Guidelines for Proclaimers

Beyond the basic professional preparation associated with any public reading, there are certain attitudes and approaches which are unique to liturgical reading.

1. Prayer
The reader needs to ask God in prayer for the special grace to be an effective proclaimer of the Word of God.

2. Meditation
By meditating on the Scripture text, the reader searches out the true meaning of the passage. This helps to give a faithful interpretation of the text when read in the liturgical celebration.

3. Real Joy
Is the heart of good celebration. The reader, as a central figure in the celebration, must try to carry that joy and share it with the assembly by facial expression, quality of voice and manner of presentation.

4. Readings that are Heard
The reader should have one goal in mind -- to prepare in such a way, to proclaim in such a way, that the community simply has to listen to what the reader has to say.

5. Personal Word
The reader tries to make the reading come alive as a message for today, as a true celebration in faith, as a personal word.

6. Practiced Readings
To read before others demands special preparation and care. Even if the church is not large, the reader needs to practice in a loud, proclaiming voice.

7. Service
In the Liturgy, the reader is a carrier of the word of God. It is a great privilege. The reader should bring to the task of reading a deep sense of service to those for whom he/she reads, a profound respect for the Scriptures and dedication to excellence.

8. Living the Word
The reader must strive to make the word that he/she proclaims a part of his/her own life from day to day. The authenticity that flows from that is a powerful sign to others.

1. Ahead of time, read and re-read
the text from the lectionary several times. Meditate on it and try to come to grips with its meaning. (Proclaimers at St. Cecilia's are provided with a Living with Christ Sunday Missal containing the year's readings. Note that the Missal is not to be used for reading during mass.)

2. Work on vocal elements: pronunciation, enunciation, mood, pace, timing, emphasis, pitch. A glossary for pronouncing unfamiliar names can be found in the Sunday Lectionary, Study Edition.

3. Practice proclaiming the text aloud until you are satisfied that it is the way it should be, and until you are comfortable with the manner of presentation. Have someone who has knowledge of liturgical reading listen to you and give help where needed.

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