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Lector Guidelines - St. Isidore Parish, Stow, MA - Updated November 2011

I. Processional

With no deacon:
  • Carry Book of Gospels down aisle in procession.  Book held at chest level (not raised overhead) (Lectionary should be on Ambo, opened to correct reading)
  • At end of aisle, do not pause; proceed directly to altar table and place Book of Gospels in center of altar table.
  • If Presider has not yet bowed and entered the sanctuary, stand next to cross bearer and bow when Presider bows.
  • Take your seat in first pew.
With deacon:
  • Walk in procession; carry a hymnal, if desired (Deacon carries the Book of Gospels).
  • Take your seat in the first pew.

II.  First Reading:

  • Walk to center of aisle, bow in front of altar table
  • Proceed to ambo, read from Lectionary.
  • When finished reading, sit in chair on altar, next to altar server.

III.  Second Reading:

  • Walk to ambo, read.
  • Close Lectionary, place it on the shelf in the ambo (leaving a clear surface for priest/deacon, who will read from the Book of the Gospels).
  • When done, proceed to the center of aisle, bow in front of the altar table.
  • Return to pew.

IV.  Prayers of the Faithful:

With no deacon:
  • At the end of the Creed, approach the Ambo  (Do not bow to the altar unless crossing in front of it.)
  • When priest is done with introduction prayer, read Prayers of the Faithful. 
  • Remain standing at the ambo while priest concludes with prayer.
  •  Return to pew.  (Do not bow to the altar unless crossing in front of it.)
With deacon:
  •  Lector does not read Prayers of the Faithful when the deacon is serving.

V.  Recessional

  •  Once recession begins, proceed behind the altar servers.  Do not carry the Book of Gospels; leave it on ambo.


  • During the procession, hold the Book of the Gospels at chest level, not raised overhead.
  • Use the short A (pronounced uh instead of ay) when announcing the reading: Uh reading from …
  • After announcing the reading, pause for 3-5 seconds before starting the reading. Preferably you would scan the assembly to make sure they are attentive during that pause.
  • After the reading, pause 3-5 seconds and then say, “The Word of the Lord”. It is NOT, “This is the Word of the Lord” or “Word of the Lord”.
  • For the prayers of the faithful, please read them ahead of time and adjust the wording according to the circumstances. For example, if there is a remembrance stated as: “For John Doe for whom the 10:30 mass is offered” and you are at the 10:30 Mass, read it as “For John Doe for whom this mass is offered.”
    On Feast Days, sometimes the Prayers of the Faithful are “leftover” from the previous weekend. Please omit (or change the wording) for any that are specific to that weekend (e.g., the mass intentions).
    Please feel free to add any intentions that you may be aware of (or that people make you aware of before mass) Just be careful not to pray publicly by name for any person unless you are sure they would want their name mentioned.