Welcome to the Lector Preparation / Lector's Notes Home Page

A Close Look at Upcoming Sunday Readings, Focusing on the Lector's Proclamation

image of Bible and magnifying glass

 


A new essay about lector ministry as stewardship

It's more provocative than most of what you've read here before. Click here to read and reply.

Neuevo febrero 2011
Notas del Lector en Español y en Inglés

New, February 2011
Lector's Notes English and in Spanish

With help from two new friends in California, Lector's Notes will appear in Spanish for every Sunday, as well as in English. See the Sunday titles in the center column under Click on a Date to See Current Notes.

Resources for lectors at weekday mass

As noted here for a few months, a lector who reads these pages asked for similar information about the readings in the weekday lectionary. Numerous lectors made suggestions by email. Here they are:

Celina Galvan of the Vocations Office in the diocese of Austin, Texas, USA, suggested Daily Reflections (click here), from the website of Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Several readers pointed out that the texts of the daily readings are online, and organized by way of a clear calendar, at The U.S. Catholic Bishops' website. At the same site, listen to an oral proclamation or watch a video of a reflection on the readings.

A very rich, but not inexpensive, printed resource, one that I've used in the past, is Celebration Magazine. To see a sample, click here. Celebration has come from The National Catholic Reporter for thirty-five years. The suggestion is from Stepanie Hagarty-Moening of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Bothell, Washington, USA.

You might subscribe to the printed resource offered at Living with Christ, a publication from New London, Connecticut, USA. No samples are online, but the site says the magazine contains "an overview of the weekday readings and how they guide our 'living with Christ' for the week." The suggestion came from lector Bernie Embury of Saint Stephen's Church, Valley Center, California, USA.

Another promising site is Presentation Ministries (click here). Note the << and >> chevrons on either side of the date at the top. They take you to the reflections for adjacent dates. A lector preparing for a future weekday can click through to a page covering readings quite far in advance. Sometimes the reflection covers only the weekday's gospel, not the first reading. That recommendation came from Allan T Kahn, whose email address suggests he's from Bethpage, New York, USA.

E.M Keefe recommends these commentaries by Don Schwager, late of Detroit, Michigan, USA, and now of London, UK, on the lectionary's gospel passages, every day.



Click on a Date to See Current Notes:


XVI Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 20 de Julio

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, July 20

Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, July 27

XVII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 27 de Julio

Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, August 3

XVIII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 3 de Agosto

XIX Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 10 de Agosto

Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, August 10

Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time, August 17

XX Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 17 de Agosto

XXI Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 24 de Agosto

Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time, August 24

Twenty-second Sunday of Ordinary Time, August 31

XXII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 31 de Agosto

Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, September 7

XXIII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario, 07 de septiembre

Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14

Proper 19, Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, September 14

Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time, September 21

Twenty-sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time, September 28


A new discussion, where your ideas are welcome: "For a novice who is starting to read and study the bible, what book would you recommend as a commentary or for general instructions?" Click on "Reply" under Bob's question.
New page of Notes and resources for lector service on special occasions (weddings, funerals, etc.)

More resources (Pronunciation guides, LectorResources.com (new, December, 2011) and other lector websites, great liturgical websites, parish lector schedules, etc.)
Search Lector's Notes by the specific Scripture passages covered
The complete collection of Lector's Notes
Lectionary readings only, current and near future dates

New items on the Lectors' Dialogue page:

January, 2006: A reader challenges the author for encouraging lectors to sound too dramatic. "We are not thespians," he says. Lector's Notes author Greg Warnusz responds. Lector David Ford defends the Notes.

An adult lector makes a case for recruiting teenaged parishioners to serve as lectors. As of January, 2006, six lectors respond.

And one parish's very thorough answer to the questions posed here a while back, "How do lectors train and prepare in your parish? What do you ask of them week-by-week or month-by-month?"

Joe Moreira of Singapore has some very interesting thoughts on training lectors (new June 6).

New February, 2006: On the difficulties of scheduling and being scheduled.

Join the discussion on the Lectors' Dialogue page

What are Lector's Notes?

These notes try to serve the Church by helping lectors prepare to proclaim the Scriptures in our Sunday assemblies. For each day's first and second readings (and occasionally for the gospel), the Notes give the historical and theological background, plus suggestions on oral interpretation.

