Readers and Commentators Guidance

READER GUIDANCE (January 2016):

  1. Before Mass, be seated on the left side of the church or in the left transept. (The left side refers to the side nearest the ambo and the statue of Our Lady.) You may walk to the sanctuary using the main aisle, the left aisle, or from the left transept. However, please enter the sanctuary from behind the ambo, using the left side steps of the sanctuary, not from in front of the altar.
  2.  Make a single, slight bow toward the altar before you climb the sanctuary steps.
  3.  Proclaim the First and/or Second Reading(s).
  4. When there is a choice between a long version and short version of a reading, ask the celebrant before Mass whether he needs you to read the long or the short version.
  5. When there is an option of several readings, ask the celebrant before Mass which option he needs you to read.
  6. If you are doing both the First and the Second Readings, take a seat between the readings, while the Responsorial Psalm is sung. You may sit in the sanctuary next to the cantor’s chair. If you are not reading the Second Reading, leave the sanctuary and return to your place in the pews.
  7. After you have read the Second Reading, leave the sanctuary and return to your pew.
  8. Always return to your pew the same way you approached, remembering to make a bow toward the altar once you have gone down the sanctuary steps and are on the main floor of the nave.
  9. See the additional notes at the bottom of this page.

COMMENTATOR GUIDANCE (January 2016):

  1. Before Mass, please look over the white Mass binder and familiarize yourself with the titles and numbers of the hymns, the Prayer of the Faithful, and the announcements. Please make sure that you are preparing for the correct Mass. (Hymns will be usually be different for the Sunday 6 p.m. Mass. Announcements will sometimes differ among the weekend Masses.) If you have any questions, please check with the celebrant for that Mass before he goes to the back of the church for the Entrance Procession.
  2. When announcing the Mass intention, if there is a cross next to the person’s name, you should say, “The intention for this Mass is the repose of the soul of [the person(s) indicated].” Otherwise, you should say, “The intention for this Mass is [the person(s) indicated].”
  3. Prior to Mass, take your seat in the sanctuary next to the cantor’s seat.
  4. Watch for a signal from the celebrant. Then go to the ambo and read the opening greeting as written in the Mass binder. After you have read the welcome, read the invitation to a moment of sacred silence. Please be sure to pause for a full 10 seconds of silence. Then read the name of the celebrant for that Mass and invite the congregation to stand and sing the Opening Hymn.
  5. When announcing hymn numbers, pronounce each digit. For example, Hymn 132 is pronounced “ONE THREE TWO”, not “ONE THIRTY TWO” or “ONE HUNDRED THIRTY TWO.” Take care to announce the hymn name correctly.
  6. Remain at the ambo during the Entrance Hymn until the celebrant kisses the altar. Once he has kissed the altar, leave the sanctuary and take your seat in a pew. Please sit near an aisle in either the left side of the nave or in the left transept. (If you are the first reader as well as the commentator, you may take a seat next to the cantor at this point, if you wish, rather than returning to a seat in the nave.)
  7. If there is no deacon at that Mass, you will read the Prayer of the Faithful. As the congregation recites the Creed, slowly approach the ambo as the congregation begins the last part of the Creed (“I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church”). Enter the sanctuary from behind the ambo using the left side of the sanctuary, remembering to bow before entering the sanctuary. Find the appropriate page in the Mass binder and read each petition exactly as it is written.
  8. After the celebrant concludes the Prayer of the Faithful, you will announce the Offertory Hymn. Then leave the sanctuary and return to your place in the pews. Do not remain in the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer.
  9. When the celebrant and congregation stand for the Prayer after Communion, slowly return to the ambo, approaching from behind the ambo using the left side of the sanctuary. You should be at the ambo by the time this prayer is concluded.
  10. Read each announcement exactly as it is written. Before reading the announcements, simply say “Our Announcements” or “Today’s Announcements.”  Please do not make comments such as “We have a lot of announcements today,” “We only have one announcement this morning,” or “Our final announcement.” Remember that the celebrant may have additional announcements after you have read the one(s) in the binder. Do not agree to make announcements that are not in the binder without first asking the celebrant for that Mass.
  11. After announcing the Recessional Hymn, remain at the ambo until the celebrant goes down the steps of the sanctuary. Then leave the sanctuary, making the customary reverence, and return to your pew.

ADDITIONAL NOTES (January 2016):

  1.  If you are serving as a reader or commentator, please do not sign up to also serve as a communion minister for that Mass. Allow others to participate as ministers at that Mass. However, if it is clear that more communion ministers are needed when they have lined up in the sanctuary, then you may come forward if no one else is volunteering to serve as a communion minister.
  2. Readers and commentators do not process out with the celebrant and servers.
  3. These guidelines are for Masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Readers for weekday Masses may enter the sanctuary from in front of the altar, remembering to make a bow before entering and upon leaving the sanctuary. Please leave the sanctuary the way you approached. Readers at daily Masses will also lead the spoken Responsorial Psalm.

Approved January 21, 2016

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