Wanting to stop being a lector at Mass

I’ve been a lector at my Church for a few years now, and I’m just kind of at a point where I want to stop. I don’t know how I should go about telling the priest or whoever that I want to stop being a lector. It’s not wrong is it? I’m not wanting to stop to be mean or anything, it’s just that I’m wanting to move on from it. I mean, when I first started, it wasn’t something that I voluntarily signed up for. I was kind of volunteered by someone, who said that they needed some help with having people read during Mass. I’ve also been active as a Eucharistic Minister for a few months (still new at it), and I just want to do that.

Who should I tell at Church that I want to stop, and how should I go about it? Has anyone else been in this situation before? I’m a little nervous that some people (like the priest, etc) are going to be mad or offended that I want to quit being a lector…

Before eleven people chime in to say that the proper term is “Extraordinary minister of Holy Communion” (or EMHC), not “Eucharistic Minister,” and that the Church teaches that the only true minister of the Eucharist is the priest, let me get that out of the way. :slight_smile:

That said, tell the priest that you’ve enjoyed being an EMHC recently and you feel like you’ve really been able to contribute by being a reader, but that you want to focus on one role and let some new people get the chance to be a reader, so in the future the priest should think of other people first for reader slots, though if someone’s needed to fill in you’d be happy to help.

Discuss it with your priest.

BTW, what is HE doing while YOU are reading scripture in HIS mass?

You could speak to the person who makes the schedule of lectors and ask that you be taken off the schedule. Perhaps, as someone suggested, you would be willing to fill in once in a while.


I’ve done the reverse, opted to stop being an EMHC and focused on being a reader. I didn’t give any excuse, just told them not to schedule me any more. In my case it was because I felt that they overused EMHCs and I didn’t want to be part of that.

Just tell the person who schedules the readers not to put you on the schedule any more. If anyone asks then tell them you’d prefer to concentrate on being an EMHC.


I agree with all pieces of advice you have been given.

Ask the roster planner to not to include your name in the next schedule and it could be as simple as that. It might surprise you it might take the priests and other a while to notice they have not seen you reading for a while. Since you would still be present during mass and fulfilling your duty as EMHC I doubt your absence from the pulpit will be noticed until much later when you would have gathered enough confidence to tell whoever ask you, you have decided to concentrate on EMCH.

Do not be afraid. Serve the Lord with sincerity, truthfullness and joy!

God bless you


There were a few roles in church that I was involved in, but had to quit them for a period of time because I decided to join another group, or just decided to drop it. One time I decided to drop altar serving for joining the choir, and then I dropped the choir and for a period of time I wasn’t involved in anything. Now, I’m back at altar serving for the moment. Now, no one really looked at it like I was sick of doing it (which wasn’t the case), but they understood that I wanted to try something new, and balancing each group can be hard at times. Just approach the priest and say “Father, I have been a lector for a while now, and recently I just started being a EMHC. I think that maybe I would like to drop being a lector, and just continue being a EMHC, because being a EMHC is what I really want to do. I hope you aren’t mad or offended.”

Per someone else’s suggestion here, how about we call them E-MOCs from now on to save on the long name?

You now have ten more to go. :smiley:

Thank you all for your wonderful advice!! I appreciate it, and I think it will help me when I decide to let the person who does the scheduling know that I’m wanting to quit.

I just get nervous about telling them because a lot of people tell me once in a while that they think I do a great job at reading, and although I’m thankful for that, I just want to other things, and I don’t want them to think that I don’t want to help, etc. But at the same time, there are plenty of others in Church, so i’m sure they can ask others to help too, right?

Thanks for telling me that. I apologize for using the phrase “Eucharistic Minister.” I didn’t know that that was the wrong way of putting it. Everyone at my Church has always referred to an EMHC as either “Eucharistic Minister” or “Communion Minister” so I thought that was the right way of putting it. Sorry for my ignorance. :slight_smile:

I’m sure there will always be others to help out. Just go where your heart is going and be a EMHC if that’s what you think your heart is telling you. Don’t worry about it if others want you to continue lectoring. Do what you want to do!

To the OP: We all need to discern where we are being called. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that one ministry or activity is no longer the right one for you.

I hope the priest is listening attentively to the readings.

When I decided to stop all of those things I just went up to the coordinator and said as of sucu & such date I was done due to other commitments. easy enough.

So now I focus on the EF.

just tell the person who schedules lay ministers that from now on you want to concentrate on devoting yourself to one ministry, that of EMHC, and prefer not to lector any more. The Holy Spirit has someone in mind to replace you, so don’t worry about that aspect, nor about what people might think. You might want to give some notice so there is time to train new people, but don’t think twice if you have discerned in prayer this is the right thing for you at this time.

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