Helping Young People to Proclaim God’s Word

This year I am going to make a concerted effort to have a Scripture reading proclaimed from the Bible by one of the students during every class. I plan to have the Bible enthroned in the middle of the Prayer Center as always and, when it comes time to hear a Scripture passage, one of the young people will get up, bow before the Bible, and proclaim the reading from the Bible (I will have it bookmarked). When they are done, they will place the Bible back in the prayer center, bow once again and return to their place. Hopefully, this will be one more way that the young people will learn reverence for God’s Word and make a connection to the liturgy.

To help these young proclaimers, I created a bookmark to place in the Bible that they will read from. This bookmark provides them with the words to introduce a Scripture reading (“A reading from the Book of…” or “A reading from the Holy Gospel according to…”) as well as the words to conclude a reading with (“The Word of the Lord” or “The Gospel of the Lord”)

As I always try to do, I’m providing a PDF of that bookmark should you wish to use it in your classes. Here ’tis!


Here’s the same resource in Word 97-03


About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Every week, the last part of my class I gather the students in a ‘prayer circle’ in the free space at the back of the room (getting them out of their desks) and I proclaim the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday followed by intercessory prayer. I have to admit that I don’t use a Bible. My DRE gives us copies of single page sheets for each Sunday of the year that have a short introduction, 2 lines of Psalm, the Gospel, introduction to intercessions and closing prayer, so that is what I read from. I proclaim the Gospel myself as I think sometimes a lot gets lost with a 3rd grader reading it aloud. But I struggle with that as I otherwise have the students do the Scripture readings and like that.

    I really like the way you have framed this and I am going to try your bookmark. I also admit that I put my “Sunday” pages in a folder and proclaim from there or use my Missal. Your suggestion shows me that I really should be using my Bible which I always have with me in class.

    After the Gospel, I just open it up for anyone to make an intercession. This has always been a favorite part for me. I like the other suggestion here about having the kids write out an intercession before class as their intention from the week. So, now I have 2 good ideas to add for this part of my lessons. Thanks!!!

    • Thanks for sharing, Cindy. You have a point about reading the Gospel yourself if too much gets lost with 3rd graders trying to do the reading. Perhaps when the readings are short and simple enough, you can have a child read. Also, you can have a child process with the Bible, bringing it to you on those occasions when you do the reading. I also think that it’s great that your DRE gives you a sheet with the intro, psalms, gospel, etc. You can use that as a guide for yourself and bookmark the readings in the Bible per se and proclaim them from the Bible.

  2. I’m going to try this too! I really, really enjoyed meeting you today at the Catechist Day. One of the big things I learned is “Make Class More Like Mass”. I can see how important it is to tie what we are doing in the classroom to the language of Mystery. You truly provided us with so many good tips! THANK YOU!!

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