Slide 37: On Your Scheduled Mass Day, Nine Suggested Steps

Slide 37

ON THE DAY OF YOUR SCHEDULED MASS there are 9 steps you should consider

Step 1

About 8 hours before Mass, have only water, coffee or tea. NO milk, citrus, or any solid
food since these will affect your vocal cords and/or inhibit deep breathing.

Step 2

Practice your text aloud again. You can never practice too much.

Step 3

Arrive at Church about 20 minutes before Mass.


  • Ask the lector leader / celebrant / homilist if there are any last-minute changes. Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • If your parish normally has a lector for each of the two readings, always practice both readings.
  • If the other lector is a “no show”, you will probably be responsible for proclaiming both.
  • If no cantor will be present, the first lector will read the Responsorial Psalm.
  • Assuming you’re the first lector and you want to sing the Responsorial, before mass,
  • get the approval of the music leader and the sheet music. And, tune up your massive ego!
  • If no deacon will be present, be prepared to carry the Book of the Gospels in the procession and the second lector will read the General Intersessions. For the sick and deceased with difficult name pronunciations, check with the of the lector readings has an optional “long” or “short” form, the celebrant should be asked which he prefers.
  • Ask the homilist if he would like something in your reading emphasized. If yes consider using a slower delivery with eye contact and/or a pause then a different tone

Step 4

Go to the ambo to insure the Lectionary is opened with a ribbon at the First Reading and a turning ribbon marks the Second Reading. HINT: If your Mass has multiple readings with multiple lectors like the Easter Vigil, consider writing your text’s page number on your palm. Someone may inadvertently move the marker for your page.

Step 5

In general, for your voice to have greatest amplification your mouth should be about six inches from the microphone. Your lector leader should have told you the ideal microphone position for best voice pickup. To stand closer to the microphone, position the Lectionary at top of book rest and put your belly up to the base of the book rest. Check that the microphone is on by gently tapping the mic head or follow your lector leader’s suggestion.

Step 6

If there is an opening hymn, note the hymn number. Someone will ask.

Step 7

At the beginning of Mass if lectors normally process with the celebrant, go to the start position and line up. Follow the instructions given you by your lector leader.

Step 8

Ask a spouse, astute friend or experienced usher positioned in the rear of the church to critique your proclamation.

A Lector Feedback Form listing the aspects of proclamation was discussed in Session 1 and is available at

Step 9 Long before one of your scheduled lector dates, see if your pastor or lector leader will allow you to be video or, at least, sound recorded while you proclaim at Mass. This recording will be a wonderful lesson in humility and powerful incentive for more focused practice.