Can you only read the readings after Confirmation?

Is it true that to read one of the readings or responses at Mass, you have to have been Confirmed already? That it what I was told at one parish, but I have often seen young school children do the readings at Mass (for example, at Masses highlighting Catholic schools week). Thank you.

  1. In the absence of an instituted lector, other laypersons may be commissioned to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture. They should be truly suited to perform this function and should receive careful preparation, so that the faithful by listening to the readings from the sacred texts may develop in their hearts a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal)

The liturgical assembly truly requires readers, even those not instituted. Proper measures must therefore be taken to ensure that there are qualified laypersons who have been trained to carry out this ministry.
(General Introduction to the Lectionary, 52)

While it does not appear to be a hard and fast rule, the terms “truly suited” have been generally understood to mean that the person fulfilling the role of Lector should be a fully initiated Catholic.

Masses in which the congregation is primarily children or the Mass is primarily aimed at children then children who have not yet received confirmation may fulfill the role of Lector:

  1. The principles of active and conscious participation are in a sense even more significant for Masses celebrated with children. Every effort should therefore be made to increase this participation and to make it more intense. For this reason as many children as possible should have special parts in the celebration: for example - …proclaiming the readings…
    (Directory for Masses With Children, 22)
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