This past weekend, I was the lector at our vigil Mass. As I was preparing for my ministry that evening, I was looking over the readings in the Lectionary. Someone had taken it upon themselves to change the second reading to be more inclusive. They had changed son to child and so on. It was written in pencil, so I promptly erased it and read the scripture as it was written. Was I wrong to do so? Do you find this happening in your parishes also?

Thanks and God Bless!

Example of what was done in bold face:

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son ***(child)***, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son (child) he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons ***(children)***.
For what “son” (“child”) is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

The Word of the Lord


You were right in doing that. No one had the right to change it to gender-neutral language in the first place.


No. That was the correct thing to do. We may not alter the lectionary.

No. I have never encountered that.


Whoa, fortunately my pastor wouldn’t sit for something like this for a minute. You did the right thing, reading the Lectionary as published.


Thanks for your posts! I am here in the Pacific NW and I guess I have seen this more. In fact at one point, while in university, the “Catholic” university I attended had purchased lectionaries from Canada as they were published with gender neutral language. We used them for awhile until someone blew the whistle (not sure if the Chancery was made aware of it) and suddenly we went back to what we always had used.


You did the right thing.



As has been pointed out so many times, a lot of “non-inclusive” language is in fact very clear and already “inclusive”; no one is confused as to what is being communicated. If I were to say be careful! There’s a man-eating shark in those waters!, I’m sure no woman would somehow be confused as to whether or not she should be swimming there. We understand that “man” already means more than just “male”. A lot of these “inclusive” changes in language seem so forced and unnatural, therefore.

Unfortunately, this “inclusivism” seems to be the result of wider agendas: the view that “patriarchy” is unfair and oppressive, that the Church is a “patriarchy”, and that it therefore has to be utterly reformed in its structure.

Whilst it’s a shame we can’t concentrate more on the far more important issues at hand, standing up against such “reform” is necessary.


Changing the words of Sacred Scripture in the Lectionary is strictly forbidden.


I think you did exactly the right thing. I’ve never encountered that when reading, myself, but I would have done the same.


Did you bring it to the priest’s attention? I see two things going on here and they both ought to be reported. First, someone has attempted to alter an approved liturgical text. Secondly, someone has defaced a book, a liturgical one at that. I don’t know how much lectionaries cost but I imagine it’s not an inconsiderable sum.


And now for another point…

I have seen the missal (not the lectionary) with post it notes all over it. This was because our parish could not afford a new missal so Fr had made the edits to bring it in line with a new translation put out by the USCCB.

So, before you change a change, you may want to check.


I was at a Mass not that long ago at a different parish. The Deacon read the Gospel, which was the calling of Peter, James and John.

The Deacon changed " I will make you fishers of men" to “I will make you catchers of people”

My 12 year old daughter looked at mean and whispered " That was really weird"


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