According to the ancient tradition and the teaching of the Church, the readings other than the Gospel are proclaimed by lay
ministers called lectors. The proclamation of the Word of God is truly a ministry in the Church. Lectors bring the living Word of God to the liturgical assembly. In and through them God speaks to the gathered faithful. The ministry of the Word, therefore, is treated seriously and with great dignity. The Word of God is not merely read during the liturgy. It is proclaimed. Proclamation is a special ministry which presupposes faith and also rouses faith in those who hear the Word proclaimed.
Lectors are fully initiated, practicing Catholics whose lives witness to the Word which they proclaim. On special occasions and for pastoral reasons, a young person who is not yet fully initiated (i.e., not yet confirmed) may serve as lector during a liturgy.