Most people in a Sunday assembly hear the word of God only in that formal setting. Their only regular exposure to Scripture is from the lips of the lector and the preacher there. That lays a heavy responsibility on the lector; these notes aim to help you fulfill that responsibility. And if the Notes help a lector sound prepared, earnest and competent, they'll help the congregation decide to take the Scripture's lessons more seriously.

More, including a wish-list about the future of Lector's Notes, and the author's identity ...



New, June, 2010: Notes for the special-occasion lector

So you almost never serve as lector, except at a funeral or a wedding? Or you are an experienced lector but, for the event coming up, your role is mother of the bride, and your nephew has been designated lector. Click here for a new section on this site to help you (or your nephew) prepare for that next occasion. There's a general "how to" page of tips about reading to a worship assembly and preparing for a wedding or funeral, and specific notes about Bible passages commonly used at weddings and funerals. The latter contain links to .pdf images of the lectionary pages, to make your preparation foolproof.


PRAYER OF A MINISTER OF THE WORD

(In Preparation)

Lord, invest me with your power
as I prepare to proclaim the marvel of your message
I have prepared my reading,
I have tried to take within me
the meaning of what I am about to proclaim.
Help me to proclaim, not just with my lips,
but with my whole heart and soul.
Lord, make me a hollow reed
so that your voice will be heard by all who hear me.
Free me of excessive concern over my performance.
Convert my feeling of nervousness and
turn all my apprehension into an energy
for proclaiming your word with power and authority.
May your Spirit live in me and
fill the holy word that I proclaim.

From the lectors of Our Lady, Star of the Sea Parish, Singapore

In June, 2012, lector Joy Szopinski of Wisconsin, USA, advised me that this prayer comes from this book by Ed Hays.


Other Resources for Lectors, online and in print

LectorResources.com, new in 2012, an ambitious collection of print and online resources, with stimulating reflections by a dedicated lector of twenty years. See especially the Learning Center and Best Sites pages.

A very thorough and detailed discussion of the whole Liturgy of the Word, including texts from the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) and commentary.

Archives of the weekly column The Word from America, the Jesuit weekly magazine. For a few years, this excellent column was available only to subscribers; now columns more than one year old are free again.

The very ambitious site for the lectors of Holy Name of Mary Parish in San Dimas, California. Check out the Meditations, the Resources page, and the Newsletters. Best viewed in a browser with Java 2 enabled.

Journey with Jesus. An essay every week on the Sunday's readings, applying Scripture's message to the Christian's day-to-day life. The site describes itself as "a weekly webzine for the global church, ... essays, books, film, poetry and music."

A dialogue among lectors. Theological reflection and practical discussion about issues you raise. Longest-running discussion: about "acting" and reciting the readings from memory.

The Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University. Thoughtful and prayerful reflections on Sunday readings. The best I've found on the Web, by far.

www.deaconsil.com This is Deacon Sil Galvan's monumental resource for preachers and readers of the Word. I mean this with no disrespect whatever, but this is the 800-pound gorilla of liturgy sites. Try a trial membership.

Sermons & Sermon - Lectionary Resources. [Link repaired 2011/08/17.] A complete collection of original resources and a most complete index of Web resources for sermons and the Lectionary, carefully maintained and frequently updated. A short paragraph describes each site referenced, to help you select wisely.

A challenging article about serving as a lector, by Ed Horodko, an actor and member of Sacred Heart Church, Olema, California. (The link to this peripatetic essay is up to date as of January, 2010.)

Audio recordings of the readings. The page contains links to recordings of the readings of each day of the current month. The translation is the New American Bible, commonly used in Catholic churches of the U.S.A.
The same recordings, different website.
The oral interpretation here is minimalist.

Audio recordings of the readings from the Philippines. Lectors from four parishes in two dioceses, and from a chapel, contribute these recordings. They're in English, as is the ambitious parent website aimed at all the lectors of the Philippines. I gather that the website name comes from the Tagalog expression Ang salita ng Diyos, which means "The Word of God." I'm open to correction here, of course.

Preparing by prayer: This is how lector Tony Whalley of San Diego, California, USA, adapted a traditional prayer to help himself prepare for lector service:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth Your Spirit, that I may worthily proclaim your Word

Lector Works. Detailed meditations on the readings and their proclamation, by veteran lector Paul Schlachter of Miami, Florida, USA. Paul has been recording these thoughts for a long time, and put them on the Web starting early in 2005.

The Ministry of Lector, a thoughtful article by Irish theologian Peter P. Kenny.

