Training and Formation - HOLY CROSS CHURCH CATFORD

Holy Cross Church Catford
Holy Cross Church Catford
Holy Cross Church Catford
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Reader’s Prayer
Lord, I thank you, for granting me the privilege to serve you in this most honored Ministry of Lector. I ask that you guide me so I might continually learn to better proclaim your Word in a way that is pleasing to you, and enlightening to our brothers and sisters in the body of your church. If I approach this ministry too carelessly, remind me Lord, that I was called by you, and that I owe you nothing less than my absolute best effort. I ask you to guide me and all lectors throughout the body of your church. Let your spirit fill our hearts as we serve you in love; in your son Jesus' name, Amen.
The Daily and weekly READINGs are available from

Lectors home page


1 Preparation. Remember it is the Word of God that you are proclaiming so prepare the passage as far in advance as possible and do not leave it until the day you are going to read. Pray through the passage, reflect on it, read it aloud several times and make sure that you have a good understanding of what it is about. Make sure that you know how to pronounce any difficult names or words. (There is a copy of Margaret Rizza’s book under the Lecturn. There are also guides to the pronunciation of Biblical names online)

2          Arrive early enough to check that the Lectionary is on the lectern and open at the right page. Check in with the Chief Welcomer. (6.30pm Phil. 10am Joe, 11.30am John) Sit near the front of church.

3          Watch out for the Opening Prayer and arrive at the ambo after the Amen.

4          Do not begin the reading until everybody has settled down. The reading requires full
concentration on the reader's part and also on the part of the congregation. Look up to gain the congregation’s attention.

5          Do not tap or fiddle with the microphone before beginning the reading, or even
during the reading, and do not read with your mouth too close to, or far away from
the microphone.
6          Do NOT begin the reading by saying “The first reading is from" but just use the words
printed in the lectionary, A reading from" The second reading should be introduced in a similar manner.

7          If the responsorial psalm this is to be read and not sung by a cantor DO NOT introduce it by saying The responsorial psalm. The response is” Just use the words of the response immediately and do not say "response" at the end of each stanza as the congregation will know when to respond, particularly if you look up. Also, leave a pause after the first reading before beginning the psalm.

8        Look up at the beginning of the reading so as to engage with the congregation and
during the reading as well where key words or phrases occur, again to ensure the congregation is with you. Use your finger to avoid losing your place when looking up.

9        Don't rush the reading by setting off at too fast a pace. It is not a time trial! Avoid gabbling through a reading without pausing to take a breath. Project your voice, speak up, and read at a measured pace, not too quickly and not too slowly. Practice beforehand.

10      The speed can be varied slightly so as to convey excitement or to emphasise a particular sentence or word.

11        Vary the pitch and volume to bring life to a passage rather than read it on a monotone and at the same level of volume throughout.

12      Use pauses to divide paragraphs or add emphasis.

13       Be careful to take appropriate breaths, especially in long sentences as there is nothing worse than a reader speeding up when they see the next full stop is quite a way ahead and they are running out of breath.

14      At the end of the reading, leave a pause before saying "The Word of the Lord". (Count to 3 in your head. This gives the congregation a moment to take on board what has just been proclaimed to them.

15      The Reader should read the Gospel acclamation verse or the cantor sing it, they should then leave the sanctuary bowing to the altar on their way back.

The Prayer of the Faithful
What is it?
The Assembly’s prayer of intercession for all of humankind - and especially for those in need.
In this prayer the local Assembly looks beyond its own needs to the needs of the whole Church and of the wider world.
What is its structure?
1. An invitation to the Assembly to offer prayer to God the Father - said by the priest
2. The Biddings (which gives the Prayer its other title of ‘The Bidding Prayers’).
These Biddings are addressed to the Assembly asking them to pray for the various intentions.
The examples given in the Roman Missal all include 4 Biddings
a) For the needs of the Church
b) For the needs of the wider world
c) For those facing any difficulty
d) For the local community
Other biddings might be added which are related to the nature of the particular celebration - eg Advent, or the Beginning of the School Year.
After each bidding, there needs to be a pause for quiet prayer in the silence of the heart of each member of the Assembly. This quiet prayer is what the whole of the Prayer of the Faithful exists for.
There is no point if the Priest and Readers carry out their role but do not allow the time for the Assembly to offer their prayer.
Take Care
Make sure there is a pause before you say ‘Lord in your mercy”. (It should be a few seconds – to allow the congregation to take in and respond to the prayer.), followed by the congregation’s of “Hear our prayer.”

