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Dave Buckley wrote:

Hi, guys —

In the Mass, when the lector reads the Epistle, the author is referred to as Saint, i.e. St. Paul but when the priest reads the Gospel, the word saint is not used. Rather, he says, the Gospel according to Mark and not St. Mark, or St. Matthew, etc.

  • Why is that?


Dave Buckley

  { Why are the authors of the Epistles introduced as saints when the authors of the Gospels aren't? }

John replied:

Hi Dave,

I don't think there is a hard rubric or rule. I also don't think it's necessarily an indication of (piety or lack of piety) on the part of the lector, reader, Deacon, or Priest. I think it just might be:

  • a matter of personal style or
  • it could be that, in this case, the book containing the readings is different than the Book of the Gospels and it's just the way it reads in the two books.

That sort of thing might be left to the (editor|publisher) and not an officially mandated rubric.

I've never really observed a pattern like that where the author is called Saint or not as being specific to an Epistle versus a Gospel reading. I think it might be a personal preference.

I've heard a pretty big range from:

  • Reading from St. Paul to the Romans, to a
  • Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, to a
  • Reading from Paul to the Romans, to a
  • Reading from the Letter to the Romans, and
    just about every other possibility.

The same goes for Old Testament Prophets. Some say the book of:

  • Isaiah
  • the prophet Isaiah
  • the Holy Prophet Isaiah.

And of course the same holds true for the Gospels. I've heard:

  • according to Mark and
  • according to St. Mark.

I hope this helps,


Dave replied:

Hi John,

Yes it did.

Also I looked at the book which our parish uses from which the readings and the Gospel are read.

The publisher uses saint in all readings except for the Gospel.

Thank-you again.


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