Manual of The Mother Church/Church Officers/Duties of Readers

Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy
Duties of Readers of The Mother Church and of its Branch Churches.

Article III.


Moral Obligations. Section 1. The Readers of The Mother Church and of all its branch churches must devote a suitable portion of their time to preparation for the reading of the Sunday lesson, — a lesson on which the prosperity of Christian Science largely depends. They must keep themselves unspotted from the world, — uncontaminated with evil, — that the mental atmosphere they exhale shall promote health and holiness, even that spiritual animus so universally needed.

First Readers' Duties. Sect. 2. It shall be the duty of the First Readers to conduct the principal part of the Sunday services, and the Wednesday evening meetings.

Suitable Selections. Sect. 3. The First Readers shall read, as a part of the Wednesday evening services, selections from the Scriptures, and from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

Order of Reading. Sect. 4. The First Readers in the Christian Science churches shall read the correlative texts in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures; and the Second Readers shall read the Bible texts. The readings from the Scriptures shall precede the readings from Science and Health. The Readers shall not read from copies or manuscripts, but from the books.

Naming Book and Author. Sect. 5. The Readers of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, before commencing to read from this book, shall distinctly announce the full title of the book and give the author's name. Such announcement shall be made but once during the lesson.

Readers in Branch Churches. Sect. 6. These Readers shall be members of The Mother Church. They shall read understandingly and be well educated. They shall make no remarks explanatory of the Lesson-Sermon at any time, but they shall read all notices and remarks that may be printed in the Christian Science Quarterly. This By-Law applies to Readers in all the branch churches.

Enforcement of By-Laws. Sect. 7. It shall be the duty of every member of The Mother Church, who is a First Reader in a Church of Christ, Scientist, to enforce the discipline and by-laws of the church in which he is Reader.

A Reader not a Leader. Sect. 8. The Church Reader shall not be a Leader, but he shall maintain the Tenets, Rules, and discipline of the Church. A Reader shall not be a President of a church.