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Lector in Vestments at Mass

I had a pleasent surprise for the beginning of 2003 today. The reader at the Melbourne cathedral was in the entrance procession, sat in the sanctuary and wore vestments.

The Roman Missal describes this as the way things should happen, but little was done to implement it, at least in Australia. In 1981 the Lectionary for Mass, n. 54, made the wearing of vestments optional, unless the reader was an Instituted Lector.

Rarely have I seen a reader in vestments do the first reading at the Melbourne cathedral.

Why did it happen today? The impression I got is that the usual reader from the pews was not there, so one of the altar servers stepped in to do the reading. But I could be wrong. Perhaps he was an Instituted Lector and the liturgical books were faithfully followed by him wearing vestments, being in the entrance procession and sitting in the sanctuary.

It worked well. Why wasn't it implemented in 1970? Why was the idea opposed in my tribunal case of 2000? Why didn't the Vatican do it for the Christmas Midnight Mass of 2002?

If this is sorted out the operation of the Catholic Church will not suddenly be perfect. But it will mean the removal of an important imperfection.

By J.R. Lilburne, 1 January 2003. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.