20 May 2013

On A Point Of Order ...

Is there any sense anywhere that the people who read the readings at Mass should:

a. be literate;
b. have looked at the readings before they step up to the lectern; and
c. have thought about the relationship between the readings and the Gospel which follows?

I ask because at Pentecost Mass yesterday I had to endure somebody who didn't fulfil any of the three: apart from not being able to pronounce any of the place names, we had the joy of "cretins" for "Cretans".

She is what is described as a "Minister of the Word", which tells you a lot about the parish where I attended Mass.

The Parish Priest thinks it is wrong to turn away anybody who offers their gifts in ministry.

The front line might at the moment be gay marriage, but here in the rearguard, the message to the front line is "Don't count on us!"


Richard Collins said...

I think "cretins" may have been a Freudian slip.

Rita said...

We all know how readers ought to be, though sadly even in the most disciplined of parishes, many fall far short.

But take comfort, it was a problem in the days of Ben Sira too! As it says in Ecclesiasticus "A fool's narration is like a burden on a journey, but delight will be found in the speech of the intelligent. The utterance of a sensible man will be sought in the assembly, and they will ponder his words in their minds."

Patricius said...

So you got the "cretins"! But not the "prostitutes"?

Sue Sims said...

To be fair, it's a tricky reading! My son has been on lector duty for the last four Pentecosts, and only this time has he managed 'proselytes' - even though he'd practised and practised it before each attempt.

I do like 'cretins' for 'Cretans', though...

Ben Trovato said...

I read at Mass, in the OF (mainly to reduce the frequency of the kind of reading you are talking about). Our PP organises occasional 'training days' for readers. But they involve no training, no comment on or criticism of good or poor reading, no practice; rather they are more accurately education and exhortation days, when he talks a bit about the Lectionary, and then reminds us all that we should read through our readings in advance.

It is the same spirit of inclusion that has killed many Church choirs: because not everybody can sing beautifully, we will have no beautiful singing.

Strangely, when it comes to flower-arranging, which is a female-led activity, the rules are different. Woe betide the incompetent who touches the flowers...