One of the fruits of the liturgical reform following Vatican II was a renewed emphasis on the importance of the Liturgy of the Word with the treasures of the Bible opened up more lavishly.
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctam Concilium) encourages the laity to be evangelists and gives them the responsibility of actively participating in the liturgy.
While all of us are to be involved through our attentiveness in every part of Mass, some have particular liturgical roles. One of these is to be a Reader (or Lector), an office with a long and honourable history, dating back to the life of the early Church.
The Reader has a vital contribution to make to the Liturgy of the Word. The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) states that:
“When the Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself is speaking to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, is proclaiming the gospel. The readings of God’s word must therefore be listened to by all with reverence; they make up a principal element of the liturgy. In the biblical readings, God’s word addresses all people of every era and is understandable to them, and a fuller understanding and efficacy are fostered by a living commentary on it, that is to say, by the homily, understood as an integral part of the liturgical action.” (cf GIRM 29)
“The lector is instituted to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture, with the exception of the gospel reading. They may also announce the intentions for the General Intercessions and, in the absence of the psalmist, sing or read the psalm between the readings. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the lector has specific duties which they alone ought to perform, even though ordained ministers may be present.” (cf GIRM 99)
In preparation, Lay Ministers of the Word are urged to study and reflect on the appropriate passages of Scripture, trying to understand the messages contained therein to proclaim it clearly to the congregation at Mass.
Readers meet a number of times during the year to receive ongoing training in proclaiming the Word of God.
We value the services of our readers highly; and if you would like to be a reader, or would like further information, please contact Gerry at the parish office.