I inquired at my parish to be a lector


#1

...and now I'm having second thoughts.

I've always been told I have a good voice. My counselor even suggested awhile back that public speaking would be good for me.

Something yesterday told me to email the rectory and inquire about being a lector. They invited me to do it. However, I now realize that I'll have to walk down the aisle with the procession.

I haven't read or been in a procession in church for many years. I would like to read, but I don't want to be on display in the procession. I'm not the best parishoner and Catholic, too.

Maybe I should back out?


#2

The readers in my parish don’t process. In fact, only the altar boys and priest are in the procession. Our reader sits in the very first pew near the ambo and just gets up at the proper time to read. Perhaps you can do something similar? Ask your priest. Being a reader shouldn’t have to mean that you must be in the procession.


#3

[quote="Mrs_Sally, post:2, topic:309564"]
The readers in my parish don't process. In fact, only the altar boys and priest are in the procession. Our reader sits in the very first pew near the ambo and just gets up at the proper time to read. Perhaps you can do something similar? Ask your priest. Being a reader shouldn't have to mean that you must be in the procession.

[/quote]

That sounds like a better idea. I'm fairly-new at this parish, and it has many Sunday masses.


#4

At our parish there are three positions each week. One is the prayer lector who reads the opening announcements and the prayers of the faithful. One reads the first reading (and carries the lectionary in if the deacon isn't there), and one reads the second reading.

Do the readers at your parish read both readings for the week? If not, maybe you can start out doing just the second reading until you are more comfortable "being on display". If this isn't an option, maybe you should pray about whether you are truly called to be a reader??? :shrug:


#5

Another thing to consider is that during the procession, a lot of people are looking down reading the music for the opening hymn. Also, most people are self-absorbed and worrying about themselves. Most won't even remember you unless you do something major like trip and fall down the aisle, taking out a couple of altar servers and the priest along the way.

Just my :twocents:


#6

I have served my parish as a Lector for for many years. Just a few thoughts:

Read and reread your readings before mass. Read the full chapter the readings are contained in to find the context. Check out the references to your readings. Decide what the readings mean to you and your life. Make it a point to live the message of your readings in your life as best you can.

Read with little flourish and emphasis but rather read with conviction and simplicity letting God's word speak for itself. It is a great privilege to know that God will affect others lives through His words through you.

Try reading for a small daily mass for your first time. Have someone attend whom you know and love and read to them. This will help with anxiety.

Above all, follow God's prompting and proclaim His word. He is counting on you and through this ministry, He will bless others and of course you.


#7

[quote="SHoJ, post:5, topic:309564"]
Another thing to consider is that during the procession, a lot of people are looking down reading the music for the opening hymn. Also, most people are self-absorbed and worrying about themselves. Most won't even remember you unless you do something major like trip and fall down the aisle, taking out a couple of altar servers and the priest along the way.

Just my :twocents:

[/quote]

:rotfl:

I think I'll ask if I could do the 2nd reading. They usually have different people doing the first and second readings there.


#8

[quote="JoyIsLikeRain, post:1, topic:309564"]
I'm not the best parishoner and Catholic, too.

[/quote]

You mean you're a sinner like everyone else in the pews? Sounds like you're in the right place.

Seriously, though: you should be in good standing with the Church (ie, you're not a: notoriously pro-choice politician, notorious adulterer, mass murderer, cohabiting with BF/GF, divorced & remarried w/o annulment, etc....) and I'd highly recommend frequenting confession to stay in a state of grace. But unless your being a lector will be a source of scandal then I'd say you're being too hard on yourself.


#9

Sometimes the devil disguises himself as anxiety.
Be not afraid. :thumbsup:
:byzsoc: :crossrc: :signofcross: :gopray: :gopray2:
I'm praying for you.


#10

[quote="JoyIsLikeRain, post:1, topic:309564"]
...and now I'm having second thoughts.

I've always been told I have a good voice. My counselor even suggested awhile back that public speaking would be good for me.

Something yesterday told me to email the rectory and inquire about being a lector. They invited me to do it. However, I now realize that I'll have to walk down the aisle with the procession.

I haven't read or been in a procession in church for many years. I would like to read, but I don't want to be on display in the procession. I'm not the best parishoner and Catholic, too.

Maybe I should back out?

[/quote]

I am also a lector. I am assuming that your parish schedules 2 lectors per Mass. Usually, at least at the 2 at the parishes I have lectored at, the first lector walks down with the Gospel in the procession. It really is no big deal but if that makes you nervous right now, maybe you can be the second reader for a while. Honestly, no one really pays attention that much at the procession, but realize that as a lector reading, you will be the focus of attention. Speak about your concerns with the procession and I am sure that something can be arranged with. Likewise, lectors are included at the end of Mass too. My current parish, both go, the previous parish the second reader went. Check into that too.


