The Lectionary Intro... a Must Readby George Miller on 05/01/12
If you've ever questioned the significance of the lector's role in the liturgy, the Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass says it all. As I recently studied this rich 20-page opening, it gave me a fresh sense of responsibility to our ministry.
If you don't have a lectionary on your bookshelf, you can bring this introduction up online here.
Normand Bonneau, OMI, in his book, Preparing the Table of the Word, says that the Sunday and Feast Day Lectionary contains only 13 percent of the Bible, choosing passages as they suit liturgical seasons and their patterns. He also mentions that the Lectionary presupposes that worshippers are familiar with the overall story line of the Bible and that they can situate, in a general way, the readings in their biblical and historical settings.
But not all worshippers have this familiarity, so it's important for us as lectors to bring this 13 percent of the Bible to life for them. And when we know the historical and biblical settings ourselves along with the pattern and sequence of the readings, we can then project more light into their hearts by our delivery.
Better yet, when brief introductions of the readings are given by the presider (Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass, #15), it gives worshippers a better foundation on which to receive the words we proclaim. Excellent examples of these introductions are given for the Sunday masses at lectorprep.org.
The Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass should be required study for all of us. Enjoy its richness!