3. A concluding prayer – said by the priest

Adapted from the Liturgy Office

Good practice suggests the following ‘Golden Rules’ for the reader:
1.         Arrive in good time, at least 10 minutes before the liturgy begins.
This will give you opportunities both for prayer, and to ask any questions that may arise.
2.         Check that the Prayer is placed on the ambo before Mass begins.
You may also wish to make sure that the priest’s copy is at the chair.
(If there is to be a sung response, check also that those involved in the music ministry have a copy.)

3.         Look at the intentions well in advance.
Read them carefully. Consider them prayerfully and reflectively.
Check the pronunciation of any difficult names.

4.         Approach the ambo towards the end of the Creed which follows the Homily. Bow to the altar on your way to the ambo. If there is more than one reader, every care should be taken that the dignity of this special time of prayer is preserved. The readers should approach the ambo together and leave together at the end. During the intercessions, each reader should give way to the next with dignity and calm.

5.         Make yourself comfortable and stand tall.
Take time to gather your thoughts. There is no hurry.
Ensure that the microphone is at an appropriate height for you. Make eye contact with those whom you are to lead in prayer.

6.         The priest introduces the Prayer of the Faithful at the appropriate time. When the priest has completed the introduction, begin confidently.
During the reading of the intentions, four basic principles need to be borne in mind:
a) Eye contact remains important throughout – it is an essential tool of communication.

b) Announce the intentions slowly and clearly.
Good use of the microphone is vital - not least for those in the assembly who rely on a loop system. (Make sure you are familiar with the sound system beforehand, if possible.)

c) Do not rush the reading of the intentions. After each of them, pause for long enough to allow the assembly to make the prayer its own (and pray yourself!), before saying confidently “Lord, in your mercy,” or similar. Because we are inviting people to pray, this pause is fundamentally
important and could be as long as 10 seconds.

d) Silence has a pre-eminent place in the liturgy of the Church.
Do not be afraid to leave reasonable spaces for silence during the Prayer of the Faithful.
At the end, remain at the ambo whilst the priest concludes the Prayer, as this is an integral part of the whole. After you have joined everyone in saying “Amen”, remember to bow to the altar before returning to your place in the assembly.

The Ambo also known as the lectern, it is the place from which the word of God is proclaimed during the liturgy. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that ‘the dignity of the word of God requires the church to have a suitable place for announcing his message so that the attention of the people may be easily directed to that place during the liturgy of the word.’
From THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL Guidelines December 2016

Parish Talks :

Thurs Mar 08 at 7.30pm  Why God?
Thurs Mar 15 at 7.30pm  Why Jesus?
Thurs Mar 22 at 7.30pm  Why the Church?

Lent at St Andrew

As Easter is early this year it is already time to see how we will spend these weeks of Lent as we journey towards Easter. If you wish to take time to reflect and pray, stand aside from your daily busy life, our Urban Oasis is here to welcome you.
You will find here a calendar of the events at St Andrew’s Belmont Hill for the time of Lent. More information can be found on our website: For the majority of the events please book in advance. For the Lent Quiet Evenings, the Holy Week Programme, the Meditative prayers with Taizé chants on the last Wednesdays of the month, no booking is required. Please feel free to turn up on the day.

Saturday 17th February: A Quiet Pause in Lent 10 am for 10.30am to 4pm  

Lenten Journey - Women who inspired Jesus. 5 Wednesday morning. (10 am for 10.30 to 1pm)
Wednesday 21st February: Jesus’ Mother
Wednesday 28th February: In Daily Life
Wednesday 7th March: In his Public Ministry
Wednesday 14th March: Mary and Martha
Wednesday 21st March: At the foot of the Cross

Wednesday 28th February: 7.30pm Monthly Meditative Prayer with Taizé Chants (no booking required)
Friday 9- Sunday 11th March: A Silent residential Retreat with personal accompaniment.
Wednesday 14th March: Lenten Quiet Evening: 7.30pm - 9pm. (no booking required)
Monday 26, Tuesday 27 and Wednesday-28th March: Holy Week
Journeying in Silence with Jesus in the footsteps of His Passion.
A time to contemplate the Passion through word, music and image. Each day 2pm to 9pm. From 7.30pm to 8pm prayer with the community. Come for the whole or part of the afternoon/evening. (A detailed programme will be published nearer the time.) No booking required.

There are also possibilities to come for some hours, a day or several days for a time of silence on your own, or to come with a group. Please contact us for availability.
Sisters of St Andrew
99 Belmont Hill                                                                      
SE13 5DY
0208 852 1662
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