Should readers bow?
"It is appropriate, however, to make a sign of reverence to the altar which is the table of the Lord and a symbol of Christ..."
Q: Do the readers genuflect to the priest when they come up to read and do they repeat this as they return to their places?
A: If the tabernacle is in the main body of the church, the readers will already have genuflected in honour of the real presence in the reserved sacrament on entering the church; there is no need to repeat this when approaching the lectern to read. It is appropriate, however, to make a sign of reverence to the altar which is the table of the Lord and a symbol of Christ or, towards the ambo to reverence the Word of God. This should take the form of a profound bow, performed slowly and deliberately from the waist from a standing position. The gesture is not repeated after reading; the reader simply returns to his or her place.
Readers do not bow to the presider. The role of proclaiming the scriptures at Mass rightfully belongs to lay people, unlike distributing communion which they do only if there are not sufficient ordained ministers. The reader should do nothing that indicates that the priest is generously granting special permission for others to perform what is really his ministry.
Whether carrying the Lectionary in procession, approaching the sanctuary to read, or standing at the ambo, it is important for readers to adopt a posture which reflects the dignity of their ministry and is neither excessively formal nor overly casual.