In the comment section last Friday someone asked the question of how we can determine if someone may perform one of the optional ministries available during the Mass. Before we get to that, just clarification that the most important ministry among the faithful is that of praying the Mass. That is the fullness of participation as reiterated by Pope Emeritus Benedict. The reader does not get to participate MORE because he or she is reading. In fact, it is taking away from their primary ministry of offering the Mass “for themselves and all who are dear to them.”
Canon law does say that the faithful have an obligation to assist at Mass when it is needed. The commenter last week asked the question as to whether a person has a right then to a ministry. To answer this we can look (conveniently enough) at the next paragraph of the GRIM (102) concerning the psalmist. This is the person that might (obviously) proclaim the Psalm between the first and second reading. It lists some qualifications:
“To carry our this function correctly, it is necessary for the psalmist to be accomplished in the art of singing the Psalms and have a facility in public speaking and elocution.”
That sounds pretty daunting if you ask me. But what is our primary goal here? 1. That the Psalm be HEARD. 2. That the Psalm be UNDERSTOOD. 3. That the focus be ON THE PSALM. 4. That he faithful are INSPIRED.
In some ways, it is like being a godparent. It is not an honor. It is a responsibility and should only be engaged if the role has a real expectation of being carried out.