Correcting Lector During Mass



5 out of the last 6 weeks the lector has read the wrong readings! That’s worse than usual which is usually only half the time!

It’s beyond ridiculous! Last week I was so ready to stand up but I know the priest KNEW it was wrong because he commented on the readings at the beginning and he did nothing…

Hand signals? A sign I can make and hold up? They should put a “wrong one” sign we can hold up in each pew at this place!



Let the priest handle it. If you’re concerned he doesn’t know the readings are wrong, then gently ask him about it. But then let it go and let him handle it.



If you are that bothered, you nee to talk to the priest about it. I assume he is aware. Also, if you are not, volunteer to be a lector, and maybe recruit some others.


You could ask your pastor when he expects the problem to be cleared up. You can say, “I asked a friend what sort of signal could be used to let the lector know he or she was on the wrong reading, and they said this ought to be so rare that no one ever asks that question.”

Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you. If the priest were doing it that often, people would wonder if he had a neurological problem or something. This is something that happens very rarely to a person taking ordinary care.


How can this be? I would be upset too. I’ve seen it happen a couple times and being in ministry myself, I usually make sure that I speak to the Lector who read the wrong one after Mass, because I know them all as friends. Usually it’s a turn of the page.

Now, sometimes there is a choice of a couple readings for any of them, but that is rare except at Christmas and Easter. Some priests prefer specific readings then.

Do you have a Lector Coordinator? If so, ask them what is going on too. They should all have assignments and practice booklets. We do.

The process is simple: know the date, look at the missal which tells what day of the season we are celebrating, make sure that the Lectionary is set correctly before Mass. I bet some Solemnities that fall on a Sunday really confuses them, especially if they can’t get Ordinary Time right!

Fortunately we have a deacon at all our Masses and if I don’t, they set the Lectionary with ribbons correctly.

Question: How off are they in proximity to the date of the “real readings?”

Suggestion: This weekend, before Mass with missal in hand, go up to the Lector and simply ask, “this is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, right?” I would be curious as to what reaction you would get and if he/she checks the Lectionary then. LOL!


And even so when it is so rare, some lectors catch it and apologize and read the correct reading. However, there really is no signal that would be appropriate that would ultimately embarrass the Lector. Just let it go. That’s the normal case; however, I’ve witnessed a deacon get up quickly and cross over to the ambo and point to the correct reading!


This reminds me of a funeral at which the reading was supposed to be 2 Cor. 5:1, 6-10
The reading used by mistake was 1 Cor. 5:1, 6-10


I had to refer to my bible for this one. Well, the wrong reading (1 Cor) is about incest and immoral people! LOL! Nice to hear at a funeral!

I also wonder how this happened. Normally, like we do, the family is given a funeral guide booklet with appropriate readings to choose from and they use that to make copies or use the book to read from. Nothing more than that is accepted by the priest, unless they truly want something different and it is approved ahead of time. Ah, did you ever think that just perhaps it was not a mistake? HA! Just kidding.


Yes, this has occured just a few times that I’ve seen at my parish, and the Deacon has always quickly jumped up and found the correct reading for the Lector. I think the Priest also jumped up once when there wasn’t a Deacon available. It wasn’t that big of a deal.

I’d be very surprised by no one correcting your Lector after this much time. The priest must be aware of it. :thinking:


Whoops!! :scream:

That’d be a memorable funeral.


I am guessing a “telephone game” mistake: Someone got the verses from someone else, looked them up, and printed the wrong section out without ever looking at what it said or else someone wrote down the wrong verses or put the ribbon in the wrong spot on a Bible (rather than a lectionary).
I don’t think it was a Catholic funeral. Yes, it crossed my mind that someone in the “telephone” game who made the mistake was actually a passive-aggressive with an ax to grind, but that is a bit far-fetched!!

Yes, just imagine expecting to hear a reading that started with “For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in heaven.” and instead getting “It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans—a man living with his father’s wife.”


Me too. Very strange indeed. I hope the OP uses my suggestion this weekend! What gets me is that it is normally the deacon or priest’s responsibility to make sure the Lectionary and Sacramentary are set correctly before Mass. Since I write up the Universal Prayer each weekend, I place a copy in a binder at the Ambo, and while there, I just set up the Lectionary too.


Mistakes are made, that’s why pencils have erasers.

I’d keep my mouth shut during the mass, and maybe mention it to the reader afterwards if I remember and it looks like I can tell him discretely.

I think if someone makes too many mistakes on this, they’ll just be asked not to read any more.


For sure or tell this person what his responsibility is: Too know the day, what Mass is being celebrated and make sure the Lectionary is set. All our Lectors review the Lectionary before Mass to make sure they are on the right page even though they have Lector guides to practice with at home.


Yep. I bet that opened a few eyes, assuming they were listening! I think your guess is right though: “John, your reading is Corinthians so and so.” Hey, I guess he meant 1st…OK then. I would hope that no axes needed to be ground at a funeral.


No disrespect meant, but that is hilarious!! :joy:

If it was my funeral or my loved one’s, I would hope someone would hop up and correct the Lector! I wouldn’t care about his or her embarrassment at that moment, haha.


I saw once, when the lector spoke something wrong or left something out (I forget which it was), the priest simply quoted the full reading at the appropriate place in his homily, like he had planned all along to do it.


I think @rondirect suggestion of taking your missal to mass on Sunday and checking the reading with the lector is a very good way of approaching the problem in the short term.
In the long term, if your church doesn’t have one, think about volunteering to be the lector cordinator.


Once I was at Mass when the reader chose the wrong reading .

Without any fuss the priest simply went to her to put her on to the correct reading .

It was no big deal .


No. No. No.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit