On the feast of St. Francis, Father Jesus Galindo and Dee Chan, Head of the LecCom Ministry, presented and welcomed the newly commissioned Lectors and Commentators of SSAP: Jonathan Cruz, Janice Ledesma, Alexandra Li, Therese Necio, Niña Pañares, Carmen Rode, Raquel Soon and Marie Tycangco, together with 40 of the Ministry’s seasoned lectors who renewed their commitment to serve.
It would be nice to listen to how they found the zeal (and the courage) to stand before the faithful and read the word of God. The jitters hasn’t left me but it certainly helped to:
• Read (in advance) and be familiar with the Readings of the Day. However, it is no foolproof guarantee. Rev. Father Genaro Diwa, Head of the Liturgical Commission, related how one lector reached for the microphone and declared, “A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippines!”
• Come to church thirty minutes before the start of the mass. I kneel in prayer to Mama Mary, to my guardian angel and to my favorite saint to guide and hold my hand. One time, even after I marked the page, the fan blew the page away. I searched frantically but could not locate it (Tip: memorize the page number) and panicking now, I turned to Father John Muscat who got rattled and could not find the page, too. That must have been the looongest minute before we eventually sighed with relief. Whew.
• Let the assembly settle down in their seats before reading. Do not rush or scurry. Adjust the microphone so that it helps project your voice through the vast expanse of the Santuario.
• Invite Offerrors from all age group. Once, Melon Recto Silverio gave me a neat suggestion, “Invite that pretty lady in a wheelchair.” I thought, “Why not?” When I approached her, she hesitated but her daughter encouraged her, “Mom, it’s easy. I will push you while you hold the gifts.” Mother and daughter beamed graciously at having participated in the holy celebration.
• Wear comfortable footwear. A lector walked elegantly on her stiletto heels but her heels got caught on the platform and ka-plop! Chirping birds and stars gathered around her like a little rainbow.
• Remember, we stand, not to impress but to express God’s word. No ego, but just your voice that reads clearly and slowly the word of God.
Somehow, sometime, may our proclamation move the community to find inspiration, comfort and renewed faith in hearing God’s word. He continues to be a loving, kind and forgiving presence in our lives.
To God be the glory. Amen.