"But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?" Romans 10:14
A Reader is a man or woman trained to proclaim the Word of God during Holy Mass or other liturgies. Those exercising the Ministry of Reader assist in proclaiming God's Word in Divine Liturgy (Mass) and in Prayer Services, so God's People may believe by hearing. Readers have a special role in all liturgies. They proclaim the First Reading (Old Testament), assist with the Responsorial Psalm, and proclaim the Second Reading (New Testament) at Sunday Mass.
Readers receive special training in the area of public speaking and proclamation, to assist them in their ministry. They are asked to arrive at Sunday Mass at least 10 minutes prior to Mass beginning.
Because they assist in the santctuary, the apparel worn by Readers should be appropriate for the day and the ceremony which they are attending. They should use the 10 minutes before Mass to familiarize themselves with any Rites that may occur during the Mass. Using Romans 10:14 as their guide, their task is to keep the Community of Faith well-focused during the "Liturgy of the Word"--in preparation for the preaching of the day.
As the final words of the "Opening Prayer" (Collect) are being prayed ("Through Christ our Lord."), the First Reader slowly and reverently goes to the center aisle, bows, then approaches the ambo/pulpit. The intent is to exercise an "economy of movement" (eliminate extended pauses) during the Liturgy. After the assembly is seated, the First Reading begins. At the end of the Reading, there is a brief pause, then the Reader says, "The Word of the Lord." The assembly responds, "Thanks be to God." The Reader waits as the Psalm Response is sung by the Choir, then reverently proclaims the Psalm of the Day--pausing after each verse so the Psalm Response may be sung by the Choir and assembly.
At the end of the Responsorial Psalm, the Reader reverently leaves the sanctuary, goes to the center of the aisle, and will be joined by the Second Reader. Both reverence the altar of God with a bow. As the Second Reader enters the sanctuary, the First Reader takes his/her seat. The Second Reader then proclaims the New Testament Reading of the Day in the same manner as the First Reading was proclaimed. At the end of the Second Reading, there is a brief pause, then the Reader says, "The Word of the Lord." The assembly responds, "Thanks be to God." The Lectionary is placed on TOP of the Credence Table, to ready the ambo to receive the Book of the Gospels carried in procession by the Deacon or priest.
While performing their ministry, Readers should speak to the assembly in an intentional and clear voice, saying, "A Reading from the Book of Genesis..." (or the proper intro to the Reading). Then in an intentional, clear manner read the Scripture passage of the day. When finished, give a brief pause, then say "The Word of the Lord". Do NOT turn the microphone off when finished, please leave it on. Reverently return to your seat in the assembly.
Those wishing to serve as Readers should call the Rectory (773.238.6800) and leave your name and phone number for Mrs. Fiona Fletcher, Coordinator of Readers.