Proclamation of the Word
The proclamation of the Word of God is truly a ministry in the Church. Lectors bring the living Word of God to the liturgical assembly. In and through them God speaks to the gathered faithful. The ministry of the Word, therefore, is treated seriously and with great dignity.
The Word of God is not merely read during the liturgy. It is proclaimed. Effective proclamation involves the delivery of the message with clarity, conviction and appropriate pace. Proclamation is a special ministry which presupposes faith and also rouses faith in those who hear the Word proclaimed.
All liturgical ministers, especially the ministers of the Word, must be properly trained for their ministry. The ministry of the Word requires skill in public reading, knowledge of the principles of liturgy, and an understanding and love of the scriptures. Normally, only properly trained and commissioned lectors are scheduled for liturgy (Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass #55).
Lectors are fully initiated, practicing Catholics whose lives witness to the Word which they proclaim. On special occasions and for pastoral reasons, a young person who is not yet fully initiated (i.e., not yet confirmed) may serve as lector during a liturgy. Proper training for this ministry is expected.
Normally, lectors are commissioned for their ministry, preferably during a Sunday Mass. The rite of commissioning is found in the Book of Blessings [Chapter 61, p. 775].
Those who are presently lectors should periodically participate in enrichment programs, such as lector enrichment classes offered by the Office for Worship, bible study courses, Bible Institute and other workshops on Scripture and/or proclamation techniques.