Orient Mass Readers for the Wedding Mass - Part 2

(This is the continuation of Part 1)

Mass readers are sometimes part of the entourage and, therefore, part of the procession. If so, it may be difficult to seat them separately in other pews.

Some mass readers who are attired for the bridal entourage may be adamant in not wanting to sit away from the rest of the entourage. One reason is because they don't want to be missing the entourage pew during the early pictorials with the rest of the wedding entourage.

Nonetheless, if they agree to sit on the front pews near the ambo, I tell them to mention to the mother-butlers that they are mass readers. This is because mother-butlers automatically tell those marching in the entourage to position themselves at the pews behind the wedding couple.

By comparison, if the mass readers aren't part of the wedding entourage, then there is no problem telling them to sit at the front pews near the ambo. Either case, I tell them that they could always sit in other pews after they have delivered their readings at the ambo.

How to Orient the Mass Readers

Keep in mind that there are few mass readers who have had experience in proclaiming the Readings. Some volunteer information that they're lectors in other parishes.

Many, especially those that have been chosen on the spot by the wedding coordinators, may have never proclaimed any reading before. They may naturally be nervous.

At any rate, initially treat the volunteer mass readers that they've not had any experience, but there is no need to be condescending. Be reassuring in the orientation.

Do encourage them to ask questions during the orientation. And tell them to approach you at the lectern for any other questions before the wedding mass.

What to Orient to the Mass Readers

Aside from the seating arrangement, here's what to orient to the Mass Readers:

  1. Reader Parts in the Liturgy

    The Mass Readers need to know exactly which part in the Liturgy do they start and where they end. They need to know what to say and what not to say (like for instance, not having to recite the headings). They also need to know and identify the cues in the missalette on when they should be standing to approach the ambo.

  2. How to Approach the Ambo

    Move up the stairs, stop at the ambo and face the altar to bow. Remind them to face the altar, not the priest, not the tabernacle, not the congregation - but the altar. Many seem to think that lectors bow to the tabernacle or the priest, so this needs to be reminded.

  3. Adjust the Microphone of the Ambo

    Because of the differences in the Mass Reader's height, the only real adjustment that needs to be made is the height of the microphone's head. Adjustment should be made by raising or lowering the microphone's stem, rather than the microphone's head. There is no need to tap on the microphone's head (which may damage the microphone) or say "mic test" or anything similar.

  4. Speaking on the Microphone at the Ambo

    There are essentially three things to remember when speaking into the microphone: Loudly, Slowly, Clearly.

    • Speak Loudly

      More often than not, Mass Readers tend to speak too softly at the microphone. This may largely be due to nervousness.

    • Speak Slowly

      Sometimes in their anxiousness, some Mass Readers want to "get it over with". They usually start at a slow steady pace. But then when the feeling of self-consciousness sets in midway, they rush towards the end of the Reading. This is especially when they realize the end of the Reading is still far off.

    • Speak Clearly

      Speaking unclearly is usually the result of speaking too softly, too quickly or by the mispronounciation of words. Sometimes an accent may get in the way and so I encourage a neutral accent.