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Below are suggestions for Lectors :
The Lector role is an excellent way for parishioners to make a big contribution to the faith life of the Calvary family without the anxiety some people feel from singing in front of others (as the Assistant Minister part requires). Lectors who take the time to read through their scripture passages, decide what the passage is trying to convey, and speak the Word with confidence have a strong positive impact on everyone's worship experience. And the role itself is fairly simple.
Calvary's need: one Lector per Sunday morning service.
Sequence of activities:
That's all there is to it. Though is sounds like a lot, once you walk through it, you'll see that there's not much to it. It's enough to make you realize you're making a valuable contribution to Calvary's worship experience, but not so challenging as to be overwhelming.
- Pre-service preparation: if you sign up weeks ahead of time and Jonathan or Van are on the ball, Cathy Rohloff should be able to put the "rubrics" for your Sundays' services into your church mailbox in time for you to have plenty of time to review them. The rubric consists of:
- The scripture readings themselves, in larger-font type than you see on the bulletins, which can make them easier to read, and;
- An explanatory preface, a sort of closed captioning for the scripturally impaired (which probably includes all of us except pastors Phil and Eric) which helps the listeners place the scripture in context and helpfully interpret passages which can sometimes sound counter to our Christian intuition.
- If you're not able to get the rubrics ahead of time, plan to show up at least fifteen minutes ahead of the service so you can read through the scripture readings in the bulletin enough times to be very comfortable with any strange words and/or complex sentence structures you encounter. This is necessary unless you're an excellent reader and/or confident public speaker.
- Put a copy of either the rubric or a bulletin on the lecturn before the service so it's there when you need it.
- 9:30 Lectors: choose a candle-lighter and make sure you have at least a few inches of wick, so you don't flame out for lack of wick. Make sure you've got a butane lighter and that it works.
- Dressing before the service: wear a comfortable robe with decent velcro, a rope "cinture" that wraps around you several times and hangs about halfway down your right thigh, and wooden cross. Because the lecturn has a self-contained microphone, you probably won't need to wear a wireless one.
- Procession: if you're serving in an:
- 8:00 or 11:00 service, you will generally have a separate acolyte and crucifer to handle the cross and candles. Wait until the people start singing the processional hymn and then follow them up aisle with the Assistant Minister, staying a short distance behind them until they have lit the candles and handled the cross. When you reach the altar, bow before it and then walk around it to the right. Your sitting place is usually the inside of the right pew behind the altar, which gives you easy access to the lecturn.
- 9:30 service: you will wait until the music starts before lighting up (or risk burning through inches of wick during the announcements) and then follow the Assistant Minister/Crucifer up the aisle and light the candles. When moving up the aisle, pay out plenty of wick (3/4" is not too much) and move as slowly as you need to to keep from flaming out. The Crucifer may leave you completely behind. Do not worry about this. Be aware that there is often a downdraft near the baptismal font which can blow the candle lighter out if you're moving too fast. Take your time until you reach the altar. When you get there, bow to the cross, light the right candle, bow again, light the left candle, then bow again and retract the wick to turn the candle off before taking your place on the right pew. The rule for the candles is: the right one burns longest. It is the first one you ignite, and the last one you extinguish.
- Participate like a normal person: after you get to your place behind the altar, you participate in the service just the same as if you were out in the congregation. The presiding and assisting ministers will lead the congregation through the Kyrie, the Hymn of Praise and the Prayer of the Day.
- Read the First Lesson: as the Prayer of the Day is wrapping up, move to the lecturn, get out your rubric or bulletin, and stand on the little pedestal box or push it in out of your way. If you have the rubric, you can almost read it verbatim. If you're reading from a bulletin, use the announcement format "The first lesson is taken from the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah, reading verses four through nine." Then just read the scripture. Try to avoid being either too robotic or too affected in your reading style. The words were chosen for their meaning and beauty, so read them naturally and trust them to do the speaking. When you finish, say, "Here ends the Reading," or "Hear ends the First Lesson." Then, unless there is no Psalm, be seated.
- The Psalms. Calvary tends not to involve the Lector in responsive singing or reading of the Psalms, so participate in this like you normally would in the congregation.
