Every Mass, every liturgical action celebrated by the Catholic Church includes a reading from the Scriptures, either the Old or the New Testament, or both. While with some, as at baptisms, weddings and funerals, a priest (or the family) may select the readings from a selection offered by the Church, on other occasions as on the Sunday or weekday Masses, the readings have to be those appointed for that day. All the scripture texts that are approved to be read are contained in the three volumes of the Lectionary which, at the start of Mass, is presented open at the correct page on the ambo.
Volume I – in the maroon binding – contains all the readings needed for the various seasons and major feasts of the three year cycle of Sunday Masses.
Volume II – in the dark blue binding – contains all the readings needed for the two year cycle of weekday Masses along with the readings appointed to be read on the various saints’ days throughout the year.
Volume III – in the brown binding – contains all the readings that “Masses for various occasions”: weddings and funerals, Votive Masses for the dead, etc. It also contains the readings that can be used when the sacrament of baptism or matrimony, or a funeral service is celebrated outside of the Mass.
When Deacon Michael proclaims the Gospel from the Book of the Gospels you may be asked to remove the Lectionary from the ambo. If you are you need to be alert to what the reader/cantor is doing and be in a position where you can quickly move in to remove the Lectionary once the reader or cantor has moved away. Calmly close the book, remove it from the ambo taking care not to disturb any of the other bits of paper and place it on the bench next to you.