Lectors and extraordinary ministers of communion in the entrance procesion?


I saw that when I came the first time to America.

Where did that custom came from? In my country, the lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion do not walk with the priest during the entrance procession, they only approach the altar when they have to read or help distribute communion?


It’s not a universal practice. It seems to vary from parish to parish.

Which doesn’t answer your question, I know, just pointing that out.


The G.I.R.M. for the United States specifies that the reader may carry the Book of the Gospels in procession if there is no deacon. (I would have to look to see what it says for other countries.)

It has become common for all those who fulfill a liturgical role in the sanctuary to process in together. I guess we Americans like big processions. :shrug:

I don’t often see EMHCs in procession but I have seen it done.


This is what our parish does. The reader carries the Book of the Gospels.

In larger parishes, it’s usually the deacon who does this.

The only time I ever saw EMsHC in the entrance process was in college where the EMsHC doubled as altar servers.


Doesn’t happen at all around here.The lectors and EMHCs sit in the pews with their families and come up when needed. We do have a reserved space in the front pew for the lector, but that’s all.

Even when our deacon(s) are assisting with Mass, they process but don’t carry the book of the Gospels. Everything is read out of the same lectionary which stays on the ambo.


At my current parish, the lector doing the first reading carries the Gospel book in procession with the priest. We have a deacon as well but the assignment to carry the Gospel goes to the lector doing the first readings. The other lector is not in procession because they are usually doing the pre-Mass announcements. At the end, at least in our parish, both lectors leave with priest and deacon, at the previous parish the second lector usually did that. I have not seen the opening procession include EMCH’s. Maybe this is a small parish that decided to include them or as one other poster suggested, they are doubling as altar servers.


This does not answer it either, but at one parish, it also varies from Mass to Mass. That is, it is not done at at the 8:00 a.m., or the Mass in the chapel, but done at the other Masses. freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-confused013.gif

It could be that each Pastor (or maybe even celebrant?) is allowed quite a bit of say on what is done at his (the Pastor’s) parish. :yup:

freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-eatdrink051.gif I will stay tuned to see what others have to say. freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-eatdrink033.gif


Do you know why it is done this way? Except if the deacon is infirmed, I cannot think of a reason why he would walk in procession while a layperson carries the evangelary. :confused:


In our parish the first lector is in the entrance procession carrying the Lectionary. Yes, I know, we’re not supposed to carry the Lectionary in procession but “Canada doesn’t have a Book of Gospels” has always been used as the excuse for not following that rule. No EMHCs in this procession. Nobody but the priest and altar servers (if there are any) in the recessional.

Readers and EMHCs don’t sit in the sanctuary.

It always annoys me to no end when a parish has a deacon and someone else is given what is rightly his to do.


Nobody carries it at my parish. It’s already at the ambo - or more precisely the lectionary is already at the ambo. Not sure why things are done that way and never been curious enough to ask. Maybe I am now. :wink:


Are you in Canada? I ask because Canada doesn’t yet have an official Book of Gospels (long story). Since the Lectionary is not to be carried in procession it sounds as though your parish is doing it right.


I’m not sure there is any requirement to have a separate Book of the Gospels. And even if there is one I don’t know that there is a requirement to have it carried in procession.

But if there is a book carried in procession it is supposed to be the Book of the Gospels and not a lectionary.


that is what I have seen done. I carry up the Book of the Gospels and place it on the altar in the center. the lectionary book is already at the ambo.


Since it varies so much from parish to parish and Mass to Mass within the same parish …and the GIRM states it is permitted to have a layperson carry the Lectionary in if a Deacon is not present …I would say to answer your question, it is NOT a custom necessarily but could be at a particular parish depending on the pastor and the needs of the parish for that Mass.

For example, at my parish for weekend Mass no one carries the Lectionary, it is already at the ambo whether there is a Deacon present or not. However, during daily Mass the Lector carries it in the procession. NEVER do the EMoHC process at all.


No, I’m in the US. My parish does have two deacons (one is semi-retired), but they are not at every Sunday Mass. If I was forced to say, I’d guess that the parish does own a separate book of the Gospels but that the pastor has decided to be consistent and not have it carried at any Mass.

As I said before, I’ve never been curious enough to ask, so I have absolutely no idea. I do trust my pastor do be within the guidelines for what is correct however.


I don’t think that (with the exception of altar servers) it is not a good idea for the laity to process like that. It raises the profile of the lay-people in question and could result in these people being elevated in some way above the rest of the congregation. Lectors and EMHCs ought to be given as low a profile as possible, they should sit in the pews like everyone else and then come up quietly and reverently, but without drawing undue attention to themselves, when the time comes for them to carry out their role.


It varies from parish to parish. In my church the Lectors are part of the entrance procession, but the EMHC are not. The EMHC, who are seated together in a designated pew, go up into the sanctuary after the Sign of Peace.


I think it’s a great idea! It’d be even better if the lectors and EMHC’s would continue the procession directly back out of the Church :smiley: (just joking)


Here, it’s just the lectors. I go to a massive parish (could easily be top 5 in the Archdiocese) and we have so many EMHCs that having them all process would take way too long.


We follow the above. I am a lay person who sits in the pews, sometimes I am called to undertake the role of EMHC for a short time before melting back into the pews. The only difference may be that my pre-mass prayers include a petition for help with EMHC. I doubt that I could process, it took years to comfortably move from pew to altar and even now, on the rare occasion when called to take the gifts to the altar it is not a pleasant experience, although it is a time of fervent prayers that I don’t trip etc.

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