St Marie’s is blessed with a dedicated team of around 30 Readers serving five Masses every weekend and more than 15 Masses during the week.

Lay Readers – or Lectors – are mentioned in the earliest record of a Mass, written by Justin Martyr, in around 150 AD.

Reading became a clerical duty at the time of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604 AD), but returned to being primarily a lay ministry following the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).

Reading isn’t simply a matter of walking up to the Ambo and reading from the Lectionary.

Readers have to understand the part the Liturgy of the Word plays in the Mass and prepare by studying all the readings for a particular Mass, including the Gospel, even though that will be read by a Priest or Deacon.

At a basic level, they need to be sure they can vocalise difficult words and phrases, making the words of the reading flow and come to life.

At a deeper level, they need to understand the text and how the different readings relate to each other – the main reason for studying all the readings and not simply focusing on the texts they expect to read.

That said, the Cathedral’s Readers’ Group organises training sessions to help new and existing Readers to carry out their ministry to the best of their abilities and new volunteers are always welcome and needed.

If you are interested in becoming a Reader at St Marie’s, please contact Bob Rae, e-mail or telephone: 07710 116701, contact Cathedral House or speak to one of the Readers after Mass.

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