Lectors and Gospel Readers
The lector should proclaim the Word of God in a way that the liturgical assembly may hear the Word proclaimed. As the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) asserts, "when the scriptures are read in Church, God himself speaks..." #29). The virtue of hospitality demands that the one proclaiming the Word do all that he or she can to make sure that not one verse is missed by anyone in the assembly.
The implications to this demand are obvious: preparation and rehearsal are imperative. Reading and praying with the assigned Scripture are a given. During the week prior to reading, the lector should read and pray with the Scriptures daily, if possible. Become familiar with the text, its flow and its meaning. Read the sections that come both prior to and after the periscope assigned for the day. Seek an understanding of how the particular reading fits into the overall theme or message of the book of Scripture from which it is taken.
When preparing and proclaiming, be conscious of enunciation and pacing. Make sure that words are pronounced correctly and clearly, and at an appropriate volume.
Be careful to walk the fine line between "proclamation" and "dramatic performance." Avoid adding excessive hand gestures, reading at unnatural pace, or changing the voice to distinguish different "characters" speaking. This risks making the proclamation a performance, with more attention given to the lector than the Word of God.
For a lector to proclaim the Scriptures without having taken the time to read and prepare is inhospitable. To do so, in effect, is to diminish the importance of the assembly's hearing and receiving of the proclaimed Word of God: "...[H]ow shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe unless they have heard of him?" (Romans 10:14)
For more information please contact
Sr. Sandy at: (973) 379-3912
St. Rose of Lima Church
50 Short Hills Ave
Short Hills, NJ 07078