Laity reading gospel passages at Mass

I heard wind from somebody that laity are not to be reading the gospel at Mass, and yet it is a regular occurrence at my parish for laity to read gospel passages. :confused: Is this true? What are the parameters of laity participating in the Mass up front?

Yes it is true. Under no circumstance may laity read the Gospel reading at Mass. Only a priest or deacon may do so.

Laity may read the Old Testament, New Testament, and Psalm.

Oh okay. I suppose I was needlessly broadening the definition of ‘gospel’ to scripture in general, not the synoptic gospels. Now that I think of it, only the priest/deacon reads from the synoptic gospels.

Need to abandon ship for another parish = avoided.

As well as the Gospel of John, which is not Synoptic.

This is an unusual practice. In the NO, priests abdicated their role of reading from the epistle from Bible to the laity, but they retained the role of reading from the gospel. Are you just confusing the gospel with some of the other readings from the Bible that are read during mass?

I agree with those who state that the laity may read from the Epistles, the Psalms, Proverbs, OT, and Gospel of John (& I think) from Revelation, but not sure about that last. Only a Priest or Deacon should read from the Gospels during Mass. This being said, laity MAY read the Gospel FROM the daily Mass in certain circumstances: i.e., I am also a Homebound Minister of the Eucharist, and take Holy Communion to the Homebound, those in Nursing Homes, or Hospitals. In the process, I read a portion of the Scriptures to them. Sometimes this is a short quote from the booklet “Communion of the Sick” , which is our approved guideline for Communion outside of Church. Sometimes I will read the Gospel from the day’s Mass to them, since they are unable to attend Mass due to illness or permanent infirmity. This is permitted. I have been a Lector at Masses, including Funeral Masses, which I frequently assist at. In these cases, I only read from the 1st or 2nd Readings or the Petitions of the Faithful, NEVER from the Gospel reading of the day, which is reserved to the Celebrant. At a Communion Service, I don’t remember, but I think when our Priest was gone, and we were without a Deacon, a member off the laity did read the Gospel reading for the day, but this was a Communion Service, definitely NOT a Mass.

The few times I have witnessed a lay person read the Gospel during Mass is when one of the two elderly priests at the parish were too infirm to walk up/stand up at the ambo, then he delegates the task. Then he preaches the homily from his chair. Usually by the time of offertory, he feels better to do the eucharistic prayers, consecration, etc. He lets the eucharistic ministers take over and then he gives the final blessing.

Yes! The laity cannot read the Gospel at Mass: neither lay man nor lay woman, religious or secular. It should normally read by a deacon. If no deacon is present, a priest reads it. Only if there are neither deacon nor priest does a bishop read it. Only bishops, priests and deacons, i.e. ordained sacred ministers, can read the Gospel.

This is strictly prohibited by the Church. Only men in holy orders (bishops, priests, deacons) can read the Gospel at Mass.

Would you have Mass cancelled instead? :rolleyes:

It is highly unusual for the Gospel reading to be read by the laity unless there is such an extenuating circumstance that warrants it. It should only be read by the celebrant and if there is deacon or the mass being concelebrated, to be read by the deacon or the other priests. In any case it should not be allowed when the mass is celebrated in a church though I know people are less strict in home masses. In principle the Gospel readings are to be read by the ordained clergies (including the deacons).

There seems to be some confusion in one of the responding posts. For information, the NO does allow for the laity to do the readings, first and second (second when there are three readings especially on Sundays/Feast days) and they are called lectors; the priest/deacon reads the Gospel reading.

The Gospel reading includes all extracts (passages) from the four Gospels. The Book of Revelation is not a Gospel, lol, though it is written by the Evangelist John who also wrote the Gospel. He also wrote three epistles which would be in the first or second readings.

The responsorial psalm and the Gospel acclamation are also to be read or sung by the laity with participation from the congregation.

You are right in your description of the rules on this. However, you know with every rule there is an exception. If the priest is unable as in blindness, he can have another read the gospel for him.

We had a retired priest here who recently passed away who held Mass in his house every morning for a men’s group who was completely blind. He memorized the entire Mass and was quite good at Liturgy I might add, but he could not see to read the Gospel so he would have a designated man read it for him, this is acceptable. First time I was invited to one of these Masses I was still in formation and this really troubled me, I thought this was strictly forbidden. Well after some questioning I learned that this is allowed under this type of circumstance.

Now naturally when one of the deacons were there the deacon would proclaim the gospel.

It is not a case of cancelling the Mass. If the proper sacred ministers are not available the Mass cannot be celebrated.

That statement does not always hold true. It is often used as a weak excuse by those who wish to break the rules.

Yes, another priest or failing that a deacon.

I would be obliged if you could cite any reference that supports this claim.

I’m talking about a particular situation in which Mass had already begun. An elderly priest started feeling ill during the readings from all the standing, which made him dizzy. When it came to the Gospel, said priest felt he could not walk up to the ambo to proclaim the Gospel. Another priest or deacon was not available. What would you do in that extenuating circumstance? Cancel Mass because there is no priest or deacon to proclaim the Gospel according to the rules, or have a lay person be the proxy and then the priest gives his homily while sitting down in his chair? :rolleyes:

Because I can tell you that what happened is that a lay person read the Gospel, the priest gave his homily from his chair, and felt well enough afterward to continue and finish the Mass.

If the priest is present then the Mass can take place.

Ok, Bergon if you want call people rule breakers you go right ahead. I would be obliged for you to call Bishop Jacobs and tell him he is breaking the rules.

I will stop posting in reply to your posts, it seems you are on a mission. Sorry if I upset you.:cool:

To be honest? In this case the Mass probably should have been stopped. The reason is because once the Liturgy of the Eucharist begins it cannot be stopped, so if the priest becomes incapacitated another priest would have to come and finish the Mass. I do not believe there are any prohibitions to ending the stopping the Mass at the point in which you say it is. Another point is that the priest could have proclaimed the gospel at the chair while sitting.

I do not understand why you are getting upset. I can draw an inference from it but shall not do that. I do not make what you call the “rules”. The Church makes them. I suspect that She made them for particular reasons.

I am not on a mission. Why are you so offended by someone that supports the teaching of Holy Mother Church?

I asked if you could substantiate your claims that it can be permissible for a lay person to read the Gospel. Why have you not provided anything in support of yur claims?

I would be more than happy to contact the relevant ecclesiastical authorities. Please give me Bishop Jacobs’s full name and the name of his diocese.

Really??? You can look at my profile, see my diocese which I am assigned and figure the rest out on your own. If you even have one inkling of a thought to do this from an internet forum, you most definitely are on a mission…:smiley:

I simply made a statement about a blind priest in private Masses at his home, approved by the diocesan bishop. Normal circumstances I agree with you the rubrics dictate an ordained cleric proclaim the gospel.

I even backed you on this particular case the OP talked about. But you want more. Upset? No, shocked by your responses every time i chime in on a thread which you are involved, yes. Thus my statement that I will stop responding to your posts.

Now please, you want to call the man who ordained me and I have served for the last ten years who is a dear friend and a holy and true shepherd of souls? Be my guest; don’t forget to mention me by name, we need something to chuckle about next time we are together. You’re not the first one who threatened to go to my bishop about me, is this Wade??? Haven’t heard from him in years.

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