#11

[quote="JoyIsLikeRain, post:1, topic:309564"]
...and now I'm having second thoughts.

I've always been told I have a good voice. My counselor even suggested awhile back that public speaking would be good for me.

Something yesterday told me to email the rectory and inquire about being a lector. They invited me to do it. However, I now realize that I'll have to walk down the aisle with the procession.

I haven't read or been in a procession in church for many years. I would like to read, but I don't want to be on display in the procession. I'm not the best parishoner and Catholic, too.

Maybe I should back out?

[/quote]

Sometimes the things that God calls us to are those things completely outside our comfort zone.

I had cirmunstances come around to become head server/sacristian and I was scared to death. I don't like being in front of people AT all....and I do have to process in as I carry the cross. Thing is...when I'm doing it...I'm concentrating on serving God the best I possibly can...to be as invisiable as possible...that I hardly notice the people that might be looking at me.

Seriously....really pray about it...it might just be that He is calling you to it and He will give you the strength to do whatever He calls you to.


#12

JoyIsLikeRain, if you believe you are called to be a lector, please don't back out. I agree with kcbk that "sometimes the devil disguises himself as anxiety." I believe that having anxiety means you care a great deal about what you are doing. If you didn't care, you wouldn't have anxiety. I would suggest talking to your priest about this; maybe he can allay some of your fears.

I also agree with Annabelle Marie, that "sometimes the things that God calls us to are those things completely outside our comfort zone." It took me a couple of months after hearing God's call to become a cantor to follow up on it because of fear and anxiety. Every time I fill in as cantor now, I still have some serious butterflies. I don't "settle down" until after the offertory hymn - halfway through Mass! I just keep telling myself that as cantor, I am not there to entertain but to lead God's people in song. It helps... some. I think what helps more is the 15 minutes or so before Mass that I spend in the chapel praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

The first time I was EMHC captain and had to pour the Precious Blood into the chalices (at that time it was the Precious Blood, and we used glass chalices) I had a small panic attack - palpitations and trouble breathing. My anxiety lessened over time as my priest assured me that it wouldn't be the end of the world if I accidentally spilled some. Years later, and now that it's just wine and we have metal chalices, my anxiety is completely gone.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it. BE COURAGEOUS!

I will join the others in prayer for you. :byzsoc:


#13

My Parish has two Lectors per Mass and the first Lector carries in the book and if there is a Deacon for that Mass, he carries in the book. Ask to be the second reader.

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#14

[quote="Catholic_Wife, post:12, topic:309564"]

The first time I was EMHC captain and had to pour the Precious Blood into the chalices (at that time it was the Precious Blood, and we used glass chalices) I had a small panic attack - palpitations and trouble breathing. My anxiety lessened over time as my priest assured me that it wouldn't be the end of the world if I accidentally spilled some. Years later, and now that it's just wine and we have metal chalices, my anxiety is completely gone.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it. BE COURAGEOUS!

I will join the others in prayer for you. :byzsoc:

[/quote]

In your case, your anxiety was not irrational - you were acting out of a well-informed Catholic conscience in a difficult dilemma: you knew the Precious Blood was the most precious thing on earth, and you didn't want to spill it. The problem was that this was a serious liturgical abuse (pouring the Blood instead of pre-consecrated wine), and you were being asked to do something wrong. This was the fault of liturgical leaders in the church, not you, but poor you had to suffer the consequences.

Thankfully, the Church has tightened up on these things and laymen are not put in situations that they instinctively know are "off".


#15

[quote="JoyIsLikeRain, post:1, topic:309564"]

I've always been told I have a good voice. My counselor even suggested awhile back that public speaking would be good for me.

Something yesterday told me to email the rectory and inquire about being a lector. They invited me to do it. However, I now realize that I'll have to walk down the aisle with the procession.

[/quote]

When I became a lector in the Archdiocese of Detroit many years ago, there was a special manual available along with training sessions at the ambo. Most important, and not simply because you have a good public speaking voice, is to discern the call from the Holy Spirit to this ministry.

Consider whether you have a deep love for the scriptures and the example of a life that follows them. It is sometimes difficult to proclaim God's holy word in the same spirit as the Holy Spirit inspired it.
I have listened to lectors that try to embellish the Word and utterly destroy its meaning.

Give this some prayerful thought, and if you still feel the nudge of the Lord, do not let a procession hold you back. The very first time I proclaimed the scriptures at the ambo, my knees knocked so bad I was afraid I would stumble. :eek:

.


