Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Perils of Lay Reading

I’m in training to be a Lay Reader along with two others at my church. I’m excited about this as I love the liturgy and would love to lead it. In the Reformed Episcopal Church, Lay Readers can lead Morning and Evening Prayer, except that they cannot give the absolution. (If no priest is present, they instead pray the collect for the 21st Sunday after Trinity.) And they can assist in other services by reading the scripture lessons and in other ways, although I don’t know all the details just yet.

Well, last night, I discovered lay reading is not as easy as I thought it would be. Practice is a real good idea. And John+ had us learn this first hand by having us read out loud (as if a congregation were present) the longer invitation to confess sins. I suspect he chose that because it’s not easy to read. I had an amusing slip when I misread that we should confess our sins “when we dissemble and meet together.” Maybe there’s some truth to my slip there.

Afterwards, I said, “Let’s stick to ‘Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.’”

It could be worse. Ben+ told me of a time that a prayer of the Litany was slightly misread. With the Presiding Bishop and at least one other bishop present, instead of praying for the illumination of bishops, the unfortunate gentleman prayed “may it please thee to eliminate all Bishops . . . .” It was soon dubbed “the Presbyterian Litany.”

I think I better practice.

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