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Daily Catholic Question

Are lectors allowed to change the words in readings?

No, we are not supposed to make up our own translations of the readings of the Lectionary. There is, however, some looseness in adapting or translating the readings for use in children's Masses. And, apart from the readings, there are places in the liturgical rites where the celebrant or minister is given a choice of prayers, told to invite, introduce or use other suitable words, without any specific formula being given.

Concerning the problem you raise about readers changing words, R. Kevin Seasoltz says in New Liturgy, New Laws (The Liturgical Press): "If observance of a law occasions the rejection of the liturgy or the Church by a large segment of the community, surely the traditional teaching of epikeia justifies the non-observance of the law. This affirmation is in keeping with the medieval axiom that sacraments are for people; people do not exist for the Church. For example, in communities that are aware of and committed to efforts to assure justice for women and minorities in the Church, the use of sexist language in the liturgy is often both irritating and alienating: In some instances it arouses deep hostility.

"Sometimes the bias against women is built into the vernacular translation but not into the original Latin text. There is no reason why the words 'pro multis' in the text of [eucharistic] institution within the anaphora need to be translated 'for all men.' To avoid harm and insult to the community, ministers have rightly changed the text and avoided sexist language."

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Friday, October 12, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 10/11/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 10/13/2012


Joachim and Anne: In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed. Even the names <i>Joachim</i> and <i>Anne</i> come from a legendary source written more than a century after Jesus died. 
<p>The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people. </p><p>The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past. </p><p>Joachim and Anne—whether these are their real names or not—represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.</p> American Catholic Blog My hope is that my children reach beyond me in character. I don’t want to be their moral ceiling. That makes me responsible to guide and discipline them in directions I don’t always follow. And above all, to show them mercy for their human frailty, as I ask them to show me that same mercy for mine.

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