Lectionary Readings in Braille

For the first time in twelve years, I’ll be working with a lector who is blind. My previous experience was a positive one, as the young lady prepared readings in advance and arrived at liturgy with a stiff piece of paper, rather parchment-like, punched with those small dots.

This semester, our parish has a grad student who reads via Braille. I sent her the readings for her assigned Sundays. She has told me she can “translate” these readings for her use.

A few discussion points for my commentariat, if you care to weigh in …

How many of you have had lectors who needed to proclaim the Scriptures from a Braille text? What are some of the ways in which you have interacted with these lectors to assist in their preparation?

On the institutional front, what do you suppose the approach is with Braille and the Lectionary? Does a Braille copy of a Lectionary reading have to have a copyright notice? Does it need to be aligned in sense lines like the Lectionary? What might other potential issues do you see as possibly coming from Rome or the USCCB on this front?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to Lectionary Readings in Braille

  1. Liam says:

    I suspect this is something that is completely beyond the radar of Rome or the USCCB or chanceries: I don’t think they would invest in Braille lectionary materials as such because they would assume no blind person would wish to proclaim the Word.

    Here’s the story on the May 2011 release of a Braille edition of the March 2011 edition of the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE):

    http://www.prlog.org/11518594-xavier-society-for-the-blind-on-the-road.html

  2. Ellen Mahar says:

    I suggest you contact Rev.Mike Joly, pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish 315 Harris Grove Lane, Yorktown VA 23692, Parish Office: 757-898-5570. He has been blind since early childhood and reads Braillle..

  3. I am the copyright person for the Lectionary and the NABRE. There is no problem with reproducing the readings in Braille. There is no need to retain sense lines or to include a copyright notice when the text is intended to be used by a single lector. (It would be different if you were distributing a text widely, as the Xavier Society for the Blind does.) You should certainly refer the lector to the Xavier Society which will provide the readings and Mass prayers and a wide variety of Catholic resources to the vision-impaired without charge. Their work is exceptional and could mean you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!

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