- Read the Second Lesson: the process here is identical to that with the First Lesson. After your finished, return to your spot but remain standing for the Alleluia and Gospel. At this point, and until the Passing of the Peace, you behave as a normal member out in the congregation.
- Passing the Peace: once the prayers are concluded, exchange the Peace with the other Worship Leaders, then choose whichever aisle the others appear not to be going down and greet anyone who doesn't seem to have anyone greeting them at that moment. Do this briefly, but get back to the altar within a minute or so because you are responsible for getting the offering plates out from under the lectern and handing them to the ushers. Keep an eye on the ushers (they will also be keeping an eye on you) and be sure to be standing in front of the baptismal font with the offering plates by the time they make it up the aisle. You can either hand one of them all the plates and let them parse them out, or separate the plates into two stacks and hand one stack to each usher.
- Offering: return back up to the sacristy area (the room with the sink beside the altar) and use one of the antibacterial wet-wipes to sanitize your hands before the communion begins. While you are doing this, the Ushers will be collecting the offering. Return to your spot on the pew and wait for them to start down the aisle. Meet them on the bottom step before the baptismal font, take the offering plates from them, and place them under the lectern. Then return to your spot in front of the pew and participate as normal until the presiding minister communes you.
- Receive communion: after the Presiding Minister blesses the elements, there is a small chance you may be the one communing the other Worship Leaders. If not, receive communion and then take one of the chalices and its accompanying cloth and wait for whomever his handling the bread on your side to be ready. Follow him or her (and the Communion Assistant should follow you).
- Administer communion: you will follow whomever on your side (generally the lectern side) is distributing the bread along with the chalice and offer it to each of the communicants at the rail. Sometimes almost no one will drink from the chalice, sometimes nearly everyone will. When administering the wine in the chalice, take your cue from the communicant. Hold the chalice loosely but steadily and let him or her take the chalice into his or her own hands if that is preferred.
Finish with communion: once everyone is done with communion on both sides of the sanctuary, carry the chalice and cloth into the back room adjacent to the sanctuary and set it on the counter next to the sink.
- Some people prefer to kneel absolutely still and have you tilt the chalice to their lips with almost no direct physical action.
- Other people prefer to guide the chalice to their lips while you hold it;
- Still other people prefer to take the chalice completely out of your hands in order to drink from it.
- Regardless of how the communicant prefers to commune, wipe the rim of the chalice with the cloth each time someone drinks from it.
- When and if you run low on wine (less than 1/3 capacity) return to the pitcher and fill it back up to roughly 2/3 capacity, then return to your place in the rotation. The Communion Assistant will wait on you.
- Post-communion: after you have finished with the elements, return to your place behind the altar and finish out the last communion hymn with the rest of the congregation. From here until the recessional, you're just like a normal person in the congregation.
- Recessional: as with the Processional, this differs by liturgy:
- 8:00 and 11:00: when the acolyte and crucifer process out, follow them around the altar and down the aisle, side-by-side with the Assistant Minister. When you reach the back of the sanctuary, you can remain inside it, singing the recessional hymn.
- 9:30: you will wait for a cue from the presiding minister as to when to begin. If it's a short hymn, you may need to step off immediately. If it's a long one, the presiding minister may hold you for a few verses. When you go, pick up the candle-lighter and extinguish the candles in the reverse order you lit them (left out first, then right) with bows in between. The Assistant Minister / Crucifer will wait for you before or behind the baptismal font, then begin moving again when you're ready to go. Some people prefer to light the candle-lighter and recess out with it lit, but there's no requirement that you do so. When you reach the back of the sanctuary, slide around the Assistant Minister who will be stopped with the cross in the middle of the aisle, then either exit or wrap along the back of the sanctuary and sing with the congregation.
- Exit Greeting: take a quick look around and see who is covering which sanctuary exits. In most cases, the presiding minister will greet people at the main exit and the Assistant Minister will cover the east door. That leaves you with the west door, the one furthest from the parking lot. Prop the cross against the wall next to the door and greet everyone who comes through, wishing them a happy week. If you notice someone you haven't met before, take the time to introduce yourself. This is one of the easiest and best evangelism opportunities available.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read through this, and for your service.