IDEALLY FIVE DAYS BEFORE YOUR SCHEDULED MASS, assuming your Mass has two lectors, begin preparing to proclaim your assigned reading AND the other reading.
Winging it may be great for angels but you and I usually make progress step-by-step.
HERE ARE YOUR EIGHT STEPS TO SUCCESS:
Step 1: Determine the common theme / core message of the first reading and the Gospel.
The first reading, usually from the Old Testament, reflects a theme from the Gospel reading.
Knowing the theme will enable you to bring proper tones, inflections and emotions to your proclamation.
Step 2: From the Bible read the sections before and after your assigned text …
to get a better understanding of the author’s core message. This also helps determine what you should emphasize and your tone of voice. There may be more than one core message or theme.
Step 3: Open your lectionary or your “lector preparation guide” to both your assigned text and the other text.
Using a finger as a place holder, silently enunciate every word with exaggerated lip and mouth movements.
Note any uncommon phrasing and uncommon word order.
You are developing verbal “mind muscle” memory.
Usually your “lector training guide” has the readings formatted exactly like the Lectionary’s which will be on the ambo.
Step 4: Out loud speak each word individually.
Enunciate. Open your mouth. Use the full range of your lips and tongue. Do not drop letters unless silent. This develops more verbal “mind muscle” patterning.
Unsure even a little bit if a pronunciation is correct? Confirm it now. Use the parish pronunciation book. Or try Google: How do I pronounce strangeword?
Step 5: Find a practice place where you can stand holding the text …
in one hand and with the other hand, a place holder finger.
Proclaim so that imaginary congregants sitting 30 feet (or 10 long paces) from you can easily and distinctly hear you. Use this same volume when using a microphone at Mass.