When the Church celebrates the Eucharist there are actually two Liturgies involved. The first of these is the Liturgy of the Word while the second is the Liturgy of the Eucharist. While more attention is rightly shown towards the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Word is still of great importance.

In our celebration of Sundays and Solemnities there are three scriptures proclaimed. The first is taken from the Old Testament (except during the Easter Season when this is taken from the Acts of the Apostles). The second is taken from the New Testament (the letters of the Apostles and the Book of Revelation). The third is taken from one of the four Gospels. For weekday celebrations there are usually two readings with the first usually taken from the Old Testament and the second from the Gospels.

And so, we come to the Ministry of Lector. Like the Ministry of Acolyte, which was covered last week, this was a restored ministry to the laity following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Unfortunately, like the Ministry of Acolyte, it was reserved to men in the seminary preparing for ordination to the priesthood. Pope Francis has just recently allowed lay men and women to be installed in these ministries although the preparation and requirements for these are extensive and usually means that most parishes continue in using men and women who are prepared for service within a given parish.

As to the requirements for one becoming a lector, first and foremost is the ability to read publicly and to proclaim clearly. This sense of proclamation is indeed essential to this ministry. The scriptures, the Word of God, in the context of the Liturgy of the Word is to be proclaimed in a manner that captivates the hearer. This not only means volume, diction, phrasing, but also the dynamic of proclaiming the message. This is not to be seen in the sense of acting, but rather being in tune with the nature of the scripture. Being aware of the type of scripture (e.g., prophecy, narrative, parable etc.) should influence the manner in which it is proclaimed. This requires that the lector be not only comfortable in reading before a crowd of people, but also be able to do it effectively. To aid in this our lectors are given a workbook that contains the scripture reading, a dictionary for pronouncement and hints for delivery and proclamation.

Needless to say, the lector has an essential role to play in the worship and praise that the Church offers to God. The ministry, done well, serves not only God, but the people of God, the church. If you are interested in joining this ministry, or if you want more information regarding this ministry, please fill out the form below, and we will contact you to let you know how you can get involved.

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