LECTORS / PROCLAIMERS OF THE WORD

Here are some guidelines that may assist you in this ministry.

WE NEED PROCLAIMERS FOR SURE. HOWEVER, POOR DICTION & INFLECTION MAKE FOR A POOR READER. IF YOU HAVE POOR DICTION AND INFLECTION, KINDLY WITHDRAW YOURSELF.

The term LECTOR refers to someone, who in a particular liturgy , is assigned to read a biblical text. In a layperson's understanding, a lay proclaimer is not formerly installed to the Ministry of Lector. He or she has only been trained and given the competency to proclaim the Word of God - 1st & 2nd readings. The proclamation of the Gospel is reserved specifically to a deacon or, in his absence, to the priest . When choir and congregation do not sing the Responsorial Psalm, he or she may read the psalm. He or she may also be responsible in praying the Prayers of the Faithful or Intercessory Prayers. Jump to: navigation , search In some Christian churches, the Reader is responsible for reading aloud excerpts of the scripture at a liturgy . In early Christian times, the reader was of particular value, given the rarity of literacy . In the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church , the term lector is used in preference to that of a reader. The Church reserves the position of a Lector to a person who has been "instituted" as "Lector" and remains a Lector even when not assigned to read in a specific liturgical function. The office of the Lector is one of the four Minor Orders [ ] and is conferred only on those male individuals preparing for ordination to the priesthood. Instituted lectors are obliged to wear a liturgical vestment [alb or cassock and surplice ] when proclaiming Scripture readings at Mass. The Church however, does not forbid others who perform the same function to wear liturgical gowns. However, those who carry out the ministry of lector even without official investiture may go to the ambo or lectern in ordinary attire, but this should be in keeping with the customs of the different local regions and customs (cf. General Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass, no. 54).

Here are some guidelines that may assist you to be an EFFECTIVE Lector:

1. Some Scripture words are difficult to pronounce. PLEASE, check the "Pronunciation Book" in the Sacristy to ensure proper pronunciation of unfamiliar words.

2. Check to see that there is no other book on the Lectern or Ambo. If there is, please, take book to the sacristy or place it on the shelf in the Lectern.

The order changes at Christmas and Easter! During this time, the incense goes before the Cross-bearer, with the rest of the ministers following the Cross-bearer as usual.

1. Note arrangement whilst at the foot of the altar:
* Extreme left closer to the Lectern and Handrail is a Candle bearer, followed by the Lector, then the Priest, Cross Bearer and the other candle bearer.
* Any person carrying a liturgical object MUST NOT bow.
* ONLY the Priest and those who are NOT carrying any liturgical object DO bow to honour the altar.
* The Cross bearer places the Cross in its proper; the Lector places the Lectionary on the Lectern; the Candle bearers place candles in appropriate holders on either side of the altar.
* After placing the Cross, the Lectionary and candles in their appropriate places, return to your seat [altar servers to their seats in the sanctuary whilst the lectors take their seat on the front pew].

2. Prior to the readings, Father will call forward the children and their teacher for a short dialogue and blessing before sending them forth for Children's Liturgy. This depends on when there are enough children.

3. As the children leave, the first Proclaimer advances to the Lectern to proclaim the first reading. At the end of the first reading, (the Proclaimer leads the Psalm if not sung), but if the choir sings the Psalm, the Proclaimer returns to his or her pew.

NOTE: If you are leading the Psalm, it is important to stress the response to each stanza of the psalm. You may ask congregation to repeat if necessary.

INTRODUCING THE SCRIPTURE PASSAGE:
Please, no additions or colloquialisms like, "Today's reading is taken from..."

1. When the procession stops at the sanctuary steps, DO NOT bow. Persons who carry a "holy object" - Cross bearer, Candle bearer (s), Proclaimer carrying Lectionary, Thuriffer [Incense boat bearer] etc DO NOT bow. Only "Sacramental" persons NOT carrying "holy objects" - like Presider - do bow to honour the altar.

2. When approaching the ambo or lectern for the first or second reading, DO NOT acknowledge the chair. In other words, DO NOT bow to the Priest or the Bishop. Make a reverent bow to the altar or the Tabernacle and go straight to the ambo or lectern.

3. While still looking at the assembly, introduce the reading, e.g. "A reading from Exodus." Never read the scriptural caption in red, nor say "The first reading is from..." Everyone knows it is the first or second reading.

4. Each reader begins with the first announcement as is in the text: "A reading from". Pause for a moment to count 1 - 2 - 3, and then, begin to read actual text. Pause at the end of the text to count 1 - 2 - 3, and while looking at the congregation make the second announcement: "The Word of the Lord."

5. After announcing, "The Word of the Lord," take a step back from the lectern, pause and count 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 and then return to your pew.

6. At the lectern, adjust mic to your mouth level. Stand about 6 inches from microphone. Sometimes, your voice carries when you lower the mic a little below your mouth or chin. Do not place mouth too close to the mic in order to avoid echo and feedbacks.

