My word shall not return to me void...
It is an ancient teaching in the Church that Christ is truly present in His Word: the Word that is spoken, heard and acted upon. The Lector proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ, making God present to the gathered community.
The ministry of Lector does require some native abilities in public speaking. However, comfort with public speaking, while an important gift, does not in itself render a person capable of effective liturgical proclamation, for our purpose is to celebrate the faith shared by the worshipers.
A willingness to study the Scriptures and time to pray with the readings before each liturgical assignment are necessary commitments for a Lector. The degree and kind of relationship that lectors establish with the Word is the wellspring of their service.
The Rule of St. Benedict advises us: “anyone can read Scripture in public; only a believer can proclaim them”.
"As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
So is my WORD that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
"It is necessary that those who exercise the ministry of reader, even if they have not received institution, be truly suited and carefully prepared, so that the faithful may develop a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture from listening to the sacred readings." Their preparation must above all be spiritual, but what may be called a technical preparation is also needed. The spiritual preparation presupposes at least a biblical and liturgical formation. The purpose of their biblical formation is to give readers the ability to understand the readings in context and to perceive by the light of faith the central point of the revealed message. The liturgical formation ought to equip the readers to have some grasp of the meaning and structure of the liturgy of the word and of the significance of its connection with the liturgy of the Eucharist. The technical preparation should make the readers more skilled in the art of reading publicly, either with the power of their own voice or with the help of sound equipment. (General Introduction to the Lectionary)
In initial lector formation, the journey of a lector is discussed with guidance in ways each lector can pursue growth in spirituality, liturgical understanding, scriptural knowledge and technical skills to become ever more effective as a minister of the Word.
In addition, a lector at St. Jude must be a baptized and confirmed Catholic in good standing with the Church, over 16 years of age.
Sessions for new lectors are scheduled 3-4 times per year or by appointment. Please contact the ministry coordinator below for more information.
Download the most recent revision of Lector Guidelines.
Biblical Pronunciation Guide:
To participate in this ministry, contact Victoria Sublette.