“To accomplish so great a work, Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, “the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross”, but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20) ” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, n.7)
It is clear from the quote above from the Second Vatican Council that in proclaiming the word of God, readers exercise their responsibility by mediating the presence of Christ. God speaks to the assembly through them; the reader has responsibility for not just simply reading the word, but assisting the assembly to hear it. Readers should always be attentive to the assembly, and careful to allow for times of pause and silence as the assembly prepares to listen and, once the word has been proclaimed, as it takes the word of God to heart.
The impact of God’s message will depend on the reader’s conviction, preparation, and delivery. Reverence toward the Scriptures is important; the Church sees an intimate link between “the table of God’s Word” and “the table of the Eucharist.” From the first, the divine covenant is announced and the Church grows in wisdom; from the other, the covenant is renewed and the Church grows in holiness.
In exercising the ministry readers encounter a rich abundance and variety of style of readings. Each inspired author reflects upon the mystery of God’s presence and action in human history in their own style. The writings contained within Sacred Scripture use a wide arrange of literary styles to communicate the message of salvation. These range from narratives and the poetry of the psalms to prophetic oracles and parables; from theological expositions to apocalyptic visions. So readers are called to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Sacred Scripture to perform their ministry with sincere, genuine humility and service to both God and the people to whom he chooses to reveal himself.
John the Baptist, the precursor and role model for readers
A model of ministry for readers is John the Baptist who had to decrease so that the Messiah could increase (cf. John 3:30). It also was said of him that, “He was not the light, but came to testify to the light” (John 1:8). Readers are called to serve the community and give faithful testimony to the Word; they must put aside personal agendas and needs.
The duty of readers in All Saints
Readers are delegated the task of proclaiming God’s word during the Liturgy of the Word in parish liturgical celebrations. From time to time they may also be asked to guide the community in prayer through the Prayer of the Faithful. Typically this involves:
- proclaiming the First Reading a liturgies
- leading the Responsorial Psalm when no Cantor is available
- proclaiming the Second Reading at liturgies
- announcing the Prayers of the Faithful (Bidding Prayers) as an invitation the other community to pray
Who may become a Reader?
“The faithful should not refuse to serve gladly the people of God whenever asked to perform some particular ministry or role in the celebration.” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal n.97)
An indication of the skills required of readers is given in the description above. All Saints welcomes readers from all sections of our parish both young and old, male and female, married and single, able and disabled.
Adult Readers should be baptised, have made First Holy Communion and Confirmation (the latter two in the Catholic Church), be regularly participating in the life of and be in good standing within the parish.
Young People are especially welcome to take part in the ministry of Reader and should be encouraged to do so after they have been confirmed.
Becoming a Reader in All Saints
If you would like to register your interest to serve the community in this way, please contact the parish office or complete the form below.