The General Instruction of the Roman Missal says that those who proclaim the Word in the Liturgy need to be “truly qualified and carefully prepared so that the faithful may develop a warm and living love for Scripture from listening to the sacred texts” (66)
This means more than just getting up on Sunday to do a reading. It means proclaiming God’s Word in such a way that those gathered come to a deeper, richer faith.
In accepting the ministry of proclaiming the Word in the Liturgy one also accepts the responsibility of becoming more familiar with the scriptures and deepening one’s understanding of the scriptural texts. This is a serious responsibility because it is impossible to proclaim a passage of scripture with conviction if one’s appreciation of the text is shallow and very limited. Knowing all the words in a passage, (and knowing how to pronounce them!) is not enough. It’s also necessary to have some grasp of the meaning of the passage, and of the emotion in the passage, in order to express the meaning and emotion in your voice when you stand to proclaim the message. If you have neither understanding or emotion, the reading will be dull, boring and uninteresting.
If the congregation can’t even hear all the words you are saying when you are reading, the situation is even worse. Nevertheless, proclamation made with obvious faith and conviction will make an impact even when not all the words are understood.
To do the proclamation well we need to prepare.