It's the Little Things We Doby George Miller on 08/30/14
Symbols such as a beautifully bound Book of the Gospels, a priest holding it high during the singing of the “Alleluia”, or a shrine in a vestibule for the Bible are all meant to show our respect for the word of God. But there are also things we as proclaimers can do individually to symbolize that respect.
I once observed how a deacon held the Book of Gospels after Mass to deliver it back to the Sacristy from the ambo. Held at his breast with both arms gently clutched around it, he quietly carried it with reverence and dignity without stopping or chatting with anyone. Compare this with slinging the book under our arm as we might a six-pack of Diet Coke, and chewing the fat with friends on the way.
We also become a symbol the moment we rise from our pew seat to proclaim, because many people will fixate on what they see in us more than what they hear. Approaching the ambo too quickly can convey a "let's get it done" attitude; too slowly, an overdose of piousness; and too confidently, a hint of arrogance.
I also recently noticed how one lector turned and faced the priest as he read the introductory and concluding prayers to the intercessions, while she seamlessly moved toward and away from the prayer sheet from which she read. It was a beautiful way of showing her respect for and interest in what the priest was saying.
Aside from the symbols your church may use to dignify God's word, what little things might you do?
What's your symbol?