Spiritual Prep First. Technical Prep Secondby George Miller on 11/18/15
The introduction to the Lectionary says, For those who exercise the ministry of reader, their preparation must above all be spiritual, but what may be called a technical preparation is also needed. (55)
In other words, all the technical qualities of voice projection, pacing, pausing, posture and other outer skills are important; but secondary to our more inner spiritual preparation.
In a doctoral thesis out of The Catholic University in
Spiritual Formation for Lay Lectors, the
writer says at its beginning, "If
the task of the liturgy of the Mass is to sanctify the congregation, then the
task of lectors is to deliver the Scriptures in a way that sanctifies both
themselves and their listeners."
Quite a calling for us as simple lay ministers; to encourage our listeners to join us in striving for more sanctity and holiness. But when Pope Benedict XVI said in his 2012 Letter, Porta Fidei, "We can cross the threshold into a life of communion with God, when the word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace," he didn't mean it for ordained ministers only.
And in echoing the Pope's words, Bishop Glen Provost of the Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana said to candidates for the permanent diaconate, "The Word of God has a sacramental power of transformation when proclaimed with conviction, dedication, and fidelity. But to do this, we must meditate constantly on it."
And how do we do this? "The Church has given us a tool called Lectio Divina," said the bishop. "It is the thoughtful and slow reading of the Scriptures where we can linger and reflect over a verse or word as long as we like. It has no set purpose except to allow God time to speak to us."
There are many ways to use Lectio Divina as method of preparation, One of easiest ways is nicely explained by Fr. James Martin. View it here on our Videos page.
Lectio Divina can take our spiritual preparation to a deeper communion with God and result in more powerful proclamations. Try it. You might like it.