Thursday, March 24, 2011

Resources for Ministers of the Word

I've been working a bit on resources for Ministers of the Word lately and thought I would share what I had already collected:

For anyone who wishes to offer more resources to their Liturgy groups, there are ample websites containing lots of resources for various groups, including Ministers of the Word. The Archdiocese of Dublin website  is an excellent starting point, particularly for those who are starting a group or who wish to begin formal training of the Ministers of the Word in their parish. The site contains three main pages devoted to the Ministry of the word, including guidelines for those involved, reflections for those participating and a blessing that may be used at the commissioning of a group of ministers.

Looking further afield, the Liturgy Commission in England and Wales has produced a range of materials to help those who have a ministerial role in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word understand their responsibilities. Worksheets are used to address subjects such as the “role of the reader”, for example, the skills and abilities they need or the assistance they might find helpful. The site includes a brief consideration of why the readings are read at Mass; the language of the scriptures; encouragement for readers to practice how to read the different types of readings which feature in the Lectionary – poetry, narrative, discourse, letters etc; a list of resources for developing practical skills. These skills are treated thoroughly such as why should a reader prepare a reading? How might they do this? What are their other responsibilities? How might they deepen their love for the scriptures? There is also a check list to help give feedback to readers: Do they read audibly, clearly, expressively etc? Do they stand well at the ambo and make good use of the microphone, etc?

In conjunction with this online resource, there is a PDF document available for download from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales that would be excellent for discussion by any group of readers. This contains factual information which is clearly explained (such as the Vatican’s pronouncements on the participation of Ministers of the Word during the Liturgy) with suggested further reading for those who are interested. There is advice for the Coordinator of the readers and how to select people to serve, as well as how to offer support for those involved in the group.

Thanks to one of my students, Phillip Lough for recommending Lector Notes (which is full of usefulnotes and links). Finally, St Benedict’s Parish in Canada’s website has some beautiful prayers for Ministers of the Word for personal reflection and for use at meetings of this important Liturgy group.

I recently gave a short presentation on the Reading for the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday that you might find helpful.

Readings for Easter

Readings for Easter

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