Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lector Challenge

I am a lector at morning Mass twice a week. No, not the kind of lector who is on his way to priesthood, I'm a lay lector. We are actually installed in our posts by the bishop, who designates his power to the parish, who makes sure that we can read intelligibly and clearly.

In this day's readings, we find a classic in the "what did I just say?" category of Scripture. The First Reading is Acts 13:13-25:

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
“My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak.”

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
“Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.
From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’”

Besides enjoying the truly exciting day-by-day diary of the Church between the Resurrection and the Ascension, did you spot the "lector challenge?"

It's this: With uplifted arm he led them out, and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert...

He put UP with them? (Yes, we all just said in our hearts, God does put up with us...) I do pre-read these, but who knows what will fall out of your mouth when you get into the pulpit? I have the "with" underlined in my daily Missal so when I hit that reading I get it right: "He put up WITH them."

Now, if I can overcome my fear of saying "prostate" for "prostrate."


~pen~ said...

i always find the days i do not pre-read what i am assigned, i am usually assigned something from the Acts of the Apostles concerning countries and provinces folks are from that are polysyllabic and indecipherable.

(like those descriptors??)

it is always good to read ahead, which i try to do, and aloud so you can hear how it sounds and you can work on diction and intonation. ( least i think it is good; most times, i am dashing off, hoping to make it to Mass on time :)

Therese Z said...

Yer darn tootin', and in this post-Easter daily reading cycle, we are getting bombarded with Pamphyllias and Derbes and Paphos and Lycoenians left and right!

Anonymous said...

Because I was dress extra nice, I was asked to be a lector one Sunday. No time to pre-read. I guess my stunbling over some of those words, m2, guaranteed it as a one-time gig.
With our new pastor and his take on celebration of the Mass, I'm not sure I'd know when to approach the lectern anyway.



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