A Well-Trained Tongue. Ray Loner-gan. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1982.106 pages. $6.95.
Lector Training Program: This Is the Word of the Lord. Michael Sparough. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1988. $24.00.
Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers (Year A). Graziano Marcheschi with Nancy Seitz Marcheschi. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992.178 pages. $8.00.
The reading of God's Word is an inseparable part of the liturgy for worship in nearly every church. Often that Word is read well; perhaps more often it is not. A weak reading vitiates the power of the Word and is therefore a serious disservice to both the Author and the listener.
The authors of this training program insist that the Word must become audible to both the outer and the inner ear, that it must become comprehensible and meaningful to the listener through a skillful reading. The materials they have prepared should go a long way toward the much-needed training of lectors— ministers and others who read the Word of God in public worship.
The program is made up of three separable but interdependent parts. First there's the workbook for lectors by Ray Lonergan. It's full of useful exercises for both beginners and veterans. Practice sections include Basic Communication Techniques, Methods of Preparation, and Interpretation. Appendices include suggestions for multiple readings, memorizing scripts, and uses of mime.
Though this workbook is especially designed for workshop training sessions,it can be useful for individual work as well.
The second resource, by Michael Sparough, is intended for individual instruction. It consists of three audio-cassette tapes and a booklet with notes for each lesson. Sparough is a master teacher and makes these tapes a delight to work with. He provides lots of modeling, examples, and exercises in such areas as microphone technique, articulation, pacing, inflection, and eye communication.
The Workbook for Lectors and Gospel Readers culminates the program by applying the training to Scripture readings assigned in the Roman Catholic lec-tionary for each Sunday and holy day of the liturgical year. The passages are given in the New American Bible translation and are marked to suggest emphasis and pacing (see box). In addition, commentaries and margin notes offer specific suggestions for understanding and interpreting the Bible selections. Special consideration is given to the particular demands of four different literary forms: stories, letters, prophetic writing, and poetry.
This is indeed an invaluable resource to all who wish to grow in their respect for words and their power to evoke images and emotions, and thus to grow in their ability to render the power of God's Word more effectively. As the authors reiterate, "the proclamation of the good news of salvation exalts the sacred ministry and calls on us to make sure we do nothing to trivialize it. To serve the word well requires our best effort. It is a great trust we are given." A Spanish edition is also available.
These materials, issued by the Archdiocese of Chicago, will serve the cause of Reformed worship well; they are of high quality and sound philosophy and merit wide use.