It is the mission of a lector to be the channel through which God’s Word is made present to the faithful. Just as the Lord is present sacramentally in the midst of the congregation during the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, so too is God present in the reading of the Scriptures in the Liturgy of the Word.
Those who proclaim God’s Word in the liturgy are ministers. When you answer the call to be a minister of the Word, you enter a deeper relationship with God revealed in Scripture. A reader has the awesome duty and privilege of bringing the printed word to life, making it flesh. Your proclamation enables God’s Word to achieve the purpose for which it was sent. In short, you become a prophet, one who speaks for God. John the Baptist is your model, preparing the way of the Lord, making crooked ways straight, and rough places smooth. Finally you join yourself to the Jewish tradition which sees prayerful study of God’s Word as the worthiest of all endeavors. And as a Christian you believe that God’s words find their fullest expression in that one perfect Word – Jesus, the word made flesh. Being a lector is a very rewarding experience. It gives a person a chance to verbally share the word of the Lord with the faithful attending the Mass. It is definitely a faith-filled experience.
The Lector proclaims God’s Word to the assembly from the ambo, the table of the Word. Although the ministry is a simple one, that does not mean it is easy to do well or requires little energy or effort. The task itself is quite challenging. Not everyone is equal to it.
The Lector’s proclamation determines whether his or her service will help or hinder the hearers of God’s Word. Those who take on the the ministry of Lector are presumed to be confirmed Catholics in good standing with the Church, active members of the parish, of good faith, eager to serve and willing to engage in on-going formation. It is not presumed that they are particularly holy, exceptionally gifted, or highly skilled orators. Basic abilities, however, are required.
The Proclaimer’s Book
The Lectionary (from the Latin lectio meaning “reading” or “lesson”) is a collection of Bible texts arranged for proclamation according to the Church’s liturgical calendar. The Lector has a reverence for this holy book as the medium through which God’s Word is lavished upon the assembly. The most obvious feature of the Lectionary is its organization of readings within the liturgical seasons.
There is a three year cycle (A, B, C) of readings for Sundays that begins with the season of Advent. The first Sunday of Advent always begins a new liturgical year.
The weekday readings are set up on a two-year cycle (Year I and II). The odd years are Year I and the even years are Year II. No reading is ever isolated from the others at a given celebration. Each is carefully chosen for its relevance to a particular season, its relationship to the other readings at the same liturgy, or its appropriateness for a particular solemnity or feast day.
The Hearer of the Word
Hearers of the word should prepare as well. It is helpful if the Sunday readings are first read at home from your Catholic Bible. When the faithful come to the liturgy with a sense of how the readings unfold then the readings and homily can engage them more fully as participants.
At St. Anthony’s Church
If you think you are called to be a lector, get in touch with Deacon Joe at 781-289- 1234 Ext. 20 and he will guide you to become a lector.
If you are unable to serve on your scheduled date, please call a replacement from the list first. If you have a problem finding one, call Deacon Joe at 781-289-1234
Prayer of Lectors:
Dear Jesus, thank You for calling me to be a lector at Your Eucharistic celebrations. Let me take this role seriously and diligently prepare myself for it by studying the sacred texts before mass, and by striving to be a better Catholic Christian. By my physical action of reading, I am the instrument through whom You become present to the assembly in Your word and through whom You impart Your teachings. Let nothing in my manner disturb Your people or close their hearts to the action of Your spirit. Cleanse my heart and my mind and open my lips that I may worthily proclaim Your word.