A Lector's First Proclamation

Yesterday, while my friends and I were walking, we were discussing Carmen's funeral Mass that morning. Someone said that Carmen's Mass was their second for that day. I happened to remember that I once went to four Masses in one day. That feat went uncontested! This is how it happened. When it comes to proclaiming the Word of God, I'm overly conscientious. I think everyone should be. After all, the
Word is the communication of God's will. I consider it an honor to Lector, and as such, I have to work to perform the ministry of being a Lector well. I feel that I'm God's co-worker. He has entrusted this job to me, and I must do everything I can to do Him honor. Feeling as I do, you can imagine my first time lectoring. I was assigned Wednesday night. I forget the scripture reference, but I certainly remember the mention of "the King of Salem." Salem, easy enough you think. Ha! Not for me. I pondered the pronunciation of this word. Was it Salem, as JeruSALEM; or was it Salem, as SALEM, Massachusetts, or SALEM, New Hampshire? Being a smart cookie, I didn't sweat it; I figured I'd just listen very well at morning Mass, and I'll be all set for my evening Mass.

God teased me all day. He must have chuckled at my expense, because Morning Mass at the Abbey was some special occasion. The Abbot was there and he celebrated a Mass of the Holy Spirit--different readings.

After Morning Mass I drove as fast as I could to my own parish Mass at 9:00 AM. Only to find out that it was a funeral Mass--different readings.

One more chance!

I went to Fatima Shrine's daily Mass at 11:00 AM. Success? Not quite! Yes, the reading were the same that I was going to read. However, the Mass celebrant was Italian and spoke with a strong accent. Although, he did say "Salem," like Salem, NH. But I didn't trust his pronunciation. So I telephoned the Dominicans at St. Stephen's Priory, in Dover, MA, and asked to speak to someone who could help me. The friar assured me that however I pronounced "Salem" would be fine. I was to pronounce it the way I was most comfortable.

Well, there I was. I was very nervous, after all, this was my first Lector assignment. I chose to pronounce "Salem" as if it were Salem, NH. It went well.

Then the priest read the Gospel and gave his homily. In his homily he mentioned the King of Salem. And! he pronounced it "Salem", as JeruSALEM.

And God laughed.


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