Lector reading an intro before readings


I joined by Parish a little over a year ago. A month ago, I joined the parish leadership (though via a small role). I want to bring up a concern, but wanted to flush it out here first.

At all Sunday Masses (including Sat night) the Lector reads some kind of intro before saying “A reading from the Letter of St Pau to …” The passage will say something like “in this reading Saint Paul discusses …”

The priest and/or Deacon do not do this for the Gospel, but the Lectors do it during the Sunday masses.

It’s my understanding that this is simply not allowed. So I want to (1) confirm that this is abuse and (2) understand where this custom comes from (I have seen it done in one other parish at another diocese).

Thank you


Yeah, its not proper and the parish should “flush it” now that it has been fleshed out here!:smiley:


Agreed. Nothing is to be added to the words found in the Lectionary.
Last year at the Guadalupe celebration, the lectors added a piece of the Guadalupe story before each reading (without mentioning it first) and Father was livid.


Any suggestions on how to respectfully raise this with the pastor?


We get this sometimes at our parish. The lector workbooks have a one or two sentence summary at the beginning of each reading. I think it is supposed to be information for the lector’s own knowledge but every once in a while, the lector reads it out loud. As long as it’s not interpretive, it’s not really a big deal.


To my understanding it is not supposed to be done. But, if the Pastor is not stopping the practice I am not sure what you can do. You might start with discussing this with him.

We had a choir director who always had some long winded thing to say as he introduced the Priest offering Mass. I found it annoying and distracting, but the Pastor never stopped him from doing this.

I prefer some older practices at Mass versus the newer ones. I think some groups take things too far, but there does not seem to be any significant guidelines out there that would keep people on track.


It sounds like the lector is also serving as commentator, whose role is described in the GIRM. I don’t see a problem with this.

  1. A liturgical function is also exercised by:
    b) The commentator, who, if appropriate, provides the faithful briefly with
    explanations and exhortations so as to direct their attention to the celebration
    and ensure that they are better disposed for understanding it. The commentator’s
    remarks should be thoroughly prepared and notable for their restraint. In
    performing this function the commentator stands in a suitable place within
    sight of the faithful, but not at the ambo.

Obviously if the commentator is also the reader, then he would stand at the ambo.


Well, perhaps this is a legit function, but it can be VERY easily abused. We had a lector that would make little remarks before his reading, and Father sternly corrected him.
I would not say this is the norm, unless it’s a teaching Mass or a Mass at a Congress of some sort.
Sometimes, a visiting priest may say a few words like “In this mornings readings we will hear of the Lord’s mercy” or something. But it’s generally from the presider’s chair and not a lay reader. Even our Deacons do not do this. :shrug:
I wonder if it’s common in other parts of the country?


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