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A lectionary (Latin: Lectionarium) is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian
Christian
or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion. There are sub-types such as a "gospel lectionary" or evangeliary, and an epistolary with the readings from the New Testament
New Testament
Epistles.

Contents

1 History 2 Western lectionaries

2.1 Catholic Mass Lectionary
Lectionary
and the Revised Common Lectionary 2.2 Three-year cycle 2.3 Alternative cycles

2.3.1 Narrative Lectionary

2.4 Daily lectionaries 2.5 Other lectionary information

3 Eastern lectionaries

3.1 Byzantine lectionary

3.1.1 Epistle
Epistle
and Gospel 3.1.2 Old Testament
Old Testament
readings

3.2 Syriac and Malankara churches: Catholic, Orthodox

4 See also 5 References 6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit] The Talmud claims that the practice of reading appointed Scriptures on given days or occasions dates back to the time of Moses and began with the annual religious festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Talmud, Megilah 32a). The Mishnah
Mishnah
portion of the Talmud, probably finished in the early 3rd century AD/CE (Anno Domini or Common Era) contains a list of Torah
Torah
readings for various occasions (Talmud, Megilah 32a) and assumes that these special readings interrupt a regular schedule of Torah
Torah
readings (Talmud, Megilah 29a, 30b). In addition to these Torah
Torah
readings, the later Gemara
Gemara
portion of the Talmud also knows of assigned annual readings from the prophets (Talmud, Megilah 31a). By the Medieval era the Jewish community had a standardized schedule of scripture readings both from the Torah
Torah
and the prophets to be read in the synagogue. A sequential selection was read from the Torah, followed by the "haftarah" – a selection from the prophetic books or historical narratives (e.g. "Judges," "Kings," etc.) closely linked to the selection from the Torah. Jesus
Jesus
may have read a providentially "random" reading when he read from Isaiah 61:1-2, as recorded in Luke 4:16-21, when he inaugurated his public ministry.[citation needed] The early Christians adopted the Jewish custom of reading extracts from the Old Testament
Old Testament
on the Sabbath. They soon added extracts from the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists.[1] Both Hebrew and Christian
Christian
lectionaries developed over the centuries. Typically, a lectionary will go through the scriptures in a logical pattern, and also include selections which were chosen by the religious community for their appropriateness to particular occasions. The one-year Jewish lectionary reads the entirety of the Torah
Torah
within the space of a year and may have begun in the Babylonian Jewish community; the three-year Jewish lectionary seems to trace its origin to the Jewish community in and around the Holy Land.[2] The existence of both one-year and three-year cycles occurs in both Christianity
Christianity
and Judaism. Within Christianity, the use of pre-assigned, scheduled readings from the scriptures can be traced back to the early church, and seems to have been inherited from Judaism. The earliest documentary record of a special book of readings is a reference by Gennadius of Massilia to a work produced at the request of Bishop Venerius of Marseilles, who died in 452, though there are 3rd-century references to liturgical readers as a special role in the clergy.[3] Not all of the Christian Church used the same lectionary, and throughout history, many varying lectionaries have been used in different parts of the Christian
Christian
world. Until the Second Vatican Council, most Western Christians (Catholics, Old Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and those Methodists
Methodists
who employed the lectionary of Wesley) used a lectionary that repeated on a one-year basis. This annual lectionary provided readings for Sundays and, in those Churches that celebrated the festivals of saints, feast-day readings. The Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
and many of the Oriental Churches continue to use an annual lectionary. Within Lutheranism
Lutheranism
there remains an active minority of pastors and congregations who use the old one-year lectionary, often referred to as the Historic Lectionary. The Reformed churches divided the Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism
into 52 weekly sections, and many churches preach or teach from a corresponding source scripture weekly. Lectionaries from before the invention of the printing press contribute to understanding the textual history of the Bible. See also List of New Testament
New Testament
lectionaries. Western lectionaries[edit] Catholic Mass Lectionary
Lectionary
and the Revised Common Lectionary[edit]

Portrait of Rembrandt's mother reading a lectionary, ca. 1630 (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam).

