Guidelines for READERS at the Cathedral
“In the readings, God speaks to His people of the mystery of salvation and nourishes their spirit; Christ is present through His word.”
(From the General Instruction, #33)
The Reader brings scripture to life for all to hear, the one who brings Christ to others! Being a Reader is not like announcing the news or reading a public announcement. It is so much more! Yours is the task of telling our family story. When you proclaim the reading with profound reverence, you are like a prophet. God is using you to touch someone.
Expect that something is going to change in the world because of the way you proclaim the readings.
What an awesome ministry it is to be an instrument, a minister of the Word of God, who proclaims (not simply reads) that Word to His people!
• At the Cathedral parish, two Readers are assigned for each Sunday Mass, Holy Day of Obligation, etc. On the schedule sent to you, note which number you are and practice your reading (out loud) throughout the week. Be very familiar with all the readings.
• If, by chance, you cannot be present at the Mass, you are to find a REPLACEMENT by calling a fellow minister (NOT the Cathedral office). Call Mary Kay in the Cathedral office only if you have difficulty locating a replacement.
• DRESS with the dignity of your ministry in mind.
• Arrive at least 15 MINUTES before Mass; sign in to let the Sacristan know you are present.
• Look at the Lectionary to familiarize yourself with the location of the reading and to make sure you have prepared the proper readings.
DUTIES OF READER 1
BEFORE MASS, after both Readers have looked at the Lectionary, the Sacristan (or Reader 1):
(1) places the Lectionary on the Ambo, OPENED to the first reading, (adjustable height of stand – put microphone in place)
(2) puts the plastic stand on the altar for the BOOK OF THE GOSPELS
AT THE BEGINNING OF MASS, READER 1 [when deacon is NOT present]
(1) processes in, holding the BOOK high, and,
(2) at the first step of the sanctuary, STOPs and BOWs toward the altar, then,
(3) places book on the altar (in the stand), and,
(4) goes to his or her place in the congregation (up front on ambo side).
AFTER THE OPENING PRAYER [when everyone is seated] READER 1
(1) comes forward, bows to the altar, goes to Ambo and proclaims the Word of God, and clearly, with good eye contact and projected voice, begins:
“A reading from…” NOT “The first reading this morning…”
(2) when finished, turns page so that the second reading is visible, pauses 5 seconds, and reverently returns to the congregation (do not move ribbon).
DUTIES OF READER 2
BEFORE MASS, READER 2
(1) looks over and practices the GENERAL INTERCESSIONS (Prayers of the Faithful) which can be found on the bulletin board in the sacristy (and on our website).
(a copy of the GENERAL INTERCESSIONS is in the pulpit next to presider’s chair), then,
(2) is seated in the congregation, (up front on either side).
AFTER THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM, READER 2
(1) comes forward, bows to the altar, goes to Ambo and proclaims the Word of God, and
clearly, with good eye contact and projected voice, begins:
“A reading from…” NOT “The second reading this morning…”
(2) when finished, PLACES THE LECTIONARY IN THE AMBO’S POCKET [so that there is space for the BOOK OF THE GOSPELS which the priest or deacon will carry over],
(3) and, reverently returns to the congregation.
DURING THE CREED, READER 2 [when there is no deacon]
(1) goes to the pulpit for the GENERAL INTERCESSIONS, and
(2) (after the presider reads the opening prayer), reads the Intercessions.
(3) After the presider has finished the closing prayer, READER 2 returns to pew.
Nice Document about EMHCs on the bishops’ website:
Guidelines for EMHC: Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
All powerful God,… we beg You to bless those who have been chosen to administer the Body of Christ. May they faithfully distribute the Sacrament to their brothers and sisters, be strengthened and comforted by Him, and one day be found worthy to share in the everlasting meal in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
(From the Rite of Commissioning MHCs)
At St. John’s, Sacristans prepare the sanctuary for each Mass.
• At least eight (8) EMHCs are assigned for each Sunday Mass, Holy Day of Obligation, Ash Wednesday and other large celebrations. An extra is assigned for the 11:00 Mass and any celebration when the choir will receive Holy Communion.
• DRESS with the dignity of your ministry in mind.
• Arrive 15 MINUTES before Mass; let the Sacristan know you are present by signing in.
(DO NOT remain in the sacristy talking, etc.)
Please review the location of the stations and procedures.
1. Note the number/station to which you are assigned.
2. Note also where you stand in the sanctuary to receive Holy Communion.
3. Note the location in the church from where you will minister.
(Note that the Presider has the #3 Station.)
4. Please sit up front.
• If a deacon or con-celebrating priest is present for the Mass, he will take the #2 spot.
If a third deacon/priest is present, he will take the #6 spot. If fourth, he will take #7 spot.
1. When the priest drinks from the chalice, immediately enter the sanctuary reverently.
Do not gather in front of the altar. Do not bow. Go directly to your position. Form a line behind the altar at designated positions. Refrain from speaking in the sanctuary. No Sign of Peace.
2. If you are a minister of the cup, after you have received the Body of Christ, take a full step forward so that the priest/deacon knows you are to receive the cup.
3. When 8 receives from the cup, immediately offer the Blood of Christ to #7 only. When 5 receives from the cup, immediately offer the Blood of Christ to #6 only. Once MHCs 5, 6, 7 & 8 have the appropriate vessels in hand, go immediately (left of the altar) down the center aisle to your station in the middle. Begin distribution of communion there immediately.
4. After the EMHCs 1,2 & 4 have offered Communion to the altar servers,
go immediately to your stations, first distributing Communion to those in the transept. Then, go to your second station to distribute to those sitting in the center of the church.
5. As you distribute the Holy Communion, proclaim only: “The Body / Blood of Christ” [not “this is the Body of Christ,” or “receive the Body of Christ,” or some other phrase].
6. Blessings… “May the Lord bless you.” No sign of the cross…
Never Deny Holy Communion
Do not place Hosts in the pyx (ask person to get host after Mass).
Dropped Hosts. Spills.
If people do not receive immediately…
7. Once a Cup is empty, or there are no other people to receive from the Cup, consume the Precious Blood at your station, place the Cup on the Credence Table, and return immediately to your pew (do not assist in distribution of Communion in another part of the church – and do not enter the sacristy). (No need to bow to the altar.)
8. If distributing the Sacred Host, when there are no other people to receive Communion, go immediately to the tabernacle, leave the vessel next to the tabernacle on the corporal. Remain there to assist the priest/deacon with the return of the vessels to the Credence Table.
(do not enter the sacristy). (No need to bow to the altar.)A deacon or priest MUST purify the sacred vessels immediately. If you have any questions, please ask the priest or sacristan.
• If, by chance, you cannot be present at the Mass, you are to find a REPLACEMENT by calling a fellow minister (NOT the church). Call church only if you have difficulty finding a replacement.
• Terminology -EMHC not LEM
After consecration, not “bread” but either simply “the Host” or “the Sacred Body” …
Likewise, the chalice: “the chalice/cup” or as “the Precious Blood” – not wine.
Email Mary Kay when you know of dates that you are not available to serve.
Note: Mary Kay creates the schedule March through May, June through August, September through November, December through February. The schedule is sent out via e-mail to the liturgical ministers; it is also posted on the website; there are some hard copies in the sacristy of the current schedule.