What matters most typically have a negative impact the readings at Mass?


I don’t. I read as I listen. That’s the best way for me to absorb the material.


When I’m not prepared. If I haven’t read the readings prior and then go to an EF Mass. Since I don’t yet know Latin, I follow the English readings in my missal…but if I’m prepared I like to follow the Latin so as to learn it.


You keep saying that, but again, it seems only true to you or others with the preferences you have cited, but not universally true, as attested by the numerous thread inputs that seem to indicate not all buy it.


Such an intentional changing of the reading would mean that person gets a nice visit with Father.


Oh, no, no, no. You can’t justify poorly performing readers [for whatever reason(s)] with the old “preferences” excuse. No sale.

If (for example) a reader has such a heavy accent that they are unintelligible (that has happened in my parish before), it’s wrong for them to continue (presuming their are alternatives) under the guise of “preferences.”


I am happy to hear that.

One female reader at my parish changed “brothers and sisters” into “sisters and brothers” for years. Finally things changed.

At a Sunday evening Mass, she did her little switcheroo as always – “sisters and brothers” followed by a pause and a smile. While she was pausing, from the pews boomed “Brothers and sisters! Read what is actually written!” She froze but was able to finish the reading.

The next week she and her husband were out for blood. They wanted the person in the pews to be disciplined! Yada, yada, yada. The result was that she was FINALLY told to either read the material verbatim or she would no longer read at Mass. It should not have taken this sort of incident to fix the problem.


From your accounts here, you ought to write a book. Your parish is the strangest parish I’ve ever heard of! WOW


It has taken literally decades for such things to take hold. Believe it or not, it was actually worse 20 years ago. There was a period of about 18 months where my parish did not have a pastor. A lot of very bad things took hold during that period.


I read an article recently about readers at Mass ONLY looking at the Congregation when they announce the author of the reading then for the entire reading look at the book and read and then only look up again when saying “The Word of the Lord.”. It was said to do it this way because a reader at Mass is NOT a public speaker giving a speech. They are reading the Sacred Scripture and should do only that. Also years ago when I first started reading since we also do read the Responsorial Psalm if there is no music that after the first reading pause long enough to say a SHORT quiet prayer to yourself NOT jump right into the Responsorial Psalm. Same as between the Responsorial Psalm and the 2nd Reading.


I was told years ago, I don’t know if its true but it sounds logical.

I was told that priests were REQUIRED to read the prayers off of the mass cards and missals on the altar. They weren’t allow to recite them from memory.

It would be a violation of the rules for a priest not to keep his nose to written text, the idea was to prevent errors.


I think that’s very sage advice. Eye contact while public speaking (e.g. preaching) can be extremely important. Readers aren’t public speakers though, they are public readers.

That’s good advice too.


If tthe readers are hard to understand the problem might be you. It is amazing how people have stopped mumbling since I got my hearing aids

Some things are a matter of taste. What may be too fast for some people may be just right for me. And what is agonizingly slow for me may sound reverent to someone else. Some like to listen to a plain reading while others like more tone.

If a reader is nervous pray for him or her don’t judge. They will learn to not be so nervous but it takes time


I have excellent hearing. I have it tested bi-annually. Heck, one can even do it effectively on-line using headphones and Youtube.


So… were you? :wink:


Generally I have no problem with readers. I have gone through the readings already and know them before hand. However, for suitability and dignity of the mass, they have to be well prepared themselves so that they can read with fluency.


Most people when asked to be a reader or if it is brought up that we need more readers say something like OH no I’d be too nervous or Oh no I could never do that. Well guess what anybody that can read and understand the English language has the possibility to be a reader at Mass with a little guidance and practice. I’d be MORE than happy to have some of our younger people become readers. They just have to be well trained and well prepared. If you can maybe some of you would offer to be readers at your Church.


Interesting. What would you want to happen if your priest was foreign and had a heavy accent? Perhaps he should not be allowed to celebrate mass in your parish?

Or what if he was a very slow reader, or had a monotonous voice? Would you fire off a letter to the bishop?

I hope you thank God every day that you are not like everyone else that is so imperfect.


Naw, it blew up on them. They pushed too hard for retribution. The pastor pretty much had to stand up to them – there had been years of complaints. She was finally told to read it correctly or that she was done. She’s actually done it right since.


I understand that mistakes happen sometimes. I remember reading about “fat lambs” and it came out as “flat lambs”. I had visions of these little paper doll sheep prancing around in fields. :slight_smile:

Other times, it’s an accent issue. I remember one time a reader talked about “gathering sheaves”, but it came out as “gathering shivs” and I had visions of sharpened toothbrushes. :stuck_out_tongue:

Usually, in our poor, rural parish, mistakes are just because a particular word isn’t in their vocabulary. They stumble; everyone knows what they meant; and life goes on.


One reader I remembered said immortality instead of immorality and it did give a new meaning to the reading.

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