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The Voorleezer was a very important official in the Reformed Church and combined the duties of several offices. 1st, as Voorleezer or clerk, upon Sundays, before the minister entered the pulpit, the Voorleezer took his place at the desk in front of the high pulpit or "preaching chair," as it was called, and opened the services by announcing and reading a verse from the Psalms. He then led the congregation in the singing of it, which gave him the title of foresinger. After the verse had been sung he first read the ten commandments or the creed, and then a portion of the Scriptures. In the meantime the preacher had ascended the pulpit, a verse was again sung and the Voorleezer went to his seat in the pew set apart for the consistory. When the sermon, which usually lasted an hour and a half, was half finished the minister announced a Psalm verse, the foresinger returned to his desk and led the singing, while the deacons went around with the "bell" to gather in the collections. At the close of the services the Voorleezer again led in singing and the minister dismissed the congregation with the benediction. 2d, during the week days, the Voorleezer taught the village school, and was at the same time catechiser, using in early days of Bergen a question book written by, Domine Johannis Megapolensis of Nieu Amsterdam. If there was no minister the Voorleezer took the place of a local pastor in all respects except baptizing children and administering the, Lord's Supper. Not being

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