#16

I just want to encourage you too. I am not a lector or reader, but I sit up front at Mass with my mom who is disabled. I watched one woman who started as a lector for the first time. She was visibly nervous, almost shaking when she first went up to read (and she is a teacher!). Anyway, everything went well. This was some months ago, and now all signs of nervousness are gone. She got used to it, as I'm sure you will too if you give it a go.


#17

[quote="christofirst, post:16, topic:309564"]
I just want to encourage you too. I am not a lector or reader, but I sit up front at Mass with my mom who is disabled. I watched one woman who started as a lector for the first time. She was visibly nervous, almost shaking when she first went up to read (and she is a teacher!). Anyway, everything went well. This was some months ago, and now all signs of nervousness are gone. She got used to it, as I'm sure you will too if you give it a go.

[/quote]

What I have learned in my few years a lector is that it is not me reading. It is the Holy Spirit using me as his microphone or Bull Horn. ;)
There is actually a prayer posted in the sacristy of our parish & though I don't remember it word for word says something like "Let God's word be delivered through my voice."
At our parish we have only 1 lector per mass. As lector we read the announcements before Mass, 1st reading, the Psalms during the responsorial (the refrain is sung by the choir), the 2nd reading and the prayers of the faithful.
I rarely remember being up there reading right after Mass is over. It's as though God takes over & I'm on auto-pilot. :shrug:
Again, to the OP, I will say, "BE NOT AFRAID" .
The 1st Sunday I read, the Gospel for that day was (I believe) Matthew 14 when Jesus tells Peter to step out of the boat (Our priest gave quite a homily that Sunday). That is my advice to the OP. Step out of the boat. God is with you.
:byzsoc:


#18

[quote="Sirach2, post:15, topic:309564"]
When I became a lector in the Archdiocese of Detroit many years ago, there was a special manual available along with training sessions at the ambo. Most important, and not simply because you have a good public speaking voice, is to discern the call from the Holy Spirit to this ministry.

Consider whether you have a deep love for the scriptures and the example of a life that follows them. It is sometimes difficult to proclaim God's holy word in the same spirit as the Holy Spirit inspired it.
I have listened to lectors that try to embellish the Word and utterly destroy its meaning.

Give this some prayerful thought, and if you still feel the nudge of the Lord, do not let a procession hold you back. The very first time I proclaimed the scriptures at the ambo, my knees knocked so bad I was afraid I would stumble. :eek:

.

[/quote]

I'm from AOD and that must have been many years ago because I've never seen this book! i think you are correct. deep love of scripture is a must.


#19

I been going to church about 25 adult years.

about 4 years ago i madly put my name on the readers list. my first one, i wondered if my head would stay on my shoulders etc.... I gabbled through it literally ignoring all the stuff about slowing down for the sound which i do know about. The second one I did, everyone gave me praise about how I can do it! Now I can even be given a reading five minutes before the service and will do it. We changed books in the last year and not got the new books at home. also the one service there were choices and I did ask the priest which one I should read, the day before and he was quite willing to go and select it for me, but told him, it be okay to do that next day. Next day, before the service began, He was watching out for me as soon as I was heading toward the readers stand, he came over and selected the readings. But yes, from that very first reading to now when I don't need to practice it, though obviously the sentencing does read better when I do... So yes, I can now do readings without really having seen them before the service:D

what i am meaning is it was uncomfortable at first. I still have my little anxieties before sometimes but I know I can work through them or have done so up to now. When we start something, we get cold feet at times. It is natural. It part of the process. It be worrying almost if you didn't have second thoughts. But use those second thoughts. Write them down now, in case you're asked to do some learning journal if they are still the in thing. You can capture your feelings right now and draw upon them in any assessments later.

Processsions. Most people in our church have their eye on the Priest. Yes again it nerve racking the first few times and being on the Altar is related to being on stage but you get used to it. The more you do so the easier it gets. Not everyone will see you depending where the priest suggests you sit. As an altar server I process and yes sit on the Altar. Half of the church only sees one half. Get your seat hidden by the pulpitt and even less see you. It you that feel nervous and you really do climatise. I can vouch for that. At first some will be watching you because you be new etc. But see it as encouragment and interest rather than judgemental.

And by that comment you not the best Catholic, well this sounds like you are the best Catholic to do so in that you are aware. Priests are aware of their failings and apologise as soon as they realise they've hurt someone in some way. They aren't perfect. They are human. But good ones be watching and not too big to say sorry to whomever.


#20

[quote="robwar, post:18, topic:309564"]
I'm from AOD and that must have been many years ago because I've never seen this book! i think you are correct. deep love of scripture is a must.

[/quote]

:rotfl: Yeah, 1975, in Roseville.


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