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Catholic Dictionary




Recitation of Bible passages at Mass during the Liturgy of the Word. By tradition the reading of extracts from the Scripture is done by an assistant. Hence the deacon, or some other priest if present, should read the Gospel; otherwise the priest celebrant. A lector reads the other extracts. Special marks of honor are paid to the reading of the Gospel, with the people standing and alternating responses with the priest at the beginning and conclusion of the Gospel reading. On solemn occasions the lectionary is incensed before the reading of the Gospel.