Corrected, February, 2010! Online guide to pronouncing Biblical names. Gives, in text form, phonetic pronunciations, and sound files that will play on your computer. This user found that the .wav files are the more usable. Your mileage may vary.

Lector Jim Bell of Christ the King Parish, Missoula, Montana, USA, recommends these pronunciation guides in book form:

You might donate one or both to your church, leaving them in the sacristy for every lector to use.

Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers, among other resources. (This link updated July 1, 2010.) A liturgically literate friend once asked why I write Lector's Notes when any lector could get "that great Workbook from LTP." Not knowing about the workbook, I got a copy, and found it very good. Liturgy Training Publications seems to have a new author do this book every (liturgical) year. The answer to my friend's question is that, although the Notes and the Workbook cover the same territory Sunday by Sunday, they do it differently, I'd often say very differently. So read both. ¿Habla usted Español? The workbook and other resources for lectors are available in Spanish, at the same link.

More Spanish-language resources (added July, 2010)

Lectors and pastors have asked me over the years if Lector's Notes are available in Spanish. In the winter of 2011, one parishioner and the pastor Saint Elizabeth Parish, Oakland, California, USA, volunteered to work with me on this. As of February 3, 2011, they have translated and I published las primeras Notas del Lector en Español.

The Workbook describe above is available in Spanish. And I've found these resources, too:

Know other resources for lectors in Spanish? Need to tell me, a non-speaker of Spanish, that one of these resources is less worthy than I hope? Want to translate Lector's Notes into Spanish? Click here to address email to me Thank you.

Restored 3/7/2006, and always up-to-date: the lector schedule for Holy Name of Jesus Parish, North Saint Louis County, MO.

New! Lector Schedule of Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish, Cincinatti, Ohio (best viewed in Internet Explorer or Opera browser).
View the Saint Vincent Ferrer schedule in the Firefox browser.

