Speechless

This is my first time. I am in charge of lectors in my parish along with another man. He said that there should be two lectors at Sunday Mass but I disagreed without really knowing. He said (I believe) this is a statement in the Lectionary but I cannot find it. It seems unnecessary to have two lectors in our Mass. Please, help me.

[quote=Philip Knob]This is my first time. I am in charge of lectors in my parish along with another man. He said that there should be two lectors at Sunday Mass but I disagreed without really knowing. He said (I believe) this is a statement in the Lectionary but I cannot find it. It seems unnecessary to have two lectors in our Mass. Please, help me.
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First of all W E L C :wave: M E.

I never heard of such a thing … I do know LECTOR (singular tense) is used 38 times in the GIRM (General Instruction for Roman Mass).

However, GIRM paragraph 109 reads: If there are several persons present who are able to exercise the same ministry, nothing forbids their distributing among themselves and performing different parts of the same ministry or duty. For example, one deacon may be assigned to take the sung parts, another to serve at the altar; if there are several readings, it is well to distribute them among a number of lectors. The same applies for the other ministries. But it is not at all appropriate that several persons divide a single element of the celebration among themselves, e.g., that the same reading be proclaimed by two lectors, one after the other, except as far as the Passion of the Lord is concerned.

Glad you are here…we hope you stick around for awhile.

He is correct. In an ideal world there should be two lectors. It is liturgically proper. However, as you must know from experience, getting people to commit to lay ministries in the parish can be difficult.

What is even more important is that lectors proclaim the Word of God audibly and clearly. Far too many seem to rush through the readings, or speak in a dull, monotone and uninspiring fashion.

I read the GIRM and could not find that it specifically called for two lectors (actually the proper term should be reader, in this setting. An INSTALLED lector can only be a male, just as an INSTALLED acolyte can only be male. Non-installed lector/ readers can be males or females over the age of 16 who are baptized and who are preferred to be confirmed Catholics; non installed acolytes are more properly called altar servers and can be male or female according to the discretion of individual bishops, though it is noted that it is a praiseworthy thing to have males serving who may hopefully be called to later priesthood or deaconhood). This may be a change from the “olden days”. It mentioned that a lector (singular) should prepare himself/herself to read Scripture with clarity and understanding, and not as a “performance”. It mentioned that in Masses for Children that younger children (younger than 16) could read provided that they also thoroughly prepared themselves and could speak clearly and with understanding, and were also aware that reading was not a “performance”.

I can remember back in the 70s and 80s having two different readers, one for the first epistle and responsorial psalm and one for the second epistle and the prayers of the faithful, but in many parishes this got rather “out of hand” and definitely was “performance oriented” with the lectors often arguing over who got the “better part” on any given Sunday, or getting confused and not coming for their reading, staying on and doing the other person’s readings, etc. Not pretty.

We actually do use two lectors at each Sunday Mass. One introduces the Mass and gives the announcements and petitions; the other does the lectionary readings. I’m not sure, but I thought the reason for doing this was that in our large parish, they had too many lector volunteers and this gave more people a chance to serve in this function.

From the GIRM

dioceseoftrenton.org/spiritual/docs/GIRM_priest.pdf

  1. How many Lectors/Readers may participate in the celebration of the Liturgy?

As a rule, two Lectors/Readers may participate in the Liturgy of the Word, one reader for each reading. The text may not be divided into parts for more than one reader. The only reading allowed to be divided into parts would be the Passion, proclaimed on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Additional Lectors/Readers may be used for additional readings, if any, such as the role of commentator, and the one who offers the intercessions in the Prayer of the Faithful/General Intercessions.

Announcements and Petitions are usually for a deacon or priest to do however a lector may give them, but in my opinion since the lector should be seated and his job has been done since the readings are over that the priest or deacon should be doing this.

dioceseoftrenton.org/spiritual/docs/GIRM_deacon.pdf

  1. What is the role of the deacon with the General Intercessions?

As a general norm, the petitions of the Prayer of the Faithful/General Intercessions are to be prayed by the deacon, although a lector or Reader may announce them, if there is a need. After the celebrant introduces the General Intercessions, the deacon announces the intention from the ambo or another suitable place. The deacon remains at his place while the celebrant prays the concluding prayer. (GIRM #71, 177)

  1. Who makes the announcements?

Following the Prayer after Communion, if there are any brief announcements, the deacon may make them, unless the celebrant prefers to do so himself. It is also permissible for the lector or cantor to make the announcements. The announcements should be short and to the point.

We always use 2 in our parish. The first lector/reader announces the start of the mass, does the first reading and the responsorial psalm. The second lector/reader does the second reading, the spoken part of the gospel acclamation (in between the sung alleluias), and reads the general intercessions.

Jennifer :slight_smile:

We also use 2, but mainly because the position is covered if one doesn’t show up (and we all know how often that happens)

[quote=Philip Knob]This is my first time. I am in charge of lectors in my parish along with another man. He said that there should be two lectors at Sunday Mass but I disagreed without really knowing. He said (I believe) this is a statement in the Lectionary but I cannot find it. It seems unnecessary to have two lectors in our Mass. Please, help me.
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Just a note: A Lector is a male that has been installed into that office by the Bishop on a permanent basis. Most parishes have “Readers” and yes if possible the readings should be distributed among more than one.

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