Two readers on weekdays and three on Sundays and Feasts?

According to Liturgy, since the Psalm is ‘responsorial’, that is, a response to the First Reading, in order to make that clear, it should not be read by the same person who read the First Reading.
Thus in Sunday Mass (and in Feasts where there are three Readings) there should be three readers and in weekdays there should be two.
Unfortunately in my parish it usually happens that the same person reads everything.:rolleyes:
Does this also happen in your parish?


Alma, on Sundays (and for Holy Days of Obligation, if possible), the psalm should be chanted/sung. Thus, this would fall to the cantor to do. For example, if you were to have the Mass for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe (a Holy Day of Obligation in Mexico), then, you would have the psalm chanted/sung. The same holds true for Sunday.

Most parishes do not have scheduled readers for daily Mass; at least the ones down here do not. In some cases, it’s an open call for someone to proclaim the readings. That is why you typically get one person proclaiming the readings. The Gospel acclamation, however, should be sung. If it is not sung, then, it is not done.

The GIRM says

  1. When there is only one reading before the Gospel,…
    c. The *Alleluia *or verse before the Gospel may be omitted if they are not sung.

Which, to me, implies that they *may *be recited without singing. :twocents:


I don’t see why there should be a different reader for the First and Second readings. A instituted lector (or his substitute) is not a minister of a particular reading, but of the non-Gospel readings in general, so I don’t see why two lectors (one for the First Reading, one for the Second Reading) are to be preferred to one lector (for both readings). The Responsorial Psalm is another matter, because it is psalmody which would traditionally be the function of the cantor or the schola, not a lector. However, in the cantor’s absence, the lector may indeed lead the Psalm. (GIRM 99, 129)

Now, GIRM 109 does say “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 … if there are several readings, it is well to distribute them among a number of lectors.” But I would question whether the two readings (First and Second) on your typical Sunday Mass count as “several” readings; my (unauthoritative) interpretation would reserve such distribution for days like the Easter Vigil when there are many readings. I am generally opposed to a liturgical approach whereby we try to involve as many different people in as many individual tasks as possible: one lector per reading, one altar server per “thing” (cruet, towel, etc.), and so on.

At the same time, I recognize that the model set in Rome is to have a different lector for the First and Second Readings, and I obediently acquiesce to the Pope’s judgment on the matter.

My parish follows the patterns noted by other posters. One Sundays we have one lector who reads both NT and OT reading. The cantor chants the psalm. At weekday Masses we may have a lector who reads both 1st reading and psalm. Often on weekdays, the priest reads it all. Of course, the priest always reads the Gospel.

Actually, please note what the General Introduction to the Lectionary says:


  1. The Alleluia or, as the liturgical season requires, the verse before the Gospel is also a “rite or act standing by itself.” [41] It serves as the greeting of welcome of the assembled faithful to the Lord who is about to speak to them and as an expression of their faith through song.

The Alleluia or the verse before the Gospel must be sung, and during it all stand. It is not to be sung only by the cantor who intones it or by the choir, but by the whole of the people together. [42]

Even the misallettes note that if the Gospel Acclamation is not sung, it is to be omitted. Now, you could read the versicle, but, the Acclamation itself, must be sung.

Which is more recent, the GIL or the GIRM? It’s possible the GIL does not reflect the change found in the GIRM, and missallettes… well… who knows how often they check the latest GIRM? :wink:

Actually, believe it or not, they have, since they even noted that the posture is to stand at the Orates Fratres, where, if you recall, we stood at the beginning of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer. However, in some parts of my diocese, people still sit at the Orates Fratres and one celebrant literally has to raise his arms to get the folks to stand.

It’s funny. My pastor, who tends to be on the liberal side, omits the Gospel Acclamation if there is no one to sing it. My parochial vicar will intone it himself.

We have two readers every Sunday. One does the first reading and the other does the second reading. We have only been doing this for one year, since our new pastor has been here.

I think the way we have to look at this is to keep in mind the distinction between sacred ministers and extraordinary ministers. Here’s how I see it: if there are several ordinary ministers, then there should be some (but not absolute) priority to distribute them among the various functions. On the other hand, if the functions are being done by extraordinary ministers, then the opposite applies: in general, we should not multiply the number of persons exercising extraordinary functions, most especially if there is no genuine necessity to do so. Sometimes there might be a good reason to do so. Just by way of example, there’s a recent thread about a high school having a Mass in which the class rings are being blessed. I think in a situation like that, in the absence of ordinary ministers, it might be pastorally appropriate to have several different lay readers.

I don’t think there’s an absolute “licit or illicit” answer to this one. The GIRM says “may be omitted” while the lectionary says that it “must be sung.” So we have slightly conflicting instructions.

In Musicam Sacram*, (in the part that defines the differences between low and high Masses) #31, lists the Alleluia verse as being in the 3rd category, i.e. it has the lowest priority for being sung/chanted at Mass. Now this does not “override” the GIRM, and indeed by principles of canon law, the newer and more authoritative law in fact over-rides the older mere-interpretation of the older GIRM. So I’m not presenting that as a matter of liturgical law/norm, but only saying that there is long-standing custom not to sing the alleluia verse.

