The Church of St Mary of the Angels has released a handbook for its lectors.
The Lectors’ Ministry Handbook, released in January, covers topics such as an overview of the ministry, how lectors should prepare themselves to proclaim the Word, correct pronunciation and proper attire.
According to members of the ministry, the handbook came about as a result of weekly preparatory sessions for lectors which began in January 2011.
Friar Derrick Yap, spiritual director to the group, started the sessions to help lectors prepare spiritually ahead of the weekend Masses, and to help them with the more technical aspects of the ministry.
At each 90-minute session, held on Mondays, lectors first look at the readings for the upcoming Sunday Mass, led by a facilitator. They then share their thoughts and experiences as the words and phrases in the text touch them.
Each lector then practises proclaiming in front of the group, sometimes using the church microphone, and supervised by a trainer. Technical aspects such as body language, pace, voice projection, eye contact, enunciation are then openly discussed, allowing the lectors to learn from one another.
According to organisers, some felt uncomfortable about this initially but gradually it became clear to all that they could learn from each other.
As the sessions continued, some lectors felt it would be useful to have a written account on what was being done in the ministry for future members as well as for those new to the work. The idea of a handbook began to materialise and received the support of Fr Derrick and parish priest, Fr John-Paul Tan.
“The handbook manifests our sincere commitment to effectively proclaim the Word, inspire and touch the hearts of the listening congregation,” said one lector, Ms Tess Gerinea.
The lectors’ preparation has also garnered positive feedback, according to comments from parishioners. BY ANNE T P LEE