I recently became a member of our parish Liturgy Committee. At my first meeting, plans were made for a celebration which included the proclamation of the Gospel by a lay person during a liturgy of the word at which a priest would be present. I do not think that this is permitted, however no one else seemed concerned by this. Am I correct or have there been more recent guidelines?
Among the duties proper to the deacon is the proclamation of the gospel (See General Instruction of the Roman Missal 175,212; Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass 50; see Ceremonial of Bishops 24). In the absence of a deacon, a priest may proclaim the gospel (See General Instruction of the Roman Missal 212, Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass 49).
In the absence of a priest or deacon, several of the liturgical books make provisions for a lay minister to proclaim the Gospel, most notably Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest and the Book of Blessings. The Introduction to the Book of Blessings addresses your question most directly:
"...whenever a priest is present, it is more fitting that the office of presiding be assigned to him and that the deacon assist by carrying out those functions proper to the diaconate." (Book of Blessings 18)Therefore, in the presence of a priest, deacon, or bishop it is not permitted for a lay person to proclaim the Gospel or indeed to fulfil any of the functions proper to their offices. This, of course, reflects the ancient tradition of the Church as expressed by the fathers of the Second Vatican Council:
"In liturgical celebrations each one, minister or lay person, who has an office to perform, should do al of, but only, those parts which pertain to that office by the nature of the rite and principles of the liturgy." (Sacrosanctum Concilium 28)
I hope this answers your question amd that you have a good experience on the parish Liturgy Committee.