Catholic Church Kilsyth

Ministers of the Word

“Great care must be taken in the proclamation of the biblical readings. Those who read are privileged bearers of God’s word to the people of God. It follows that the reading of Scripture should never be undertaken in a hasty or offhand manner. The office of reader was prized in the early Church of Rome. Given the richer provision of Scripture in our days, this role has assumed a renewed importance.”
The Gift of Scripture, Catholic Bishops Conferences of England and Wales, and of Scotland.

Reading in the Church is not a task; it is a ministry, one of several ministries into which the Church calls people to assist in the Liturgy. Like all ministries, it needs to be worked at. Ministers of the Word do more than simply read at Mass – they proclaim the Word of God in such a way that it might be heard, understood, appreciated and loved. This is an awesome thing to be asked to do, but that is how God works. His Word is to be proclaimed to people, by people, until the end of time and the impact of God’s message will depend significantly on a reader’s conviction, their preparation, and their delivery. Merely to prepare by looking over the readings in the sacristy is never enough. To prepare well, it is necessary to prepare at home. The only contact that some people have with the words of Scripture occurs at Sunday Mass. It is vital that this be a positive experience.

The reader proclaims the Scripture readings from the Lectionary, which contains readings for each day in the Liturgical Calendar and for other celebrations throughout the year. Readers usually proclaim the First Reading, the Psalm (if not sung), the Second Reading and the Gospel Acclamation. The Gospel is always proclaimed by a Priest or Deacon. Readers also assist in praying the Prayer of the Faithful.

To become a reader or Minister of the Word, the Church teaches us that the person must normally be a Catholic living in harmony with the teachings of the Church and be willing to undertake some training. (Individuals who are not Catholics are still permitted to proclaim Scripture during the Liturgy of the Word but not on a regular basis – their contribution is more normally limited to one off events such as a family funeral or a wedding for example.)

In St Patrick’s, our readers are co-ordinated by Mary Ashmall, who prepares a rota covering Sunday Masses and important Liturgical Feast days some months in advance. This rota is available to our readers by clicking on the link above.

If you would like to participate in this ministry within our parish community, then please speak in confidence to the Priest, one of the existing Ministers of the Word or to our co-ordinator Mary Ashmall who will be happy to help.

God BlessYou!