205 No. Fourth Street | Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70801 | 225-387-5141 | church @ stjamesbr.org |            

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.
-- Isaiah 40:8

Lector Teams


Thank you for your participation in this ministry. We read the first and second lesson as well as the intercessory prayers at the 10:30 a.m. Sunday service. (Other service readers are separately scheduled.)

Each person must serve in three-person teams as both as a lector and an intercessor. For each Sunday service and certain holiday services, we have an assigned reader for the first (Old Testament) lesson, the second (New Testament) lesson, and the Intercessory Prayers of the People. These are called the first lector, second lector, and intercessor, respectively. The team collectively is responsible for all three readings and the team members’ assignments will be rotated within the team.

Scheduling: The assignments are made by team. Shirley Young, our volunteer lector coordinator, will recruit readers for special seasonal readings via e-mail.

We must rely on you to show up as scheduled or notify your team members in advance if you are unable to serve. That’s very important to the worship ministry at St. James. If you are expected but absent, it creates an awkward pause in the service while someone scrambles to cover your assignment. Thus, here is the procedure:

  • Examine the schedule when it is e-mailed to you and put your team’s dates on your own calendar. You can also double-check the assignments on the church’s website, here. 
  • As soon as you become aware of any date you’re scheduled when you can’t read, contact your other two team members first, not someone outside your team or the entire lector list. You may want to exchange cell phone numbers within the team to facilitate this, especially for an emergency absence.
  • Decide among yourselves who will cover for the person who is missing. If two people are absent, the remaining person reads all three parts.
  • If no one from the team is available to read on the scheduled date, the team members must find at least one sub to handle the readings. If you reach this point, please feel free to contact the entire lector list to find one, two or three subs, as you choose. However, please do not contact other lectors before you have polled your own team first as this creates a lot of extra e-mail.
  • E-mail Jo Craddock, Sylvia Rabalais, John Ozier, and Shirley Young to inform us of the new reading arrangements so the bulletin will be printed correctly no later than Thursday morning preceding the service.
  • In the event that a scheduled person on your team does not show up:
    • If the absent person is a first or second lector and is absent without notifying his/her team members, the priest who is preaching will step in to handle the reading. That priest has prepared by researching the passage contextually.
    • If the absent person has contacted the team members before the service but not in time to correct the bulletin and one of the team members has prepared the reading, that team member should tell the priest before the service that he/she will handle the reading.
    • If the absent person is the intercessor, one of the team members should cover the reading.

Download here: Fr. Joe Reynolds' notes from training session on October 23, 2016

Download here: General lector notes (similar to this page) in PDF file



There is no need to have anyone mail readings to you because they are available electronically on the church website. Preparation involves the following:

  • Read the passage assigned to you and consider it prayerfully.
  • Research the contextual meaning of the passage (the Internet is helpful).
  • Practice speaking forcefully and slowly enough to be heard and understood, but not too loud or too slow. (You do not need to memorize the reading.)
  • Look up any words you are not completely sure how to pronounce. The Internet is very helpful here.

On Sunday:

  • Arrive early to ensure that the proper passage in the lectionary is marked. If the marked page does not agree with the service bulletin, please read from the service bulletin (bring it with you to the lectern).
  • If you are the first lector, please consult the service bulletin and/or one of the priests to determine whether the psalm is sung or to be read responsively. If it is to be read, you will read it. Almost always, though, it is sung by the choir.



These readings require no prior practice; however, it is important that you read from the correct source.

The intercessor’s reading is on the lectern in church and will not be made available to you prior to the service. When you are the intercessor, it is especially important to arrive before the service to ensure that the sheet containing the intercessory prayers with names is in place on the lectern. That is what you will read from, verbatim. Use only the version marked 10:30. Please ask one of the priests, an usher, or the Eucharistic Minister before the service to help you find that version if it is missing!

If there is a baptism, the intercessor will read the baptismal service’s Prayers for the Candidate(s) instead of the Prayers of the People. The sheet containing these prayers will also be on the lectern; if they are not, just bring your prayer book with you when it is time to read. They are the “leader” part on page 305-6 in the Book of Common Prayer. The only tricky thing is the personal pronoun: them for multiple people, him or her as appropriate for a single child or adult. The pronoun is italicized in the Prayer Book to draw your attention to it, not to urge you to pronounce it louder than normal. To recap, just remember this simple formula: Intercessor + Baptism = page 305.

On Sunday:

Please follow the order of the service and be in place at the lectern when it is time to read. (That means you start toward the lectern just before the previous passage is finished.) Also please sit at the front of the church so your team members and the priests know you are there; if they don’t see you, they may assume you are absent and need to cover your part for you.


Please contact Shirley Young, Volunteer Lector Coordinator, with any questions, by email, here, or phone numbers: 225-766-7994; cell 225-921-0123.