proclaiming Sacred Scripture.
  • After Father’s prompt to start the Introduction, make eye contact with the congregation and greet them enthusiastically without looking down at the script. Continue with the script, but try to read as naturally as possible. Take care not to lift the script (or red lectionary) off the ambo as it will interfere with the sound system.
  • Identify the Scripture source (“A reading from the book of Isaiah” without chapter or verse) before proclaiming the Word for each Reading. Then briefly pause before you read. Briefly pause after you read and conclude both Readings with “The Word of the Lord.” Join in with the congregation’s response of “Thanks be to God.” 
  • Pause briefly after the Cantor concludes the Responsorial Psalm before proceeding to the ambo for the Second Reading. 
  • After the Second Reading, place the red lectionary on a lower shelf of the ambo to make room for the Book of the Gospels.
  • Step away from the ambo immediately after the Second Reading, bow to the altar at the base of the stairs, and proceed to your seat in the congregation. 

After Mass (11:15 a.m. only):

  • Bring the red lectionary back to the sacristy marked to the First Reading ONLY after the 11:15 Mass. Otherwise, it can stay on the ambo between Masses.

Interested in joining our Reader Ministry? Contact: Call 860-633-9419 or email

Thank you for your service to SS. Isidore & Maria Parish!