Reading in church




The role of the reader (lector) is to stand before the congregation in a liturgical celebration and proclaim the word of God from the assigned reading.


Proclaiming is a very different activity to simply reading along with the congregation. The one who reads puts the word of God out into the midst of the congregation. The readers task is to draw peoples attention to listen to the word of God that is now among them.


The reader speaks a message from God and as such is Gods instrument. This requires of the reader a living relationship with God and Gods word. It further requires that a reader understands his/her task as a communicator. Good communication begins with the basic presumption that the reader has prepared the text, believes it and wants to share it with others.


Good communication further demands that a reader can actually deliver the particular text to the congregation engaging them and drawing them to its central messages


A readers care for and attitude to the congregation will influence the quality of the proclamation. Focusing on the delivery; namely, projection, articulation, pace, phrasing, eye contact, openness in bodily posture


The three moments of Ministry


  1. Preparation


To come to a deeper sense of a particular text the reader must be prepared to sit the reading ahead of time to pray with it, explore it, and to seek to draw out its core message


      2. Proclamation


The actual moment of proclaiming Gods word is a moment of ministry. At this time the reader serves the congregation by sharing Gods word with them.


  1. Witness


Every member of the Church, reader and otherwise, is called to not only hear the word of God but also to respond to it in their life.




The lectionary is the book of readings from which the reader proclaims. It contains all the readings for the seasons, includes the readings for the weekdays, and readings for ritual celebrations. The lectionary also serves in illustrating links to other books and letters within the Holy Bible for alternate or further reading.




  • Set aside time at home to prepare for your reading
  • Imagine you were there when the words were written (Determine the tone eg gentle, harsh, instructive etc)
  • Pray with the text
    Practice reading the passage out loud at least once
  • Let your voice, facial expression & body language assist you in expressing the message
  • Pray for guide in your proclamation




The procedure to be followed during the liturgy is:


·         The readers should take seat at the two chairs placed near the pulpit (this also includes readers who are choir members)

·         The first reader proceeds to the pulpit during the confession (Almighty God pg 106)

·         The second reader proceeds to the pulpit at the beginning of the reading of the Psalm

·         The reader is to announce the reading according to what is written on the marker and then begins reading

·         At the conclusion of the reading the reader is to announce Hear the word of the Lord

·         After their proclamation they can proceed to seat at the pew of their choice




  • Adjust the microphone so that it is the correct height & position to project the voice
  • Position yourself at the microphone so that the voice is projected to the maximum effect without distortion
  • Project the voice at the right pitch to be heard at the back of the church






  • Voice projection has to do with knowing to breathe correctly
  • Public speaking you need to learn to pace your voice correctly & make each syllable more or less the same length. Nervousness usually makes people to speak too fast
  • Position yourself such that you can see the Bible without dropping your head as this affects the way your voice is projected
  • It is advisable to read the particular reading assigned to you before the service. This will assist you to concentrate on the issue of projecting your voice if you are already familiar with the reading




1. A manual for worship leaders (Revised edition) Bishop Geoff Quinlan