Responsibilities of a Lector

Hi,

 I'm a fairly conservative lector at a parish that seems to be growing increasingly liberal, and I've recently run into an uncomfortable situation. Some of the Prayers of the Faithful I've been asked to read are anything but, with occasional petitions that seem to support homosexuality or refer to God in the feminine.

 I was stuck in one of these situations tonight. I didn't really have an opportunity to raise my objections with the pastor prior to Mass, and when I came to the petition in question, I carefully skipped the clause I found to be unconscionable. The pastor confronted me after Mass and was furious.

 Could I get your thoughts on this? Did I do the right thing? I would never, *ever* consider doing something like this to the Scripture reading I've been assigned (no matter how awful the translation), but must I read the Petitions that are put in front of me, even if my conscience sudders at the thought? Is this a judgment I have a right to make?

Thank you,
SCornett

[quote=SCornett]Hi,

I’m a fairly conservative lector at a parish that seems to be growing increasingly liberal, and I’ve recently run into an uncomfortable situation. Some of the Prayers of the Faithful I’ve been asked to read are anything but, with occasional petitions that seem to support homosexuality or refer to God in the feminine.

I was stuck in one of these situations tonight. I didn’t really have an opportunity to raise my objections with the pastor prior to Mass, and when I came to the petition in question, I carefully skipped the clause I found to be unconscionable. The pastor confronted me after Mass and was furious.

Could I get your thoughts on this? Did I do the right thing? I would never, ever consider doing something like this to the Scripture reading I’ve been assigned (no matter how awful the translation), but must I read the Petitions that are put in front of me, even if my conscience sudders at the thought? Is this a judgment I have a right to make?

Thank you,
SCornett
[/quote]

It’s sounds like you are a reader, not a lector.

[quote=SCornett]Hi,

I’m a fairly conservative lector at a parish that seems to be growing increasingly liberal, and I’ve recently run into an uncomfortable situation. Some of the Prayers of the Faithful I’ve been asked to read are anything but, with occasional petitions that seem to support homosexuality or refer to God in the feminine.

I was stuck in one of these situations tonight. I didn’t really have an opportunity to raise my objections with the pastor prior to Mass, and when I came to the petition in question, I carefully skipped the clause I found to be unconscionable. The pastor confronted me after Mass and was furious.

Could I get your thoughts on this? Did I do the right thing? I would never, ever consider doing something like this to the Scripture reading I’ve been assigned (no matter how awful the translation), but must I read the Petitions that are put in front of me, even if my conscience sudders at the thought? Is this a judgment I have a right to make?

Thank you,
SCornett
[/quote]

It sounds like you did the right thing, but just what was the passage you omitted?

[quote=Karl Keating]It sounds like you did the right thing, but just what was the passage you omitted?
[/quote]

As near as I can recall, the petition was

“That [non-Christians] will come to know God as a just and loving Father, and a caring and trusting Mother-- we pray to the Lord”

I omitted the clause after the comma. As I said, this isn’t quite as bad as some of the other things that have been floating around our parish lately, but it was still enough to give me pause.

Thanks,
SCornett

Yea you did the right thing its GOD the FATHER. Not some transsexual gender confused barbarian.

I get to church ahead of time…I go thru the readings a few more times after practicing for about a week. I then go thru the book of intentions that contains the more personal prayers. So far I have yet to detect such nonsense…but if I did, I would bring this up BEFORE the Mass…if the Priest tried to enforce me to read it, I would ignore him and just read the proper stuff. Whats he gonna do…FIRE ME? :cool: Being obedient to our clergy is one thing, but when we know they are in violation, we also have an obligation to tell them.

[quote=Faithful 2 Rome]I get to church ahead of time…I go thru the readings a few more times after practicing for about a week. I then go thru the book of intentions that contains the more personal prayers. So far I have yet to detect such nonsense…but if I did, I would bring this up BEFORE the Mass…if the Priest tried to enforce me to read it, I would ignore him and just read the proper stuff. Whats he gonna do…FIRE ME? :cool: Being obedient to our clergy is one thing, but when we know they are in violation, we also have an obligation to tell them.
[/quote]

Faithful 2 Rome
It sounds like you are well prepared to proclaim the Scriptures. More Lectors need to be as well prepared.