All Lector's Notes Published to Date, and Lectionary texts

Liturgical Year A
(2011, 2014, etc.)
Liturgical Year B
(2012, 2015, etc.)
Liturgical Year C
(2013, 2016, etc.)
Season of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany
First Sunday of Advent First Sunday of Advent
Primer Domingo de Adviento
First Sunday of Advent
Second Sunday of Advent Second Sunday of Advent
Segundo Domingo de Adviento
Second Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent Third Sunday of Advent
Tercer Domingo de Adviento
Third Sunday of Advent
Fourth Sunday of Advent Fourth Sunday of Advent
Cuarto Domingo_de_Adviento
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Vigil of Christmas, Years A, B & C
Christmas Midnight Mass, Years A, B, & C
Misa de Gallo, Misa de Navidad de Medianoche
Christmas Mass at Dawn, Years A, B, & C
Christmas Mass during the Day, Years A, B, & C
Feast of the Holy Family, Years A, B & C
Epifanía del Señor
Feast of the Epiphany
(Notes include a hundred-word homily starter based on the first reading.)
The Baptism of the Lord
Season of Lent, Easter, Pentecost
Ash Wednesday, Years A, B, & C
Miercoles de Ceniza, Año A, B y C
First Sunday of Lent
Domingo 1° de Cuaresma
First Sunday of Lent
Primer Domingo de Cuaresma
First Sunday of Lent
Second Sunday of Lent
Domingo 2° de Cuaresma
Second Sunday of Lent
Segundo Domingo de Cuaresma
Second Sunday of Lent
Third Sunday of Lent
Domingo 3° de Cuaresma
Third Sunday of Lent
Tercer Domingo de Cuaresma
Third Sunday of Lent
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Domingo 4° de Cuaresma
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Cuarto Domingo de Cuaresma
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Domingo 5º de Cuaresma
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Quinto Domingo de Cuaresma
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Passion Sunday (Palm Sunday), Years A, B & C
Domingo de Ramos, La Pasión de El Señor
Holy Thursday, Years A, B & C
Jueves Santo
Good Friday, Years A, B & C
Viernes Santo
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil), Years A, B & C
Easter Sunday, Years A, B & C
Domingo de Pascua, Año A, B y C
Second Sunday of Easter
Segundo Domingo de Pascua
Second Sunday of Easter Second Sunday of Easter
Third Sunday of Easter
Tercer Domingo de Pascua
Third Sunday of Easter
Tercer Domingo de Pascua
Third Sunday of Easter
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Quarto Domingo de Pascua
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Quarto Domingo de Pascua
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Quinto Domingo de Pascua
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Quinto Domingo de Pascua
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sexto Domingo de Pascua
Sixth Sunday of Easter
Sexto Domingo de Pascua
Sixth Sunday of Easter
The Ascension of the Lord, Years A, B & C
La Ascensión del Señor, Años A, B & C
Seventh Sunday of Easter Seventh Sunday of Easter Seventh Sunday of Easter
Vigil of Pentecost, Years A, B & C
Pentecost Sunday (morning), Years A, B & C
Pentecostes Manana
Trinity Sunday
Domingo de la Santisima Trinidad
Trinity Sunday
Domingo de Trinidad
Trinity Sunday
Corpus Christi
Cuerpo y Sangre de Cristo
Cuerpo y Sangre de Cristo
Corpus Christi
(Notes include a three-hundred-word homily starter based on the second reading.)
Corpus Christi
Ordinary Time
Liturgical Year A
(2011, 2014, etc.)
Liturgical Year B
(2012, 2015, etc.)
Liturgical Year C
(2013, 2016, etc.)
Baptism of the Lord (First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Years A, B & C)
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Segundo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Tercer Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Tercer Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Cuarto Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sexto Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
New, 2011.
Séptimo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario, en español
Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
Séptimo Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time
New, 2011.
Octavo Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario, en español
Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Noveno Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario (en español)
Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
XI Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XIII Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XIII Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XIV Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XIV Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XV Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XV Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVI Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVI Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVII Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVIII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XVIII Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario
Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XIX Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Liturgical Year A
(2011, 2014, etc.)
Liturgical Year B
(2012, 2015, etc.)
Liturgical Year C
(2013, 2016, etc.)
Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XX Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXI Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXIII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXIV Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time Twenty-Ninth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXX Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXXI Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXXII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
XXXIII Domingo de Tiempo Ordinario
Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Feast of Christ the King (Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time)
Fiesta de Cristo Rey
Feast of Christ the King (Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time) Feast of Christ the King (Thirty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time)
Other Feasts Throughout the Year
Feast of Mary, Mother of God, January 1, Annually
Fiesta de María, Madre de Dios
The Presentation of the Lord
(Notes include a four-hundred-word homily starter based on the three readings.)
The Baptism of the Lord
Feast of Sainst Peter & Paul (vigil), Years A, B, & C
Feast of Sainst Peter & Paul (morning), Years A, B, & C
Feast of the Transfiguration, Years A, B, & C
Vigil of the Assumption, Years A, B, & C
Feast of the Assumption, Years A, B, & C
Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Years A, B, & C
All Saints (November 1, Years A, B, & C)
All Souls (November 2, Years A, B, & C)
Dedication of the Lateran Basilica (November 9, Years A, B, & C)
Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Years A, B & C
Birth of John the Baptist, Vigil, Years A, B, & C
Birth of John the Baptist, Years A, B, & C


Gregory Warnusz creates Lector's Notes, with support from his wife Peg, the former Margaret A. Sampson.
Peg and Greg are members of Holy Name of Jesus Parish, northeast Saint Louis County, Missouri, USA.

What are Lector's Notes, continued

The author, grateful beneficiary of a seminary theological education, also writes the Notes in order to deepen his own understanding and love of the Scriptures, and in hope of sharing that appreciation with an audience already interested in the Scriptures. The author assumes every lector will want to know what he or she is talking about, just as one would for a presentation at work, or in a college seminar. The background of a Lectionary passage is often complicated, so the notes are challenging, but they're always clear.

To read a set of recent Notes, with links to the Scripture readings they cover, click on a date in the table at the top center of this page. To review any Notes published so far, click on the name of the Sunday or feast in this large table.

The Future of Lector's Notes

Here are some things I'd like to do (with, perhaps, your cooperation) with Lector's Notes in the future:
  • Improve the quality and usefulness of the Notes, basing them on a wider variety of solid scholarly commentaries
  • Add commentaries on the responsorial psalms and gospel passages
  • Start a dialogue about why we went on so long with so few attempts at creating a resource like this; in other words, ask why nobody demanded such a thing (pace the few publishers of printed lector's guides)
  • Link to other web resources of use to lectors
  • Add homily suggestions distinct from the lector-oriented commentaries (which I try to keep non-homiletic)
  • Establish a foundation, or a board of directors, which would continue publishing Lector's Notes if I am unable to do so


Browse the author's home page.

Send the author email

Last modified: August 1, 2014