What matters most typically have a negative impact the readings at Mass?


We have a lot of old ladies that read and there is one thing that annoys me a bit, but I don’t think its a biggie. They read super slowly and they pronounce everything like they are going to cry every second or like they are in big pain no matter what the type of reading is. It just seems way out of place or comes off as bragging about how much spirit they put behind the reading.I mean, you came to read the word of God and I came to swallow it alongside you ! It might be because the women are into what I call “fake” spirituality they regularly go to faith healers and other places and emphasize emotion over other things. But this is of course a subjective opinion.


Unless a parish or particular Mass is particularly hard up for readers, what bothers me most is no evidence at all that the reader is chosen because they can actually read well, and/or no evidence that they’ve even practiced the reading before they actually read. This seems to happen a lot. Reading is a ministry; not every one is cut out for it. Good readers learn to have appropriate modulation of voice, projection, expression etc. Not every one should be a reader.


Amen. We have no shortage of readers (even though we use 2/Mass), yet we are faced with the issues you note. There is also the delicate issue of elderly readers who make a HUGE production (and take a very long time) going up and down the stairs to the sanctuary. It creates four significant breaks in the Mass. It’s bad liturgy.


I’m happy to be patient and wait for anybody who reads that takes time to get up and down the steps. I’ve been in that very situation with my bad knee. Our deacon has VERY much trouble walking and climbing steps. Father just waits for him and offers him his arm to help him until he reaches the flat Sanctuary. Now that is what Jesus said & did “I came to serve not be served”. The Church is made up of many but the laity that volunteer to do different tasks at Mass are very blessed because they are doing for Our Lord, not you, not me but for God! They are not perfect or professional but they are a very NEEDED part of all of our Churches. So they make a mistake or 2. NONE of us are perfect. Father makes mistakes at Mass, even the Pope makes mistakes when speaking publically. I am just THANKFUL that there is a person to read at Mass. It makes a wonderful unity in our Church community when all different types of people of all ages read for Mass. It’s not for a select few. If we only choose or ask those who we prefer or who read perfectly then what do you think that does for the rest who might want to volunteer. They are made to feel unworthy or worse unwanted. You MIGHT say well if they can’t read the Mass reading correctly or practice ahead of time they shouldn’t be reading. What about all of us in the pew, we should have read the readings through before Mass at least once and possibly more than once. We should not just wait for it to be read to us at Mass. We ask here OFTEN what can be done to get people involved in our Church well first of all, USE WHO YOU HAVE. If people don’t feel like they are good enough I don’t blame them for not volunteering for any Church service or help. We are who we are and we ALL love Our Lord and ALL are called to serve Him. Look who Jesus Himself chose as His 12 and look what the power of the Holy Spirit did with those rough guys. They ended up spreading the faith to all ends of the Earth. I would never deny any person the opportunity or the possibility of reading at Mass, because just by them reading we don’t know what the Holy Spirit could stir up in their hearts at far as the Catholic Faith goes. We don’t know what ONE MOMENT of service at Mass could change in their hearts, souls and minds. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.


I’m not. There are an abundance of other readers. The painfully slow four entries/exists from the sanctuary breaks the fluidity of the Mass. It refocuses the Mass on the readers. It’s wrong.

The Mass is about worshiping God and being present at Calvary as Jesus Christ is crucified for our sins. It’s not about protecting local liturgical turf.

Sadly, change will finally come when someone falls while struggling to negotiate the sanctuary steps. THEN there will be real reform. But not until then.


The change that is likely to come will be to make the sanctuary ADA-compliant.


No. The sanctuary is already ADA compliant. Being a historic building it already suffers aesthetically because of this compliance. However, ADA compliance is not ultimately going to keep people from doing dangerous things due to their own mobility issues. That will one day require a touch of leadership.


“I’m not. There are an abundance of other readers”

I am so VERY sad you feel that way. Doesn’t seem like a very Christian attitude. We are ALL in various stages of physical state of wellness or not. If that is what decides whether a person reads or not then that is a great shame. Jesus healed the crippled, brought sight to the blind and returned hearing to the deaf. He loves us ALL and we ALL should be allowed to serve Him in whatever capability we can. We had a priest once who had only one leg (no prosthetic) and used a crutch. Should he NOT have been allowed to become a priest because of this? I’m so glad that didn’t weigh in to his suitability for a priestly vocation. It didn’t hinder him at all in serving Our Lord as a priest. When you start disallowing people from reading at Mass because of a physical disability that might slow things down a bit you are playing “God”. No one is God but God. And NO ONE has the right to deny a person’s desire to serve the Catholic Church by reading at Mass according to their physical disability. I’m SO glad our Church welcomes ALL those who want to read, we meet with them and go over everything with them, we give them every possible help we can and we encourage them to practice ahead of time. It is God’s Church, NOT your Church or my Church—IT IS GOD’S CHURCH and He calls ALL to serve Him.


Or be a lector yourself. Set the bar. Be the change you want to see.


I’m already a reader. That’s really not the point though – we already have an abundance of readers. No matter how delicate the situation, liturgical ministers shouldn’t impinge upon the celebration of the Mass because they cannot stand letting go of their piece of turf.

Many, many years ago my parish had a long time reader. If finally got to the point where his voice would seriously “cut out” a dozen or more time during a reading. It was wrong to allow that to continue under the guise of “charity.” It was negatively celebrating the celebration of the Mass.

The pastor finally took action when his voice would give out for good during readings. Even then I’ve sure we had to experience that a least a half dozen times. The Mass is not a stage for people to put themselves on display. It’s a sacrifice. People lose sight of that with PC-driven beliefs about “charity” and “rights.”


“liturgical ministers shouldn’t impinge upon the celebration of the Mass because they cannot stand letting go of their piece of turf.”

Well that is true but we also are NOT the reader police. Mass is for everybody, those who are serving in the sanctuary and those sitting in the pews. We don’t have the right to exclude someone because of our personal issues with someone. Sure not everybody reads perfectly, not everybody serves perfectly. But what’s important is that people read and people serve.

To tell you the truth I’m too busy spending my time in Calvary, being at the foot of the cross, actually BEING with my Lord and Savior when Consecration takes place & when he comes to me in Holy Communion to dwell on how someone read the readings. Mass is about Our Lord. Nothing else. I am with Him during that time and I don’t worry about what goes on besides what He is doing at the Altar.


A reader should never edit the reading


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