Proclaiming the word
Let all men hear and come to know
LECTOR is Latin for ‘reader’. To have Scripture read clearly and effectively is one of the most important needs in a parish’s worship experience. Holy Cross is blessed by having so large a corps of readers, who do their job so well.
The ‘rules’ for good reading are few and simple:
Pace yourself at a speed much slower than you think you should, much slower than you can read with your eyes. Ears are slower than eyes – but they take in a lot more!
Observe punctuation. Pauses help people understand (as well as give you time to breathe and calm down). You are not there to fill up all the available space with sound – don’t be afraid of silence! Punctuation is little things that make a lot of difference! Check out unfamiliar words beforehand. The Bible is full of odd names for people and places, but very few are actually impossible.
Read with sensitivity to the spirit of the text.
This is what makes the text come alive for the listeners (and for you too). Figure out what kind of a text you have to deal with. Figure out who is talking and try to speak with ‘their’ voice: you don’t have to go to acting classes to be able to imagine yourself as the author of what you’re reading.
The one-word secret to good reading…
In order to accomplish all of the above, in a situation that inevitably makes people nervous, there is likewise one simple technique for setting yourself up to do it right, as well as be less nervous. In a word, breathe.