Lectors and Chalice Bearers


Lectors, Intercessors, Chalice Bearers, and Lay Readers facilitate the worship of the church by reading from Holy Scripture, offering prayer, and leading various offices of the church.

A Lector  is trained to read from Holy Scripture, and may assist in the administration of the chalice.  No special licensing is required.

An Intercessor leads the Prayers of the People and may assist in ministering the chalice.  No special licensing is required.

A Chalice Bearer  receives the elements of bread and wine at the altar, and helps administer the chalice during the Eucharist. A special license from the diocese is required.

A Lay Reader may read from Holy Scripture, Lead the Prayers of the People, assist in the administration of the chalice, and officiate at Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and under special circumstances  The Burial of the Dead.  Special licensing is required.  In addition, Lay Readers may also hold an additional license to preach.  In emergency situations, the wardens of the church will serve as Lay Readers of the congregation.

Members of Saint Mark’s verger’s Guild are all licensed Chalice bearers and Lay Readers.

Go to the Liturgical resources page HERE.




“The Five P’s of Liturgical Participation”



Before the service, read over whatever you are to read.  If you are reading a lesson or epistle, read the passage until you are sure you have a sense of the entire reading and its biblical context.  You may rest assured that you will communicate your sense of the reading or your lack of it.  Another word beginning with ‘P’ that is always an appropriate element of preparation is prayer.  Prayer and study make a remarkable difference.


Present the reading to the congregation with enthusiasm, respect, and a touch of drama.  You have thirty seconds to either engage or loose attention.


Make every effort to pronounce every syllable of every word in the reading, but pay special attention to last syllables.  Last syllables (with the exception of “S”) tend to get swallowed up in a large building.  Ephesians will come out sounding very much like “Feez”.  Three syllable pronunciations of Jesus are to be avoided, however.


Different types of readings should be paced differently.  Narrative readings should be paced in such a way as to maintain the tension and drama of the narrative;  epistle readings should have a more conversational pace; poetry should suggest its own pace; and prayers should proceed at a deliberate but dignified pace.  Trust the reading to suggest its own pace to you, but read everything more slowly than you think you need to read it.


This is the Greek word for breath and spirit.  The most important thing you can do when you read is breathe.  It will relax you, slow your pace, give you confidence, and put volume and energy into your reading.  Finally, read with the spirit.  Bringing God’s good news to people is a joyous task and privilege.  Enjoy!  In the words of John Donne:  “When I am about the Lord’s work,  I look back and find it well done indeed.”