There are seven stages of preparation for the priesthood, involving the reception of “orders”. Four of these are known as “minor” orders, while the last three are the “major” orders, namely, subdiaconate (now defunct), diaconate and priesthood. One of the minor orders is lector, the official naming of a person as worthy and competent to read the word of God. Thus any reader – lay or otherwise – plays an official and important role in the liturgical life of the Church.
Readings should always be prepared, so that the reader has a sense of what he/she is about to say, and has a chance to refer any unusual words or pronunciations to the priest (assuming that he is equally competent). Public reading is a skill. Often the reader considers him/herself to be reading too slowly, but consideration must be given to the fact that their listeners have no written script in front of them, and are totally dependent upon what they hear. The voice also needs to be raised considerably too; after all, it’s the word of God which is being announced and proclaimed. There is always a dearth of readers, so volunteers will be appreciated. You will undergo some training in public speaking. You may have noticed that some of our young people in 6th Year at O.L.H.S. have taken on this ministry for their Caritas Award. I only hope and pray that they will continue with it after they have done their required minimum of twenty hours. If you are interested in becoming a reader, speak to me (Fr. Harry) after Mass.