Meeting for Readers Saint Helen’s Langside
The Context • The Church is nourished spiritually at the table of God’s word and at the table of the Eucharist: from the one it grows in wisdom and from the other in holiness. In the word of God the divine covenant is announced; in the Eucharist the new and everlasting covenant is renewed. The spoken word of God brings to mind the history of salvation; the Eucharist embodies it in the sacramental signs of the liturgy. • It can never be forgotten, therefore, that the celebration of Mass in which the word is heard and the Eucharist is offered and received forms but one single act of divine worship. That act offers the sacrifice of praise to God and makes available to God’s creatures the fullness of redemption
The Context • In the readings… God speaks to his people, opening up to them the mystery of redemption and salvation, and offering them spiritual nourishment; and Christ himself is present in the midst of the faithful through his word.
Preparing • Use the readings for your prayer • Wider context • Bible commentaries • Think of the Season • Advent: joyful expectation • Lent: loving call to repentance • Easter: solemn rejoicing • Think of the Day • Particular focus – eg. The Good Shepherd • Look at the Gospel and the First Reading
Practical • In texts that are to be delivered in a loud and clear voice, whether by the priest or deacon or by the reader, or by all, the tone of voice should correspond to the genre of the text, that is, accordingly as it is a reading, a prayer, an instruction, an acclamation, or a liturgical song; the tone should also be suited to the form of celebration and to the solemnity of the gathering. (38).
Examples First reading 2 Samuel 7:1-5,8-11,16 Once David had settled into his house and the Lord had given him rest from all the enemies surrounding him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘Look, I am living in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent.’ Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.’ But that very night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in? I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be leader of my people Israel; I have been with you on all your expeditions; I have cut off all your enemies before you. I will give you fame as great as the fame of the greatest on earth. I will provide a place for my people Israel; I will plant them there and they shall dwell in that place and never be disturbed again; nor shall the wicked continue to oppress them as they did, in the days when I appointed judges over my people Israel; I will give them rest from all their enemies. The Lord will make you great; the Lord will make you a House. Your House and your sovereignty will always stand secure before me and your throne be established for ever.”’
Examples Gospel Luke 1:26-38 The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.
Examples Second reading Romans 16:25-27 Glory to him who is able to give you the strength to live according to the Good News I preach, and in which I proclaim Jesus Christ, the revelation of a mystery kept secret for endless ages, but now so clear that it must be broadcast to pagans everywhere to bring them to the obedience of faith. This is only what scripture has predicted, and it is all part of the way the eternal God wants things to be. He alone is wisdom; give glory therefore to him through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.
Do’s and dont’s • Lectionary is always used • Eye Contact • Check page/microphone position beforehand • Be aware of changing pages • Clearing your throat • Put on your glasses beforehand! • Read only what’s there (don’t say “The second reading is a reading....”
Silence • “The word, in fact, can only be spoken and heard in silence, outward and inward. Ours is not an age which fosters recollection; at times one has the impression that people are afraid of detaching themselves, even for a moment, from the mass media. For this reason, it is necessary nowadays that the People of God be educated in the value of silence” (#66). • Even during Mass, he writes, the Liturgy of the Word “‘should be celebrated in a way that favours meditation’. Silence . . . should be considered ‘a part of the celebration.’” There should be “moments of recollection whereby, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the word of God can find a welcome in our hearts” (#66).
Silence • A reading from the prophet Isaiah…….. PAUSE • Last line of reading..........PAUSE (1,2,3).......”The word of the Lord” • Psalm: Do not say: “The response to the psalm is....” make it clear from voice and gesture. • Gospel Acclamation: Do not say: “Please stand...” make it clear from pause and gesture
Movement • If no deacon present • Process with Book of Gospels • Place on altar – move to the side • Remember to put the Lectionary on the shelf after the second reading (Gospel Acclamation if not sung) • Remain on the Sanctuary until the Prayers of the Faithful • Go to the centre, bow to the altar and return to your place
Movement • If deacon present • Come from your place in the church for the first reading: centre of sanctuary – bow to altar • Remember to put the Lectionary on the shelf after the second reading (Gospel Acclamation if not sung) • Remain on the Sanctuary until the Prayers of the Faithful • Go to the centre, bow to the altar and return to your place