The following links are useful starting points.
1. The Westminster site has a weekly suggestion as well as general advice
2. CAFOD produces a number of resources
3. The Leeds Diocesan site has a useful though dated handbook for Children's Liturgy.
At the First Communion Catechists network meeting on 25th June the following links were suggested.
1. A quick guide for Catechists to the Eucharist
2. A quick guide for Catechists to Reconciliation
3. Choosing a programme.
The following links will be of use to catechists working with the Confirmation group.
1. A review of Confirmation programmes
A very informative network meeting was held on 21st June 2012 at Sydenham Kirkdale at which 6 of the 10 parishes within the deanery were represented.
The following links will be of use to all RCIA co-ordinators and catechists
1. The RCIA Network
At the Training and Formation Sessions run at Kirkdale the following useful guidelines were provided for use within the Deanery:-
GOOD PRACTICE TIPS FOR LECTORS
1- Preparation. Remember it is the Word of God that you are proclaiming so prepare the passage as far in advance as possible and do not leave it until the day you are going to read. Pray through the passage, reflect on it, read it aloud several times and make sure that you have a good understanding of what it is about. Make sure that you know how to pronounce any difficult names or words. (Several guides to the pronunciation of Biblical names can be found online: they are also sometimes included in printed versions of the Bible)
2- Sit as close to the front of church as possible. In some churches readers are even seated in the sanctuary before the Mass starts.
3- Where readers are seated in the body of the church they should only move to the lectern AFTER THE AMEN of the opening prayer.
4- Do not begin the reading until everybody has settled down. The reading requires full concentration on the reader's part and also on the part of the congregation.
5- Do not tap or fiddle with the microphone before beginning the reading, or even during the reading, and do not read with your mouth too close to, or far away from the microphone.
7- As regards the responsorial psalm if this is to be read and not sung by a cantor DO NOT introduce it by saying “The responsorial psalm. The response is” Just use the words of the response immediately and do not say "response" at the end of each stanza as the congregation will know when to respond, particularly if you look up. Also, leave a pause after the first reading before beginning the psalm.
8- Look up at the beginning of the reading so as to engage with the congregation and during the reading as well where key words or phrases occur, again to ensure the congregation is with you. Use your finger to avoid losing your place when looking. up.
9- Don't rush the reading by setting off at too fast a pace. It is not a time trial! Nothing is more annoying to listeners than to hear someone gabbling through a reading hardly pausing to take a breath. So, read at a measured pace, not too quickly and not too slowly. Practice makes perfect!
10- The speed can be varied slightly so as to convey excitement or to emphasise a particular sentence or word.
11- Vary the pitch and volume to bring life to a passage rather than read it on a monotone and at the same level of volume throughout.
12- Use pauses to divide paragraphs or add emphasis.
13- Be careful to take appropriate breaths, especially in long sentences as there is nothing worse than a reader speeding up when they see the next full stop is quite a way ahead and they are running out of breath.
14- At the end of the reading, leave a pause before saying "The Word of the Lord". (the revised Mass translation - not "This is the word of the Lord", as printed in the lectionary. This gives the congregation a moment to take on board what has just been proclaimed to them.
15- Unless it is the custom for readers to announce and read (or sing) the Gospel acclamation verse, they should leave the sanctuary after the acclamation has been announced (but not before.)