Lectors and Readers

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Greeting Father Turner!  Thank you for this wonderful blog and for sharing your time and talents with us.

My question is, which title “reader” or “lector” is proper when referring to laity who read in Mass?  I think lector is or was one of the minor orders for the priesthood and therefore use of the term reader would reduce any confusion regarding those lay people who declare the readings in Mass.


A: The English translation of the GIRM distinguishes the two. A lector is a male reader whom a bishop has instituted into the ministry of lector. This usually happens to someone preparing for ordination to the diaconate or priesthood. Others who read are readers.

Lector and acolyte are no longer called minor orders. They are ministries. They pertain to the laity, even though they are required before ordination.