“In the absence of an instituted Lector, other laypersons may be commissioned to proclaim the readings from Sacred Scripture. They should be truly suited to perform this function and should receive careful preparation, so that the faithful by listening to the readings from the sacred texts may develop in their hearts a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture.” (General Instruction to the Roman Missal 101)
Community celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays and special Feast Days is enhanced by lay members of the worshipping community, who are Ministers of Word, proclaiming the Word of God to the congregation from the lectern. The experience of preparing the readings gives Ministers of the Word special insights into Scripture and can encourage some to engage in Biblical or related studies. People wishing to become Ministers of the Word receive training in breathing and voice production, working with the microphone, pronunciation, delivery etc. Volunteers are rostered for reading having regard to their declared preference for time of Mass.
As Extraordinary Ministers of the Word (or Readers) we try our best to proclaim the First Reading, the Responsorial Psalm (when it is not sung), the Second Reading and offer the Prayers of the Faithful to the best or our ability. We read at the Sunday Masses and Holy Days during the year as well as at Christmas and Easter liturgies.
We are all aware of the importance of this ministry. To help us in our ministry we receive support from the Parish enabling us to attend workshops facilitated by the Dublin Diocese on an ongoing basis. We support each other by our words of encouragement and willingness to assist at Masses if the appointed Reader is unable to attend.
Being a Reader is not an easy task. It requires practice and preparation but it is a ministry that is both challenging and rewarding.