Monday, January 19, 2009

Lector Institution

One Sunday ago, January 12th, 2008, I along with 56 other seminarians of the class of 2012/13 were instituted as Lectors by Archbishop Burke, the new prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, formerly Archbishop of St. Louis.

I've been reading Pastores Dabo Vobis for my formation meetings and I came along this quote that I think hits at the heart of being a Lector and points the way towards the priesthood as well.

"The Council tells us: "All clerics, particularly priests of Christ and others who, as deacons or catechists, are officially engaged in the ministry of the word, should immerse themselves in the Scriptures by constant sacred reading and diligent study. For it must not happen that anyone becomes 'an empty preacher of the word of God to others, not being a hearer of the word of God in his own heart' (St. Augustine, Sermon 179, 1: PL 8:966)."(140)

The Lector institution reminded me of the necessity to always be praying with the Scriptures, coming to know the face of Christ in his word, so that I am always ready to bring that same word to the people. Only when I know Christ can I proclaim his words in Scripture before the assembly. I'm not the best when it comes to regular prayer with Scriptures but if anything, this institution gives me an extra push and hopefully some extra grace as well.

Here we are in the chapel before the beginning of Mass.

Here's the other side of the Immaculate Conception Chapel.

There is not a whole lot to the Institution of Reader. But there are three parts that I counted. First, we were called. You can see me over on the left side - end of the alphabet means I am also in the last row. :) I have to say there was something especially unique about standing up before my brothers and saying present - as if to say here I am Lord and I am ready for this next step to priesthood. I dunno what it will bring but I am ready and willing.

This is Archbishop Burke preaching from his chair. This is the traditional way for a bishop to preach with mitre on and crozier in hand. But I felt bad for the acolyte who had to kneel for the whole thing. My hands would have been shaking and my kneels crying out in misery. Well, maybe my turn is in a couple years. :)

After his homily there was a short prayer (2nd part) where all of the men to be instituted Lectors knelt down and the Archbishop said a prayer and blessed us.

Then we found ourselves in the third part. The Archbishop hands us the Scriptures and says something that I have completely forgotten and I cannot seem to get my hands on. My face is funny. I was trying not to smile. :)

And there we are, 57 newly instituted Lectors of the Roman Catholic Church. AMDG.

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