Reciting the subtitle of a reading at Mass?


#1

Dear friends,

As an infrequent reader at my parish, I have tried to discern the proper way of announcing the Readings at Mass.

Usually the process is: “A reading from the X of Y.” [Reading…]

… but some lectors begin by reciting the little red subtitle that appears under the Biblical chapter-verse citation. For example, the second reading at Mass tomorrow would go like this:

“*Death has been swallowed up in victory. *
A reading from the 1st letter of Paul to the Corinthians.” [Reading…]

I thought it was just a rubric-description of the theme of the passage, but many lectors recite it aloud to the congregation. Many also do not.

Does anyone know what the proper, reverent, liturgical rule is?


#2

That seems weird that someone would read it that way. I don’t know if there is any rule prohibiting it, but I think it’s pretty common knowledge just to start with “A reading from…”

The red text just provides the main idea of the passage.


#3

The line is a blurb that missalette companies provide. It should certainly not be read aloud.


#4

Agreed, but, if it is it’s not the end of the world!


#5

Maybe this would be a great time for you to volunteer to train the lectors?
No, it should not be read.
This speaks more to the fact that they were prepared to read. They get up there, and they read every word.
There are lector workbooks available that go into specific detail of what to read, how it should be pronounced, even when to pause and to look up. They’re a good investment for the parish. We buy them for all our readers. All 60 of them. We’re delighted when they chip in for them too. :wink:


#6

Here’s the audio link for the Daily Readings on the USCCB website:

usccb.org/bible/readings-audio.cfm


#7

Thank you for the help and the unanimous opinion.

I did think that the subtitle of the Reading was the same idea as the red subtitle beneath each Psalm in the Liturgy of the Hours. They’re thematic, not to be recited.

By the way, this red text is in the Lectionary book itself on the ambo, not in a missalette.


#8

If memory serves, in the LOTH the quotations can be recited in lieu of the antiphon.

  1. The antiphons in the psalter have been designed to lend themselves to vernacular translation and to repetition after each strophe, in accordance with no. 125. When the office of Ordinary Time is recited, not sung, the quotations printed with the psalms may be used in place of these antiphons

#9

As best I understand it, the rule is:

“Do the red. Say the black.”

Therefore, any text in red should not be recited aloud; only the text in black.

I find it distracting when the reader says, "The responsorial Psalm is … " or "the response to the Psalm is … " rather than simple proclaiming the versicle, and pausing to allow the congregation to repeat it. It makes me feel like I’m in kindergarten. :rolleyes:


#10

There is a little humor there…
Do the Red, say the Black - so let’s see them do the red…

Death has been swallowed up in victory.
A reading from the 1st letter of Paul to the Corinthians." [Reading…]


#11

Good point, but…

I tell my readers over and over and over again: “DO NOT say ‘the responsorial psalm is…’”
No matter how many times I say it, no matter what I do, they keep saying those annoying words.

No, it should not be read.
This speaks more to the fact that they were prepared to read. They get up there, and they read every word.
There are lector workbooks available that go into specific detail of what to read, how it should be pronounced, even when to pause and to look up. They’re a good investment for the parish. We buy them for all our readers. All 60 of them. We’re delighted when they chip in for them too. :wink:


#12

Those explanatory texts are not to be read aloud.

It’s bothersome that they even print them. They’re part of the official lectionary, so we’re stuck with them (not just put there by the publisher).


#13

A general rule of thumb is that anything printed in red is not read out loud.

If this wasn’t the case, then the priest would never say “Let us pray,” he would say “The priest extends hands and says Let us Pray”


#14

That’s a pet peeve of mine. The liturgical norms are quite clear that those words are not to be said.

I cannot stand “the first reading is…” either.

I often say to readers “I am confident that everyone in church is capable of counting to two. There’s no reason to tell them which reading is first and which is second. They can figure that out for themselves.” (with a smile, of course)


#15

I actually find it a point of joy when people make the mistakes - I see people wanting to participate in the Mass, learning to be part of the heavenly liturgy.
My wife can’t sing on key, and she doesn’t sing if I start a verse late for some reason, so I sing so that she will sing (she likes to sing, and with me in public), so that is joyful to hear her.
When an altar boy forgets to bring the water to the altar and the Priest is waiting, signaling with his eyes or whisper, I find that to be joyful.
When kneelers are banging as people rise for the benediction at the end of the Mass, the noise is a song of the throng around the throne like the sound of many waters.

We are children learning to ride bicycles, learning to balance, and at times we put a foot on the ground to keep that balance, like reading the red, or needing an extra prompt to bring the water to the altar, or singing off key as we seek to sing, or banging a kneeler in a moment that could be silent. All a joy in seeing the miracle of human beings doing the works of God and of Angels in heavenly worship.


#16

I’ll agree on the mistakes part. We’re human. Mistakes happen.

However, there’s a difference between mistakes and downright stubbornness. It’s one thing to read the explanation by accident. It’s quite another when people say “I’m going to read this, no matter what…” And yes, that does happen.

A few years ago, I was covering for a mission church. We had no choice but to read the readings from the paper version (long story, but there was a legitimate reason). When I knew certain readers would be there, I would take a pen and cross out the explanation. They would read it anyway. That’s not a mistake.


#17

What a great answer!:thumbsup:

I’m not saying it should not be corrected, but of all the “violations” of liturgical practices, this ranks among the most insignificant…If more of the faithful would pay attention to following the faith instead of just following the GIRM, this would be a much better world.


#18

True, yet even people who do it in stubbornness are a bit like a child refusing to ride a bike without training wheels. So what can be done? display the joy of fast cornering on a bike, leaning in a way that cannot be done with training wheels (you would tip over). And when there is desire, there is movement to fulfill the desire. The training wheels begin to seem inappropriate to the desire. There is a certain joy people find in recognizing without a cue when to stand, when to kneel, when to sit at Mass, a certain good kind of “pride”. And what could awaken that same desire in a lector, to be “privy to the Red text” as an “insider” to the workings of the Mass, yet read the black text to the congregation? Who knows - it is place for inventiveness, especially with stubborn people.


#19

LOL. I was with you on your original statement until I got to the “banging of the kneelers” part.
People would not act like this at a friend’s house or their own place. But in church?
Especially on Good Friday. Let us kneel, let us stand…bang bang bang.
Drives me bonkers, personally…just my 2 cents. :o


#20

I don’t know if this would have helped but one of my bosses used to use red pen with a big “N.B.” on it to make his point. (Of course, a few would ask him what N.B. stood for. Made them remember better, I theorized.)

Nota Bene (Latin for “note well.”)


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