Norms for Readers

I. Introduction

In the Mass is spread the table both of God’s Word and of the Body of Christ, and
from it the faithful are to be instructed and refreshed […] When the Sacred
Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ,
present in his word, proclaims the Gospel32. In the hearing of God’s Word the Church
is built up and grows, and in the signs of the liturgical celebration God’s wonderful,
past works in the history of salvation are presented anew as mysterious realities.
God in turn makes use of the congregation of the faithful that celebrates the Liturgy
in order that his word may speed on and be glorified and that his name be exalted
among the nations. Whenever, therefore, the Church, gathered by the Holy Spirit for
liturgical celebration, announces and proclaims the word of God, she is aware of
being a new people in whom the covenant made in the past is perfected and

In the celebration of the Mass with the people, the readings are always read from
the ambo. The function of proclaiming the readings is by tradition not presidential
but ministerial. Therefore, the readings are to be read by a reader, but the Gospel by
a Deacon or, in his absence, by another Priest.34

In the absence of an instituted lector, other lay people may be deputed to proclaim
the readings from Sacred Scripture, people who are truly suited to carrying out this
function and carefully prepared, so that by their hearing the readings from the
sacred texts the faithful may conceive in their hearts a sweet and living affection for
Sacred Scripture.35

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