Item of Interest

In the historical files of The Mother Church are a few letters written by or for Mrs. Eddy which indicate her desire that Readers in Christian Science churches should present Christian Science from the platform in a scholarly manner, that the reading should be clear and distinct, intelligent, and scientific in interpretation. In one instance she said regarding the reading of one of her addresses: "Do not have him read my address. He puts so much of himself in his reading it clouds the subject. I can trust you to give me a good reader, one that feels his subject and expresses it so that his hearers can understand." In 1903 she said regarding her letter to The Mother Church: "It is multum in parvo so I take the liberty to say it is at the mercy of the reader. The style of reading it needs to be conversational." A few years later, in a letter to an official of The Mother Church, she wrote, "I ask you to select the best reader you can find to read my short Message; one whose voice is ample, articulation distinct, and whose emphasis, pause, tone, is according to conversation,—to the laws of understanding his subject and making it clear to the hearer."

Asked on several occasions by newly appointed Readers in Christian Science churches whether it is right for them to have help to better their reading, that they may present it more understandingly, The Christian Science Board of Directors has replied, "We see no reason why any Reader should not have help from a teacher of expression, or another competent to aid him to read correctly as to pronunciation, enunciation, and so forth, and to give out in an interesting and understanding way the meaning of the words being read."

Doubtless every Reader in a Christian Science church turns prayerfully to divine Mind for help to read understandingly, but often he may need aid to fulfill what Nehemiah records was accomplished by the reading of the law in a religious manner to the Israelites when all the people "gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel." And Ezra did so and read "from the morning until midday." And a number of others aided him and "caused the people to understand the law. ... So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading."

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Letter to Directors
December 21, 1935

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