First, some background info:
When I became a Christian at age 25, I was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran church. After I married, I had some unfortunate experiences with the Lutheran churches in my new neighborhood, so I joined a wonderful, dynamic Presbyterian church. After we moved to the suburbs, I continued with another Presbyterian church, which I have attended for 12 years. I am now an ordained elder and regularly read Scripture at the Sunday service.
While I love the Presbyterian church, I do miss two things: a) a daily Matins service, and b) the Lutheran liturgy (which, obviously, is very similar to the beautiful Catholic mass). I would gladly attend any weekday morning service at a Lutheran or Episcopalian church, but there are none provided in this area. The Catholic churches here are the only ones that offer daily services, so I have been attending the 9 a.m. mass at one of the Catholic churches fairly regularly since last May. I enjoy being with a community of believers on a daily basis, and it helps me a great deal to get the day started on a good spiritual note.
The other day, one of the the regular lay readers approached me after Mass and very graciously asked me if I would like to be a reader. I replied that I would like to do so, but I did not know if I were allowed, as I am not Catholic. She said she would speak with one of the higher-ups at the church to see if this would be possible.
The next day, she told me that it would not be possible for me to be a reader because I am not Catholic, but said that I would be very welcome to continue attending Mass and hoped that I would continue to get something out of it.
So, my question is, what is the reasoning behind only Catholic being able to read Scripture at a service in a Catholic church? At our Presbyterian church, anyone who accepts Jesus the Christ as Savior may take communion or be a reader. I know why non-Catholics can’t take communion, but I don’t know the reasoning behind not being able to be a reader, and I don’t see it anywhere in the Catechism.
On further thought, I remembered that I had served as a reader at both my brother’s and at one of my nephew’s weddings, each of which had a Catholic nuptial mass. Was this also incorrect?
If you are still with me after reading this mini-novel, bless you! I am looking forward to reading your answers.