Readings from the ambo

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Is it ever appropriate for the Lector to read the Mass readings from the altar? Should the Mass readings always be read from the ambo?  I ask this as an installed Lector who is also a seminarian. Some priest/formators in my community have approved this practice of Lectors reading the Mass readings from the altar. As a Lector in my home parish for a decade before entering seminary, I am very uncomfortable with this innovation, although I readily acknowledge I can be wrong. Thank you for your insights. God bless.


A: The readings are proclaimed at the ambo. See Order of Mass 10; GIRM 58, 196, and 309; and the Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass 16. GIRM 58 specifically says, “In the celebration of the Mass with the people, the readings are always read from the ambo.”

GIRM 117 and 309 restrict what may be placed on the altar at the beginning of Mass. 117 specifically says, “On the altar itself may be placed a Book of the Gospels distinct from the book of other readings.”

I don’t see any basis for the approval of your priest/formators.