Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written prayers for a memorial service marking the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, according to a brief Associated Press article written by an unattributed journalist that I found via Beliefnet. Twice the article mentions that these prayers will be "read" at the memorial service.
Read? Poor verb choice, bucko. We read newspapers, signs, menus – not prayers.
You see, I can be picky about both words and worship. Prayers, it seems to me, are most definitely prayed, not read. If using two forms of the same word in one sentence – prayer as a noun and pray as a verb – is stylistically bothersome to you, then perhaps some other verbs could be in order. Prayers can be said, offered, lifted up, spoken, shared. Still, my favorite verb to describe the act of prayer is pray. Perhaps, then, the line can be reworked to say that the Archbishop has written words, lines, or verse that will be prayed. What formulations have you used?
The words we use to describe the practices of faith are important, particularly in worship. Prayer is not something that one person reads for others to hear. Rather, prayer is an act of faith in which the whole assembly participates through hearing, yes, but also through meditation, spoken words of response, gestures, posture, and most importantly through the faith of each person gathered.