White Robed Monks of St. Benedict

The Institution of Reader

May the peace of Christ be with you and yours.

Introduction to Holy Orders and Institutions

Ministry means "service." The Church is the People of God (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, II) who engage in a variety of ministries (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, n. 18; Decree on Ecumenism, n. 2). All human beings, by Baptism, share in the ministry of Christ as prophet, priest, and king. "Everything which has been said so far concerning the People of God applies equally to the laity, religious, and clergy."(Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, nn. 30). We limit our conversation here to the first of two Institutions leading to the ministry of Orders. These two institutions are open to all Christians, not necessarily just those preparing for Orders. This first Institution is that of Reader.

The reader is responsible for the reading of the Scriptures (except for the Gospel) during liturgical assembly. The reader may also direct the singing and present the general intercessions when a deacon or cantor is absent. The reader may also prepare another member of the faithful to read the Scriptures on a temporary basis.

To explain these ministries, we offer you from The Roman Pontifical, the slight editions, the instituting bishop's (or the major religious superior's) homily to and the Prayer and Institution of the candidate.

After the Liturgy of the Word:

Deacon or priest says:
The person to be instituted in the ministry of reader please come forward.
Candidate responds:

Dear child in Christ, through his Son, who became a human being for us, God the Father has revealed the mystery of salvation and brought it to fulfillment. Jesus Christ made all things known to us and then entrusted his Church with the mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world.

As a reader and bearer of God's word, you will assist in this mission, and so take on a special office within the Christian community; you will be given a responsibility in the service of the faith, which is rooted in the word of God. You will proclaim that word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in faith, and prepare them to receive the sacraments worthily. You will bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it. Thus with your help human bens will come to know God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ, whom he sent, and so be able to realize eternal life.

In proclaiming God's word to others, accept it yourselves in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures, and in all you say and do show forth to the world our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Then all stand and the bishop, without miter, invites the people to prayer:
Brothers and sisters, let us ask God our Father to bless this servant who has been chosen for the ministry of reader. Let us pray that this human being may be faithful to the word entrusted to (him/her), proclaim Christ to the world, and so give glory to our Father always Present.
All pray in silence for a brief period


Then the bishop, with hands joined, continues
Lord God, source of all goodness and light, you sent your only Son, the Word of life, to reveal to humankind the mystery of your love and compassion.
+ our (sister/brother) who has been chosen for the ministry of reader. Grant that as (he/she) meditates constantly on your word, (he/she) may grow in its wisdom and faithfully proclaim it to your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Candidate goes to the bishop, who gives the candidate a Bible, saying:
Take this book of holy Scripture and be faithful in handing on the word of God, so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people.
The reader responds

The Liturgy of the Eucharist continues...

Institution of Acolyte
Order of the Episcopate
Order of the Presbyterate
Application for Holy Orders
The Monk's Brochure
The Network's Brochure

White Robed Monks of St. Benedict
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