Q: My question relates to participation of lectors in the entrance procession at Sunday Mass. Our parish does not have a deacon. Both assigned lectors take part in the procession with one of them carrying the Gospel Book. A children’s Liturgy of the Word takes place on most Sundays. The lector who will lead the children and proclaim the readings takes part in the entrance procession in addition to the other lectors. After the Collect is prayed s/he is given the Children’s Lectionary by the presider and leads the children out of the nave. I ask the question because I can’t find any documentation to support it if I am questioned; but I believe it is important for all, not some, lectors to take part in the procession.
A: GIRM 120 and 172 list among the members of the procession “other ministers” who precede the reader. I think that this refers to mass servers, but some have argued that it therefore permits other readers and even communion ministers. I’ve used the phrase “other ministers” to justify the placement of parents of newborns within the entrance procession at a mass with a baptism, and even the couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. But it probably means altar servers.
You could continue your custom on the basis of the uncertainty of who the “other ministers” are. However, I think that the entrance procession looks leaner and more purposeful if it does not include everyone who has some role to play. You can imagine how it would get out of hand with less skilled organizers who don’t know where to draw the line: Ushers? Sacristans? The donor of the mass stipend?
For more on the entrance procession, see my book Let Us Pray.