Participation in the liturgy


I am not sure if I am in the right place, but I also have a question about being a Reader. I am 57 years old, Male and Single. I am currently an Anglican in England who was trained as a Reader and Licensed by our Diocesan Bishop after a three year course of instruction to perform the functions of a Reader in my Parish church which included Reading the Epistle at Eucharist, leading services such as Evensong, Leading the peoples intersessions, occasional giving the Homily or Sermon and assisting the Priest at the distribution of the Eucharist. I have also been an Altar Server, Sunday School Teacher, and Prayer Group Leader, and Cantor for sung services. After a long period of consideration I am now undertaking instruction in the Roman Catholic Church in a church that promotes the TLM. I have discussed my entry to the church with the priest who seems to be of the view that my instruction will not take long given my beliefs and background. One of the things I will miss however is the participation in the Liturgy, and would like to think there might be a role somewhere for me in my new church, but being from an Anglican background feel a bit awkward asking about it. I do know that The Roman Catholic Church does have Readers and Lectors, ( which I understand are different ) but I am not sure of how I might be received and have thus kept fairly quiet about my hopes. Maybe there is someone out there who can give me some thoughts about my situation ? Thanks


In the ordinary form you could be a reader, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC), or altar server if those roles are available in the parish. It is possible to be an instituted acolyte or lector too if the diocese opens those roles to non-seminarians. In the Catholic Church only members of the clergy (deacon, priest, or bishop) may give the homily or proclaim the Gospel.

That being said in the TLM the only liturgical role generally available to members of the laity are altar servers. It is possible that an instituted acolyte could serve as a subdeacon in TLM high masses, but I have personally never seen if happen.

I would simply ask the priest what the requirements for being a subdeacon are.


I am a lector so once you become Catholic contact the parish office on who organizes service like lectors, EMCH, sacristans, altar servers etc. I am not familiar with EF Masses so I can’t answer what is done at those Masses. Ordinary form you would be most certainly welcomed especially with your background in reading.


Probably some skill in Epistle chanting in the Latin. Serving requires some memorization of the Latin responses. There are added functions in the Solemn Masses, Master of Ceremonies, Thurifer, Acolyte, etc. There are choirs and organists as well. If you youtube Solemn TLMs you’ll probably see lots of participation by the laity.

Also in EF-OF parishes there are many who set up the altar from one form to the other.


Thanks for the more complete answer, ProVobis. I was primarily thinking of liturgical functions inside the sanctuary and had just lumped MC, thuirfer, acolyte, etc in with altar server, but you are correct that there are opportunities to participate outside of the sanctuary as well as inside it.


Out of curiosity, as an Anglican, have you considered being received via the Anglican Ordinariate?


Thank you Usige, that is helpful. I suspected it would problematic particularly in the TLM. I am just thinking ahead. As a Reader in my current denomination I found it was very fulfilling spiritually, and was a wonderful way of serving God which I will miss, but having said that, I will go where God sends me, it is not for me to question :slight_smile:


Thanks Robwar. I think in my new church some weekday services are OF, so that is something for me to think about. Like I say its early days and do not want to get ahead of myself :slight_smile:


Thanks ProVobis. I have a great deal to learn, but am earnestly looking forward to it. Yes the Latin is a big consideration ( even as a member of the congregation ) but I do intend to get to grips with it as it is such a beautiful way of worshipping God, and thank you for your words, it all helps to bring me a clearer view :slight_smile:


Hi twf. Yes I did look into this possibility, but there is sadly no Ordinariate near me, and no plans to have one instituted so I would have quite a journey to attend an Ordinariate church.

In any event.though I am very familiar indeed with the Anglican Liturgy and appreciate its great beauty and poetry, but I also want to learn about, and embrace the wider Liturgical forms of the Roman Catholic Church which are now becoming open to me and which I do believe I have a duty to do as a committed Catholic :slight_smile:


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