Remember, brothers, we know that our church reading and church singing
are not a performance.
As readers, we are co-servants with the other clergy and the choir of
that parish to HELP PEOPLE PRAY and prepare to receive the Eucharist.
Some people just don't have the talent to tone-match. Musicians will
have to decide how much to let this be a bother.
One could certainly decide that tone-challenged clergy is not a big
issue in the grand scheme of things. God will sooner hear that which
is prayed with humility of heart than that which is proudly intoned
beautifully according to human ears.
Sometimes charity means "putting up" with clergy whose voices are less
than lovely....to us. For clergy, charity might mean putting up with
a reader who thinks he knows better.
When I have directed choirs, there have been times when I'ved tuned
the choir up or down to match the clergy. I find that causes less
frustration for those who find such dissonance frustrating. This
generally is during litanies, the conversational parts, and as a
musician, it's easy for me to do.
As for seeking feedback when reading, that's a good idea. I would
start with my priest, then choir director or other reader or clergy,
and friends. If all that seems to be unhelpful or the clergy seem to
lack knowledge or interest, then this group is a good resource, but we
are not here to learn something so that we can change the priest and
make him the priest we would like him to be.
God gives us the priest and parish we have, warts and all.
Serve all faithfully the best you can.
You make some good points here, especially in your second paragraph,
on choosing the reciting notes. Problem arises (as I have
experienced!) with tone-challanged clergy who land on whatever pitch
is handy, regardless of what choir is singing! Can get almost anarchic
at times. But shrug and go onward and upward!
Also, might help if choir rehearses with priest and vice versa, from
time to time...Personally I've found that that helps a lot.