When the Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to His people, and Christ, present in His own Word, proclaims the Gospel. Therefore, all must listen with reverence to the readings from God's word, for they make up an element of greatest importance in the Liturgy. General Instruction of the Roman Missal #29
Lectors are members of the Assembly who proclaim the Word in the first two scripture readings. They also assist in creating a hospitable and prayerful environment by praying the Prayers of the Faithful.
Training and preparation are necessary for those persons wishing to be Lectors. Proclaiming the Sacred Scripture is different from other kinds of public speaking. Not only do Lectors need to be effective communicators, but they need to absorb and express the spirit of the Liturgy as well.
Speaking of readers at the Liturgy, Vatican II said, "They exercise a genuine liturgical function. They ought, therefore, to discharge their office with the sincere piety and decorum demanded by so exalted a ministry and right expected of them by God's people. Consequently, they must all be trained to perform their functions in a correct and orderly manner... Christ is present in His word since it is He Himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in the church."
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