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Guidelines for Lectors

How to prepare and what to do when reading a Bible passage in the worship service.
  • Thorough; ensuring:
    • Complete familiarity with the content
    • Confidence for tackling difficult words and names
    • Checking for appropriate emphases/intonation
Approach the Lectern
  • Dignified walk
  • One lector at a time
  • Acknowledge the altar i.e., God's presence
Introduction of the Reading
  • Use the carefully chosen words set down in the Lutheran Liturgy:

Hear the Word of the Lord as it is written in the book of [Isaiah], Chapter [six], beginning at verse [one]

Hear the Word of the Lord as it is written in [the First Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians], Chapter [one], beginning at verse [twenty].

  • Nothing further is needed
  • Here you are speaking to the congregation (as yourself); so you may appropriately communicate with and look at them.
The Reading
  • Check the height of the microphone (to point at your mouth) before beginning.
  • Your one task now is to be a reader of God's Word – not a preacher or deliverer of a sermon prepared by you.
  • Your whole approach should suggest an awareness of the fact that God is here speaking to His people (not you, the lector).
  • Keep your eyes glued to the text:
    • This will eliminate the possibility of your losing your place.
    • This will eliminate some nonsensical situations which otherwise often occur.
  • Although you have prepared the reading thoroughly, read it as though you are actually discovering its amazing content for the first time. (It will never be dull reading if this is practised.)
  • The major aim is not to read as quickly as you can; it is to enunciate all the words clearly, so that even those who are hard of hearing (at the rear of the nave) do not miss a thing.
Conclusion of the Reading
  • Do not rush from the last word of the reading to the words which you will finally address to the congregation as a reminder of the importance of what you have read.
  • Take your time. Raise your head and then address the congregation: "This is the Word of the Lord."
  • Then return to your pew. [There is no need to acknowledge the altar again.]

—Guidelines by Dr Elmore Leske