SCornett,
I would have skipped over this heresy as well. You did the right thing. If your priest fires you - at least you will know you did the right thing. I think I would have sent a copy of the Prayers of the Faithful to my Bishop so he would know what’s going on in the parish.

Blessings and Peace,
DigitalDeacon

SC,

I am pretty much in your position at my Church as well. Recently the Holy Spirit has been referred to as a “she,” eco-gaia worship type intercessions, etc. When I have read, I have made slight changes in my head and done my best to change them. I have also contacted the person in charge of writing the intercessions and expressed my disappointment and shock. We don’t even follow the basic format: Church, World, Nation, Local, other intention, sick, dead. We also have intentions open to the congregation, that can get interesting.

God Bless

[quote=Crusader]It’s sounds like you are a reader, not a lector.
[/quote]

Crusader, you made a point of making this distinction when I referred to myself as a “lector” in another thread. Indeed, in our parish – and throughout our diocese, as far as I know – those lay persons who read from the lectionary are referred to as “lectors”. Now, whether we’re called “readers” or “lectors” is something I personally have never given any thought or care to at all, but – am I missing something *really, earth-shatteringly important * here?

Does it really make any difference that we’re “lectors” instead of “readers”? Should we go to Confession for it? Anybody?

:o

As a lector in my parish, I would have done the same thing.

[quote=ecs 220]Crusader, you made a point of making this distinction when I referred to myself as a “lector” in another thread. Indeed, in our parish – and throughout our diocese, as far as I know – those lay persons who read from the lectionary are referred to as “lectors”. Now, whether we’re called “readers” or “lectors” is something I personally have never given any thought or care to at all, but – am I missing something *really, earth-shatteringly important * here?

Does it really make any difference that we’re “lectors” instead of “readers”? Should we go to Confession for it? Anybody?

:o
[/quote]

There is a difference. Check GIRM as well as

Regarding the question of reading the petitions, I think that after reading it before Mass, it should be discussed with the priest. If the priest says it must be read, then I would choose not to read at that Mass. This is line with Canon Law #212 (too long to post here)
vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__PU.HTM

[quote=S_Corda]There is a difference. Check GIRM as well as

In #230, I read the term “lector”; *Christifidelis Laici * is frankly too lengthy for me to soak up right now, but I’ll take your word for it :wink:

All in all, I’m tempted to file the whole “reader/lector” matter under “straining at gnats…”

As for the Prayers of the Faithful, I once ran across a questionable one not long ago, which referred to “…the Three Great Religions of the Bible”. There are, of course, two: Christianity and Judaism. Muslims – whether they know it or not, and though many of them are descendents of Abraham – worship the Sumerian “moon-god”, which Mohammad incorrectly identified as one and the same as the God of Abraham. As I read the prayer, I left out the word “three”, but no doubt someone else at another Mass may not have caught the error.

I also wince at “prayers” which are really thinly-disguised attempts at sociopolitical propaganda.

I was a lector for a year recently, but had to request to be let off the schedule since my wife was ill. Now I am to begin again in a couple weeks.

I would try to go over the petitions before Mass, mostly to ensure I would pronounce someone’s name correctly [sick and deceased]. I have not recalled any questionable petitions at my current parish.

I would have to say that if I ran across any: I would question the priest. If he said that it was appropraite and I disageed, then I may have to leave, because it is better that I avoid an occasion of sin for a petition that would be in violation of Canon Law.

It is sad that the priest got furious with you. May I offer a suggestion? Do no use labels, such as “conservative” and “liberal” when you discuss this. These are convenient short-hand terms, but they polarize and tend to rise the emotional temperature. In this case, the priest’s emotions apparently got the better of him.

Other responses have pointed out that ideally you should read through the intentions ahead of time so you will be able to discuss questions that you have. So, when you speak with him about this, you should apologize for not doing that ahead of time, and let him know that you intend to be available ahead of time from now on to review the readings and the intentions.

I think you did the right thing, in the moment, to omit the words that you did. By being calm and reasonable about this, you will stand more of a chance to win the heart of this priest. Perhaps he was in the middle of a bad day. Or week. Or year!

Patience. And prayer for our priests.

Arrive at least 30 minutes before Mass, read through the petitions and if you’re not comfortable with any of them, tell the sacristan, the presider to other lector reading with you to read them to the assembly. It’s not up to us as lectors to alter them on the fly. See my post at lectorresources.com/blog.html?entry=don-t-just-brush-over.

George

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