Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Ministry of Lector

Wednesday Feb 8, 2006 I had the honor and grace to receive the Ministry of Lector from Most Reverend Michael R. Cote, D.D., Bishop of Norwich, CT here at St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore, MD.

Vested Concelebrants:
Most Revered Paul G. Bootkoski, D.D., Bishop of Metuchen, NJ
Revered Robert F. Leavitt, S.S., President/Rector, St. Mary's Seminary & University

That day was a beautiful day. I woke up refreshed which is quite a rarity and happened to be assigned to read at Morning Prayer which I thought was awesome, given that I would be instituted as a Lector later that same day. I think I did a pretty good job.

That morning at practice for the mass/ceremony we were told in what order we'd approach the bishop. We'd go up in two's and I was happy to see that I'd be kneeling beside one of my best friends here at St. Mary's, Dan, who's been in a couple posts on this blog (here and here). The practice went well and I was excited for the Mass to come. This would be my first step, God-willing, to Ordination in 2010.

During the ceremony I goofed a little bit, I'm always so absent-minded! When we got to the head of the line, we were supposed to bow, approach the bishop, kneel, place our hands on the Bible as he read the words of institution, say Amen, stand up, bow, turn inward and walk to the end of the line. Well, I forgot to bow and started to turn, then I remembered so I kinda threw the "choreography" off a little bit. Oh well :)

Afterwards I got a picture with Bishop Cote and Dan that I hope to get soon and post here.

Here's the rite:
After the gospel, the bishop, wearing his miter, sits, and the appointed deacon or priest calls the candidates:
Those to be instituted in the ministry of reader please come forward.
The candidates are called by name, and each one answers: Present, and goes to the bishop, before whom he makes a sign of reverence.
Then all sit, and the bishop gives the homily, which he concludes by speaking to the candidates in these or similar words:

Dear sons in Christ, through his Son, who became man for us, God the Father has revealed the mystery of salvation and brought it to fulfillment. Jesus Christ made all things known to us and then entrusted his Church with the mission of preaching the Gospel to the whole world.

As readers and bearers of God's word, you will assist in this mission, and so take on a special office within the Christian community; you will be given a responsibility in the service of the faith, which is rooted in the word of God. You will proclaim that word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in the faith, and prepare them to receive the sacraments worthily. You will bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it. Thus with your help men and women will come to know God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ, whom he sent, and so be able to reach eternal life.

In proclaiming God's word to others, accept it yourselves in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Meditate on it constantly, so that each day you will have a deeper love of the Scriptures, and in all you say and do show forth to the world our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Then all stand, and the bishop, whithout his miter, invites the people to pray:
Brothers and sisters, let us ask God our Father to bless these servants who have been chosen for the ministry of reader. Let us pray that they may be faithful to the work entrusted to them, proclaim Christ to the world, and so give glory to our Father in heaven.
All pray in silence for a brief period.
Then the bishop, with hands joined, continues:
Lord God,
source of all goodness and light,
you sent your only Son, the Word of life,
to reveal to mankind the mystery of your love.
Bless + our brothers
who have been chosen for the ministry of reader.
Grand that as they meditate constantly on your word
they may grow in its wisdom
and faithfully proclaim it to your people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.
Each candidate goes to the bishop, who gives him the Bible, saying:
Take this book of holy Scripture
and be faithful in handing on the word of God,
so that it may grow strong in the hearts of his people.
The reader answers:
Meanwhile, Psalm 19 or another appropriate song may be sung, especially if there are many candidates.

O Venerable Bede, patron saint of Lectors and Doctor of the Church, pray for us!


Amy M said...

That's so awesome! :-D

Btw, Bishop Cote used to be Auxilliary Bishop of Portland, ME. He's so cool.

subrosa said...

congratulations! :-)

Laura H. said...

mhmm... congrats matt. hey look i have a blog now! and your blog is on the top of my list for most liked blogs. :) keep up the good work!

btw - i pray for you often. just wanted to let you know.