click for Pope Francis' 2015 Ash Wed Homily click for notes on New English Roman Missal
Praise to you, Lord God, King of the universe,
And all glory to your name.
I praise you and thank you for calling me
To proclaim your word to your beloved people.
Open the hearts of all who worship with us,
So that they may hear your voice when I read.
Let nothing in my life or manner disturb your people
Or close their hearts to the action of your Spirit.
Cleanse my heart and mind,
And open my lips so that I may proclaim your glory.
All praise to you, heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit,
Now and forever. Amen.
- published as “A Reader’s Prayer” in the National Bulletin on Liturgy, #50
CALL AND COMMISSIONING OF ISAIAH
Then I said, "Woe is me, I am doomed! For I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!" Then one of the seraphim flew to me, holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
He touched my mouth with it and said, "See, now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed, your sin purged."
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!"
- Isaiah 6:5-8
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations." Then I said, "Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. "Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
- Jeremiah 1:4-9
1. Thou shall not read from sheets of throwaway missalettes.
2. Thou shall not announce numbers of pages, scripture chapters and verses, or the summary statements attached to the readings.
3. Thou shall not add words to the texts, such as “and this is the word of the Lord.”
4. Thou shall not contribute to noise pollution by overstating the obvious, as in “The response for today’s psalm is…”
5. Thou shall not announce intercessions or announcements or proclaim scripture without first practicing the words out loud.
6. Thou shall not overdo the “fido comments” such as sit!, stand! or kneel!
7. Thou shall not run from or toward the pulpit, except in cases of true human emergency.
8. Thou shall not begin to proclaim God’s word while people are still shifting their posture from one position to the other.
9. Thou shall not simply read God’s word, as though it were a novel or a citation from the telephone directory.
10. Thou shall not forget the privilege and responsibility accorded you as a minister of the word.
By Dr. Nancy Benvenga and
Rev. Christopher Heller
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