That’s a long way of saying that, as I see things, there is no absolute prohibition against reciting the alleluia verse, but at the same time, there is a movement towards that (from a chronoligical perspective), so either way is acceptable–at least in my opinion.

Actually, Fr. David, Musicam Sacram places the Gospel Acclamation in the First Degree:

  1. The following belong to the first degree:

(a) In the entrance rites: the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people; the prayer.

(b) In the Liturgy of the Word: the acclamations at the Gospel.

© In the Eucharistic Liturgy: the prayer over the offerings; the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus; the final doxology of the Canon, the Lord’s Prayer with its introduction and embolism; the Pax Domini; the prayer after the Communion; the formulas of dismissal.

Oddly enough, even Sing to the Lord, as flawed a document as it is in some respects, maintains the degrees listed in Musicam Sacram. To my knowledge. Musicam Sacram has not been abrogated nor amended.

That is odd.

Here’s what #31 says

  1. The following belong to the third degree:

(a) the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions;

(b) the songs after the Lesson or Epistle;

© the Alleluia before the Gospel;

(d) the song at the Offertory;

(e) the readings of Sacred Scripture, unless it seems more suitable to proclaim them without singing.

Now, #29 reads exactly as you’ve posted it. Curiouser and curiouser.

And yes, M.S. has not been abrogated or amended, but if there’s a conflict between M.S. and the current GIRM, then the current GIRM would apply in that particular instance.

But, here is the interesting part to all of this. The Acclamation before the Gospel is not necessarily always the Alleluia, given the fact that during Lent, we do not use the word.

While he was serving as rector of the Cathedral, my parochial vicar noted that the Gospel Acclamation should be sung. If it is not sung, it is not done. In fact, he got after visiting priests who celebrated nuptial Masses who recited the Gospel Acclamation. We wound up with a policy that the parts of the Mass needed to be sung, inclusive of the Gospel Acclamation. The parts that he required where those in the first degree. Needless to say, when the brides brought in Mariachis, they had to learn the parts of the Mass, which they wound up having to do. Now, in those instances where the wedding cantors did not know the Lenten Acclamations, he would intone them. The same held true for the Quince Anos and Funeral Masses. In fact, in Masses he celebrates at the local hospital, he will intone the Gospel Acclamation. My pastor will sometimes have me intone it during daily Mass.

benedictgal and FrDavid96, I would suggest that “the acclamations at the Gospel” refers not to the Alleluia (or its replacement in Lent), but rather the “Dominus vobiscum”, “Lectio…”, and “Verbum Domini”.

I don’t think the “Alleluia” is considered an “acclamation”, at least not traditionally… and the 1967 instruction was written with tradition in mind.

Somehow, I do not think so. Were that the case then you would hear these chanted at every Mass, and, at least down here (and in other cities I’ve visited) you don’t. What you do hear is the Alleluia or the Lenten acclamation sung.

Then we would be left with a glaring inconsistency in the document: is the Alleluia a “first” or “third” degree element?

I would expect most parishes don’t know a thing about Musicam Sacram. If they did, and they followed the document, that’s another matter. But I’m also under the impression that many musicians or liturgists or priests might think Musicam Sacram is an obsolete document because it was written for a Missal that doesn’t exist now! (I wish Musicam Sacram would be recognized and employed.)

As for the issue of the Alleluia, let me state my case further.

Consider the language used in the document, regarding “at” vs. “before/after”:
*]“the acclamations at the Gospel” (29b)
*]“the prayer after the Communion” (29c)
*]“the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions” (31a)
*]“the songs after the Lesson or Epistle” (31b)
*]“the Alleluia before the Gospel” (31c)
*]“the song at the Offertory” (31d)
The Alleluia is described as being “before” the Gospel, not “at” the Gospel.

That has always been my understanding of that particular item in Musicam Sacram.
The dialog between priest and congregation is always of the first degree.

I am still at a loss though. I agree with what you are saying; however, as I noted in a previous post, even the misalettes have it noted that the Alleluia/Lenten acclamation is omitted when not sung. Japhy posed the question as to whether or not the companies were working off the 2002 GIRM. I noted that they are in that now they have it posted that standing is the posture for “Orates Frates” whereas in the older GIRM, we stood at the beginning of the Preface.

I still stand by with my rector’s stance on the singing of the Gospel acclamation.

We also omit the Alleluia if we don’t sing it. Our Canadian Lectionary instructed us to do so long before the most recent GIRM. I have to admit that I haven’t noticed whether the same instruction is in our new Lectionary – I’ll have to check tomorrow.

But the GIRM itself doesn’t give us that option and it also says that text that would normally sung can be spoken.

  1. Great importance should therefore be attached to the use of singing in the celebration of the Mass, with due consideration for the culture of the people and abilities of each liturgical assembly. Although it is not always necessary (e.g., in weekday Masses) to sing all the texts that are of themselves meant to be sung, every care should be taken that singing by the ministers and the people is not absent in celebrations that occur on Sundays and on holy days of obligation.

In the choosing of the parts actually to be sung, however, preference should be given to those that are of greater importance and especially to those to be sung by the priest or the deacon or the lector, with the people responding, or by the priest and people together.49

The Gospel Acclamation doesn’t fall into either category.

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