How to become a Reader at Mass

Overview

The term “reader” refers to any member of the faithful or any person in religious or consecrated life who has been deputed – in the absence of an instituted Lector – to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture at Mass, except the Gospel. At Masses without a deacon, a reader also announces the intentions during the Universal Prayer of the Faithful. Readers also may be employed to make parish announcements, typically before Mass or following the Prayer after Communion. “If there is no singing at the Entrance or at Communion and the antiphons given in the Missal are not recited by the faithful, the reader may read them at the appropriate time.”

Requirements

Only those persons who are selected by their respective pastor or chaplain and fulfill the requirements mandated by the law of the Church are eligible to serve as readers in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Those requirements include:
  • Being of at least 16 years old;
  • Being a fully-initiated Catholic Christian who has been Confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Being of good moral character;
  • Not being bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
  • Demonstrating a genuine reverence and respect for the Most Blessed Sacrament;
  • If married, being in a valid marriage according to the prescriptions of the current Code of Canon Law;
  • Being in full compliance with the norms of the Safe Environment Program of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Formation Process

Each candidate for this important ministry is to adhere to this formation process, as outlined in the Norms Governing the Liturgical MinistriesGiven the circumstances in which we find ourselves, formation has been streamlined for easy completion, without sacrificing the importance of the content. 

When you click the link below to begin formation, you will be asked to register on LEAD, our learning portal. Choose the EMHC learning path on the registration page (in English or Spanish), and then log in to begin your studies. 

Please note:
  1. You will see that there is an assignment to submit a letter of recommendation. Simply download the form, have your pastor complete it, and either upload it to LEAD or mail it back to The Leadership Institute, 238 Jewett Ave. Bridgeport, CT 06606.
  2. Courses online are simple, short, and straightforward. They are designed so you can complete them in one sitting per course. If you quit a course before you finish, you may have to restart that course.
  3. Upon completion of the required formation, each candidate will be given a letter of authorization by the Bishop which will allow him or her to serve in their respective parishes for a period of three years.
  4. To assist in your formation, we suggest checking out the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Secondary Mandates

Additional mandates are only required for EMHCs. If you serve one parish as a reader, please inform the pastor and, with his permission, you may serve at a secondary location.

When you are ready to register for LEAD and get started, click below.

Begin Formation

Discover Resources for Liturgical Ministries

Pastoral Considerations for Liturgical Ministers
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