7. Eye contact is important, but you must feel comfortable with this. Do not feel that you must look up frequently as this may interrupt the normal flow of the reading or lose your place.

8. Pace yourself properly. Read slowly but with a varied pace, tone, diction and inflexion. Presume your listeners do not have the text and still have to hear you and put thoughts together to comprehend the message you are conveying. Therefore, use prayerful pauses as indicated in the reading.

9. As a rule, a short reading should be read slowly with pauses; a longer reading may be read slightly faster but never too fast that the reading cannot be understood or lose its meaning and purpose.

HINTS FOR LECTORS

Beyond the basic professional preparation associated with any public reading, there are certain attitudes and approaches, which are unique to liturgical reading.

PREPARATION

Prepare ahead of time; read and re-read the text from the Living with Christ Sunday Missal that contains the readings for the liturgical year with you several times. Meditate on the reading and try to come to grips with its meaning. As a proclaimer, the parish provides you with a Living with Christ Sunday Missal. Please, note that you are NOT to read the Missal during mass. It is for you to practice your text at home before coming to Church.

As with all ministry volunteers, you - as proclaimers should try to be in Church at least 20 MINUTES before the actual Mass starts. While in Church, go into the Sacristy and check the Lectionary to ensure the ribbon is in the correct place for the Sunday's reading of the Liturgical year.

1. It is your responsibility to find a replacement if and when you are unable to be at Mass to fulfill your duty as Proclaimer.

2. Prior to arriving at Mass, go over the reading in the Sunday Missal. Be aware of the Liturgical Cycle of readings for the current year.

3. Carry the lectionary in procession and hold it up high above your head so that all may see the book. By your bearing and appearance, be a sign of the respect God's people should have for his Holy Word.

4. Please, leave the bookmarker/ribbon in the middle of the book. Do not flip it over or throw it off the page and unto the Lectern itself.

5. Prepare your text by carefully reading it over several times, along with the other readings of the Mass. Remind yourself about what God is saying to his people through your proclamation during the celebration. Practice your text.

6. Consult a Pronunciation Commentary Book - found in the Sacristy, and discuss your reading with others during the week before you are to read. This helps internalize the content and message.

7. Meditation By meditating on the Scripture text, the reader searches out the true meaning of the passage. This helps to give a faithful interpretation of the text when read in a liturgical celebration.

8. Pray that as Jesus' mouthpiece, God will open the hearts of his people to listen to his Word, proclaimed through you in a spirit of faith. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you proclaim God's word in the manner that is life giving and inspiring.

Practiced Readings
Reading before others demands special preparation and care. Even if the church is not a large building, you as a reader, needs to practice in a loud, proclaiming voice. Project your voice! You must practice reading the entire text until you are comfortable with the manner of your presentation.

If possible, find someone who has knowledge of liturgical reading listen to you and give help where needed.

9. Readings that are Heard
The reader should have one goal in mind -- to prepare in such a way, to proclaim in such a way, that the community simply has to listen to what the reader has to say. 10. Proclaim the Word of the Lord with dignity and reverence. Read slowly, with adequate volume. The lectionary text is structured into "sense lines" to help you proclaim well.

Remember that the Lord is speaking to his people through you.

Personal Word
1. Try as a reader to make the reading come ALIVE as a message for today, as a true celebration in faith, and as a personal word. LIVE what you proclaim. Strive to put into practice what you read to the community. Pray for deeper faith and stronger love. The Lord is heard more clearly, when what you read is verified by the way you follow him in your daily life.

2. Service
In the Liturgy, you as proclaimer, are the carrier of the Word of God and bringer of Good News to God's people. It is a great privilege and honour to proclaim God's Word to his people at the Eucharist. The reader should bring to the task of reading a deep sense of service to those for whom he/she reads, a profound respect for the Scriptures and dedication to excellence.

3. Proclaim God's Word as you are the Real Joy to God's people. Joy is the heart of good celebration. As proclaimer, you are a central figure in the celebration. Therefore, you must try to carry that joy and share it with the assembly by facial expression, quality of voice and manner of presentation.

Work on vocal elements: [check with my evaluation]
1. Pronunciation,
2. Enunciation, diction, articulation, accent, elocution
3. Inflection
4. Elucidation, clarification, illumination, explication
5. Pitch
6. Mood,
7. Pace,
8. Timing,
9. Emphasis,
10. Convincing
11. Inspiring
12. Not Boring
Proclaimers: The Lectionary is NOT carried in procession.

1. Five minutes before Mass begins, all those involved in ministry will gather with Presider in the Sacristy for a short prayer: "Prayer in preparation before Mass."

2. After the Ministers Prayer, the Community Leader or Commentator will go to the ambo or lectern and introduce the Mass, including the gathering song.

3. After "Prayer after Communion," the Community Leader or Commentator goes to the ambo or lectern with the announcements of the day.

4. Do not leave "Announcement and Intercessory Folder" on the ambo.

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