St. Paul has much to say in his letter to the Romans about those who bring the Word of God to others — “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!’” (Romans 10:13-17).
We are called to share the Good News of the Gospel and Bible in our daily lives and actions. Within our own parish, there is a special way of sharing the Word of the Lord with others, as lectors proclaim the Word of God for all to hear.
Alysha Naone began serving as a lector when she was a teenager and would attend the Youth Mass that was offered at the parish.
“The youth of the parish would fill the different roles at Mass,” Alysha says. “This was an assignment that I could help with. When I went to college, I wasn’t around much so I wasn’t active in the ministry. But when I moved back after graduation a couple years ago, I got involved again.”
For Alysha, one added benefit of proclaiming the Word is that it gives her the opportunity to dive deeper into God’s Word.
“I was never one who studied the Bible extensively, and when I began lectoring, it led me to do just that,” she says. “I connect more with God’s Word and at the same time, I enjoy finding the right tone and inflection to bring the reading to life. Through my studying of the readings, I find the way to speak it so I can reach the people.”
Some may feel they would be too nervous to speak in front of others. But this is something that many people find that they can get comfortable with over time.
“I was definitely nervous when I first started, but the more you practice and get familiar with the routine, the easier it gets,” Alysha says. “Even if you didn’t read perfectly, you know that you did something that fits with your talents and served God in a beautiful way. It isn’t about being perfect — in fact, perfectionism can hold you back. It is about your heart and your desire to proclaim God’s Word, not being perfect.”
Judy Chaput has been coordinating the Lectors Ministry for the weekend Masses over the last nine years. She says that it’s common for lectors to be nervous when first starting with this ministry — and she notes that she still gets a little bit nervous when she’s scheduled to proclaim.
“But once I sit down and read the Scripture, through that study of the readings, it becomes a prayer and the confidence of being prepared gives way to placing everything in God’s hands,” Judy says. “I have a final prayer on my way to the ambo, that I may proclaim the Word for the benefit of the people and for God’s glory. After that, I disappear and become the conduit. Being a lector is an exercise in humility.”
Those interested in serving as lectors for the weekend Masses go through a one-on-one training with Judy. This training gives her the opportunity to give them suggestions on pace, enunciation, and posture. Judy and the prospective lectors also go over scheduling, as well as the correct ways to approach the altar and ambo with reverence.
The role of our lectors is to bring the Word of God to the people. This active participation in the Mass is an important part of the worship of God in the Mass.
There are other opportunities in the parish to be a part of the Lector Ministry, as well — these include the Spanish Mass, weekday Masses, and volunteering for weddings or funerals. These are coordinated by other individuals and anyone interested in them may reach out to the parish office and they will put you in contact with the correct coordinator.
For more information, contact Judy Chaput at 808-322-6466 or email@example.com.