“The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue,
that I may speak to the weary a word that will rouse them”
When the proclaimer (or lector) at the pulpit finishes a reading, and he or she looks up at the assembly and says “The Word of the Lord”, something wonderful happened. The mystery of God’s interaction with us has been recalled, revived and renewed. That is, we have once again heard God reveal the divine intention to love, redeem and reclaim us. The promise that God has made with us has been written on our hearts again. The summons to return in obedience to the God from whom we have strayed through disobedience has been reissued. The unfathomable love God has for us, the love that God is for us, has been made flesh again.
The lector does what any good minister does: comforts us in our faith, encourages us in our discouragement. To proclaim the good news from the sacred text is ministry par excellence.
All Christians are, by definition, proclaimers of the good news. Because we were baptized into Christ’s life, mission, death, resurrection and ascension, we announce to the world be our very existence that “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” Some among us are called to minister the Word directly, to ensure that the faithful, as well as those who are not yet faith-filled, will continue to hear God’s love spoken anew each time the sacred book is opened. These special people are called lectors.
Please contact Father Dan Leary if you feel called to this ministry.
Qualities of a Lector
Each lector receives a copy of Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word by Mary A. Ehle and Margaret Nutting Ralph, to assist with pronunciation, pacing, tone, and emphasis of the Sunday readings in addition to background and commentary on each reading. Daily readings can be found on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website. Lectors are asked to practice readings, and to take the time to reflect upon the words you will proclaim.
It is expected that once scheduled, a lector will either serve or find a substitute.
Initial training is provided by the Director of Liturgy.
Our liturgy library has several publications that can assist you in honing your lector skills and to help you better understand the role of lector in our community. The Archdiocese of Washington provides several lector workshops each year.