Reading in Church

Don't forget that the readings for each service can be found on the respective page.

Reading in Church

Bible readings have a dynamic and creative part to play in the whole service, which is in no way undermined by the fact that today numerous modern translations are available which can be easily read at home or on the way to work. The purpose of a reading is to link the congregation to the Christian tradition; they impose upon worshippers the duty of listening and enable the service to become a proclamation of the saving power of God.

The most effective readers will always be those who give the impression that they are themselves addressed by the words they read. The reader should try to catch the mood of the passage as well as the message. Different parts of scripture suggest very different treatment to express the descriptive, the poetic, the dramatic and the intimate.

The best piece of advice is to practice reading the lesson aloud beforehand, rehearsing pauses and inflections. If you are uncertain, check pronunciations of names or unfamiliar words before the service begins. There will already be a Bible on the lectern which you can read from, although you can of course read from your own Bible if you prefer. Each month the readings for both churches are published on the individual pages to the left as well as in the Parish Magazines.

When you're at the lectern...

  • The microphone is always switched on so forget it's there!
  • Indeed there is no need to speak directly into it - project your voice.
  • If necessary wait until everyone has sat down and there is quiet.
  • Take a deep breath if you're feeling a little tense.
  • When you read, read slowly, keeping your voice up.

Whilst you should introduce the reading, it is not necessary to cite chapter and verse. After introducing the reading, allow a distinct pause. In doing the reading itself, speak slowly and firmly, and enunciate - the most common error readers make is to rush. Try changing tone to indicate transitions from narration to direct quotations etc. At the end of the reading, leave a pause before saying "This is the Word of the Lord".