These problems matter. Some people may stop attending your church. Or revenue may drop.
Face the problem directly. There are simple solutions!
Use the printing press. Print the Readings — so if the Reader cannot use a microphone properly people in the pew can still hear the message. They can read it.
And print the sermon. Yes I know that’s not done. But it’s time to do it. If your priest speaks a form of English that is hard to understand — put the sermon (or a short version of it) in the bulletin. That way people can read the sermon then or later on.
Yes there is a growing problem of people in the pew not able to understand what the priest or readers say.
This is adapted from an article in the Wall Street Journal titled I Can’t Understand a Word My Priest Says written by Marty Sherry, Oct. 05, 2017:
Today around a quarter of Catholic diocesan priests were born outside the U.S., and about 30% of priests ordained in America last year were foreign-born. Why and how did they come? Some came after learning English as the language of commerce in their native land. Many see opportunities for ministry in the U.S. Some come as political refugees. Others find salaries are higher here, enabling them to send money home to support their families. Still others find that life in the U.S. is just more comfortable. Most see the U.S. as spiritually needy — so privledged that its people no longer crave sacramental care.
Can’t understand the priest? The Readers mumble or cannot use a microphone properly? Solution: The printing press! Many Protestant churches routinely print the Readings — that way if a person is hard of hearing or the person reading does not speak clearly the congregation can still ‘read along’ and get the message.
Churches typically do not print the Sermon and include it as part of the Bulletin. Why not do so?
Let people think about what was said on Sunday. And for those who cannot understand the accent of the male or female priest — or just can’t follow along because of the length — there’s hope! Use the copy machine.
written by Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com