The Order of the Lector has been around since ancient times and this has served as an important function since the time of the Early Christians. As explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
A lector (reader) in the West is a clerk having the second of the four minor orders. In all Eastern Churches also, readers are ordained to a minor order preparatory to the diaconate. The primary reason for a special class of readers was the need of some persons sufficiently educated to be able to read the books in church, for the Christians continued the Jewish practice of reading the Sacred Books publicly. The first mention of a Christian liturgical reader is by Justin Martyr (d. about 165) in I Apol., lxvii, 3, 4.For centuries the Order of Lector was a minor Order, an office to which a man on the path to ordination to the priesthood was ordained. In the Traditional Roman Rite, it is the second minor order (Ostiarius, Lector, Exorcista, Acolythus).
The seminarian upon receiving the Order of Lector would hear: "May you believe with all you heart and accomplish in your actions that which your lips read... As you stand erect to read, you ought also to give good example and practice a height degree of virtue than those who listen to you."
The duty of the lector is (and was) to chant the Epistle when Mass is sung without a deacon and subdeacon. This of course can only take place in the context of the Traditional Latin Mass.
Now enter the Novus Ordo and the unprecedented changes to the Sacraments.
In 1972, Pope Paul VI drastically altered the Minor Orders, essentially wiping them away and destroying much of the tradition of the Church. Indeed, one may attribute to this action the very words from Paul VI, "...the smoke of satan has entered the Church." Pope Paul VI’s motu proprio Ministeria Quaedam (1972) stated, "What up to now were called minor orders are henceforth to be called ministries." He would also state that "their conferral will not be called ordination, but institution."
Why does this matter?
As explained in a scholarly article entitled Doubtfulness of New Catholic Ordination Rite, I wish to quote from one of the latter parts of the article: "The attack on the priesthood was also accomplished in ways that are practical and demonstrative. The conciliar revolution sought to make the priest a mere leader of the congregation, by bringing him down to the people’s level in various ways, including but not limited to:
A.) The use of lay Eucharistic ministers, to make this priestly role one that anyone can fulfill; B.) The use of lay lectors for the same reason; C.) The practice of communion in the hand,to remove the distinction between the priest’s consecrated hands and the hands of laymen; D.) The practice of general absolution, to eliminate the priest’s role as judge in the sacrament of penance"
Women are now Lectors in the Novus Ordo!
Anyone that has attended a Novus Ordo Mass has likely seen women reading the readings for Mass, which is problematic enough for reasons above. But now, in a direction violation of Sacred Teachings of the Church, the Synod of Bishops in 2008 went so far as to advise Pope Benedict XVI to allow women to receive the new "ministry" of Lector! This is a stepping stone to having womenpriests within the Novus Ordo Church.
How long will Catholics continue to accept the Novus Ordo changes and regularly attend them, when in fact, they are subscribing to the Protestant practices of Luther, Kramer, and the other so-called Reformers.
My advice is relatively simple, find a Traditional Mass with priests ordained through a lineage of traditionally ordained bishops. This is now the only way to be certain of a priest's proper and valid ordination. What times we live in - how very troubling to the True Church and to our Lord. Yet so many falsely follow along with neoprotestanism in the so-called name of "obedience" when in fact we must be obedient to the Commandments and teachings of God, as revealed throughout two millenia in His Chuch, rather than follow the whims and novelties of the NewChurch leaders.