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Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy #339757 12/22/09 04:11 AM
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Predanije Offline OP
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Are women permitted, canonically speaking, to be readers (lectors) in Greek Catholic Churches? At my old parish the answer was "no", and at my new parish the answer is "yes"...so I am curious if anyone could give me the definitive customary understanding.

Thank You

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: Predanije] #339762 12/22/09 06:00 AM
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Nelson Chase Offline
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Are you asking if they can be tonsured to the lower clergy order of Reader? Or if they can read the Epistle at Liturgy? I think the answer is no to the first, yes to the latter. In my parish we have woman readers who read beautifully but they are not tonsured Readers.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: Nelson Chase] #339764 12/22/09 06:16 AM
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likethethief Offline
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The Epistle is sometimes read by a woman in my Byz parish.

Last edited by likethethief; 12/22/09 06:17 AM.
Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: likethethief] #339780 12/22/09 11:22 AM
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StuartK Offline
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Only men receive cheirothesia to the order of Reader (or, as the Greek Catholics tend to do it, "Reader and Acolyte"), but lay women read the Epistle if there are no men available to do so. I remember one man at Epiphany who objected to the practice, but demurred when challenged, "Well, then, will you read it?"

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: Nelson Chase] #339797 12/22/09 01:22 PM
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sielos ilgesys Offline
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We have lectresses @ our parish as welll - their voices are often clearer than men's and so the text is more easily understood.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: sielos ilgesys] #339803 12/22/09 01:53 PM
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theophan Offline
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I've taught lay readers/lectors/proclaimers (whatever the term of the day is) since 1973. My undergraduate work included oral interpretation fo the printed page. It's not so much how a person's voice is, but how one is prepared for this service to the community. Enunciation and pronunciation are so important. And just putting someone up front with a book just does not cut it. Add to that the need for a serious line by line study of the words and phrases to try to discern what the sacred text is actually saying--given the problems that might come between what the original was meant to convey (a whole other area)--and you begin to see that this is more serious than just drawing people out by lot. Some don't have the voice quality or volume to do the text justice. Others hurry through because they can't overcome stage fright. It's a challenge to convey what God is saying to His People through the chanting or proclamation of the Word.

BOB

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: theophan] #339809 12/22/09 02:46 PM
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The first rule for Readers: Read the text before you read the text. Far too often I have seen readers get up and stumble through the Epistle (or, more often, the Old Testament readings during feast, which are less familiar). Many (perhaps most) people are not particularly good at sight reading, so rehearsal and even memorization are essential. I don't read that often, but when I do, I write out the text precisely as I intend to read it--with all the proper phrasing, pitch and intonation noted. Readers should pay particular attention to end of the reading, where the change in the tone and pitch often catches them wrong-footed. For whatever reason, women seem to put in the time preparing for the reading more than do men.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: StuartK] #339815 12/22/09 03:14 PM
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theophan Offline
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Stuart:

That's part of the course I've used for lay readers: read and study prior to assignment; no one does it cold. I insist that they read the text each fo the days of the week prior to their assignment--at least five times and practice it aloud at home at least twice. Frotunately, I've also had the right to remove people from this ministry who seem to slog through it so the program I've had has had some very good people in this ministry.

BOB

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: theophan] #339837 12/22/09 08:24 PM
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Kathleen Elsie Offline
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I have been asked to read on the spur of the moment. I will step in and do so if there are no men available to do the reading.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: Kathleen Elsie] #339843 12/22/09 10:07 PM
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theophan Offline
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K E:

I'm not saying that one ought not do this at the last minute. What I do say is that it takes a lot of experience to do it well. I commend you if you can do that.

What I object to is the idea that this ministry should be something granted as a reward to the pastor's favorites, amny of whom lack the volume and/or enunciation to do anything more than an injustice to the proclamation of the Word. My thought is that the pericopes selected by the Church are important on an eternal level for the souls of those listening. I have likened it in training new people to the angel who stirred the water and the first person into the pool was healed. The voice of the lector is meant to stir the souls of those who hear for whatever purpose the Lord has for tht person at that time. How often I come to Liturgy on Sunday only to find that someone who was looking at me the previous week has been called to eternity. And I ask myself if he had been stirred. What if the pericope I proclaimed was meant to stir him to repentance and I helped him miss the opportunity because I did a lackluster job?

BOB

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: theophan] #339867 12/23/09 02:12 AM
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I teach communication skills, and am aware that the message we send is based 7% on the words 38% on our tone of voice, and 55% on our facial expression and body language. If I am to stir the souls of the listener, the reading first must stir my soul so my entire being can convey the message.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: theophan] #339882 12/23/09 03:34 AM
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sielos ilgesys Offline
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The reminder that mere technique is insufficient for a proper reading of Scripture in a liturgical setting is a good point and I appreciate the emphasis that readers ought to be not only familiar with the text but also be motivated by a conscious desire to serve the parish/monastic community.

I was once @ a Latin-rite Mass on the feast of the Epiphany. The reading mentioned that "caravans of dromedaries bearing gold, frankencense and myrrh" would come...the poor lectory misspoke himself and said (no kidding) - "caravans of dromedaries bearing gold, frankenstein and myrrh..."

Oops.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: storyteller] #339916 12/23/09 12:17 PM
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aramis Offline
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Originally Posted by storyteller
I teach communication skills, and am aware that the message we send is based 7% on the words 38% on our tone of voice, and 55% on our facial expression and body language. If I am to stir the souls of the listener, the reading first must stir my soul so my entire being can convey the message.


One of the beauties of the reading being done from behind the tetrapod, facing forward, is that people do not see the reader's face.

They have the words, and the intonation.

Which reminds me, I should reread the reading for thursday again.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: aramis] #339917 12/23/09 12:40 PM
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Also if someone knows that they "could" be called upon to read then they should IMHO be reading the next days readings on a regular basis. If there are children in the home you can always make it a time of teaching and let them practice reading out loud.

Re: Women Readers in Byzantine Catholic Liturgy [Re: Kathleen Elsie] #340093 12/26/09 08:44 PM
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Unfortunately, the epistle book in the BCC is the original NAB, an infelicitous translation that is not easily available. This makes it difficult to practice.


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