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Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word

Canadian Edition 2010 Archdiocese of Chicago/Concacan Inc.
Mary A. Ehle, Phd & Margaret Nutting Ralph, Phd
CCCB Publications, 2010
RRP $21.95

Reviewed by Alan Renton, who, after 60 years of preaching, tried something new.

The first nine pages of this book should be compulsory reading for all who take part in leading church services. The other 294 pages have a more limited use in our Protestant churches.

The first nine pages have completely changed my own approach to Bible reading in church and in leading worship.
I wonder if they herald a new Reformation led by the Roman Catholic Church.

Here are a few thoughts from these pages.

The whole church service is the public prayer of the Church (A two-way relationship between God and his people).

The reading of the Word is as important as the Lord’s Supper. In reading well you feed the church with the bread of life, fostering a deepened relationship with God and facilitating dialogue between God and his Church.

A Bible reader’s ministry helps facilitate the public prayer of the church. It is a tremendous responsibility shared with the other worship leaders.

As a Bible reader we need to continue to grow in our own relationship with God.

Preparation to read in church should involve leading a Christian life so that our entire life shows forth the presence of God.

It means understanding the historical and critical background and the meaning of the passage both originally and for our world today.

Commentaries help us understand.

We need to prepare spiritually with prayer and reflection.

There are many useful tips including preparation, which should start at least a week beforehand, presentation and evaluating feedback.

When the Bible is read as good news, in today’s language and with conviction the congregation comes alive.

To exaggerate slightly, the Bible has its own power – you hardly need to preach!