[quote="CatholicZ09, post:7, topic:170694"]
At my church, you are not allowed to become a lector until you've received your Confirmation. I don't know if that is an official rule or what?
I know at most parishes they accept high school aged children to become cantors.
It may be a diocesan rule or it may be simply your parish's rule. Considering some parishes have Confirmation and First Communion together that would still leave children of 7 as readers.
Don't get me wrong, I've heard some who were only 8 or 9 proclaim beautifully, but they were the exception.
In my experience, and I'll admit that may not be most people's, if children volunteered they got to do whatever they volunteered for, whether or not they were qualified to do it. And they never had to follow the rules, rule like 'you read from the Lectionary, not a piece of paper.' If an adult had volunteered, he/she would have been trained but because they were kids, no such training was required. Mom & Dad were expected to prepare them.
The final straw was the Sunday when a boy went up to read and he couldn't read. Someone had to go up and stand with him and whisper each word as he stumbled to sound it out. After that disaster the pastor put an end to children reading unless it was specifically a children's Mass -- and we rarely, if ever, had those.
In the last couple of years children have begun reading again, usually at Masses like the Christmas 'Family Mass' on Christmas Eve. They are usually a bit older, screened first, and then trained within an inch of their lives by the new liturgy coordinator. They are not simply thrown into that ministry because they happened to volunteer.
If the purpose of the ministry is kept firmly in mind and a child can adequately serve in that capacity, great! I do not agree with bringing children into a ministry simply to get them involved, something I hear too frequently. They are already 'involved', they are part of the congregation participating in the Mass.