After the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
of 1962–1965, the Holy See, even before producing an actual lectionary (in Latin), promulgated the Ordo Lectionum Missae (Order of the Readings for Mass), giving indications of the revised structure and the references to the passages chosen for inclusion in the new official lectionary of the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
of Mass. It introduced an arrangement by which the readings on Sundays and on some principal feasts recur in a three-year cycle, with four passages from Scripture
Scripture
(including one from the Psalms) being used in each celebration, while on weekdays only three passages (again including one from the Psalms) are used, with the first reading and the psalm recurring in a two-year cycle, while the Gospel
Gospel
reading recurs after a single year. This revised Mass Lectionary, covering much more of the Bible
Bible
than the readings in the Tridentine Roman Missal, which recurred after a single year, has been translated into the many languages in which the Roman Rite
Roman Rite
Mass is now celebrated, incorporating existing or specially prepared translations of the Bible
Bible
and with readings for national celebrations added either as an appendix or, in some cases, incorporated into the main part of the lectionary. The Roman Catholic Mass Lectionary
Lectionary
is the basis for many Protestant lectionaries, most notably the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and its derivatives, as organized by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) organization located in Nashville, Tennessee. Like the Mass lectionary, they generally organize the readings for worship services on Sundays in a three-year cycle, with four elements on each Sunday, and three elements during daily Mass:

first reading from the Old Testament
Old Testament
or, in Eastertide
Eastertide
from certain books of the New Testament; responsorial Psalm
Psalm
(ideally, to be sung) or Gradual; second reading from one of the New Testament
New Testament
Letters (only on Sundays and special feasts); and a Gospel
Gospel
reading.

Three-year cycle[edit] The lectionaries (both Catholic and RCL versions) are organized into three-year cycles of readings. The years are designated A, B, or C. Each yearly cycle begins on the first Sunday of Advent
Advent
(the last Sunday of November or first Sunday of December). Year B follows year A, year C follows year B, then back again to A.

Year A: Gospel
Gospel
of Matthew (December 2016 through 2017) Year B: Gospel
Gospel
of Mark (December 2017 through 2018- current year) Year C: Gospel
Gospel
of Luke (December 2015 through 2016)

The Gospel
Gospel
of John is read throughout Easter, and is used for other liturgical seasons including Advent, Christmas, and Lent
Lent
where appropriate. Alternative cycles[edit] In October 2013, The Christian
Christian
Century featured a discussion of new, expanded lectionary proposals, including The Year D Project, The Narrative Lectionary, The One-Year Lectionary, and the African-American Lectionary, some of which call for more thorough exposure to the Gospel
Gospel
of John, but all of which are, in their own way, concerned with fostering greater biblical literacy.[4] Narrative Lectionary[edit] The Narrative Lectionary
Lectionary
is a four-year cycle of Bible
Bible
readings designed for preaching sermons that extends from the Sunday after Labor Day
Labor Day
to the Day of Pentecost
Pentecost
with texts following the biblical story. The remainder of each year of the cycle may consist of preaching series on biblical books or topics that fall outside the narrative cycle. The cycle is arranged to highlight the major story arcs of the Bible:

From September to Advent, the readings come from the Old Testament, including the stories of Creation, early Hebrew people, exodus, wilderness, Judges, kings, prophets, captivity, and exile. From Christmas
Christmas
to Easter, one of the four gospels is read. From Easter
Easter
to Pentecost, the texts are from Acts and Paul’s letters. From Pentecost
Pentecost
to September, preachers are encouraged to create their own sermon series to address other topics or Bible
Bible
passages.

The Liturgical Year works with the Narrative Lectionary. At Advent, Old Testament
Old Testament
readings conclude with the prophets who speak of hope for a Messiah. Readings from the gospels parallel the events of Jesus' life from Christmas
Christmas
and Epiphany to Holy Week
Holy Week
and Easter. The book of Acts and Paul’s letters tell the story of the earliest Christian movement, culminating with the Pentecost
Pentecost
readings on the Holy Spirit. The Narrative Lectionary
Lectionary
was developed[5] by Profs. Rolf Jacobson and Craig Koester of Luther Seminary. Daily lectionaries[edit] The Roman Catholic lectionary includes a two-year cycle for the weekday mass readings (called Cycle I and Cycle II). Odd-numbered years are Cycle I; even-numbered ones are Cycle II. The weekday lectionary includes a reading from the Old Testament, Acts, Revelation, or the Epistles; a responsorial Psalm; and a reading from one of the Gospels. These readings are generally shorter than those appointed for use on Sundays. The pericopes for the first reading along with the psalms are arranged in a two-year cycle. The Gospels are arranged so that portions of all four are read every year. This weekday lectionary has also been adapted by some denominations with congregations that celebrate daily Eucharistic services. It has been published in the Episcopal Church's Lesser Feasts and Fasts
Lesser Feasts and Fasts
and in the Anglican Church of Canada's Book of Alternative Services (among others). This eucharistic lectionary should not be confused with the various Daily Office lectionaries in use in various denominations. The Consultation on Common Texts has produced a three-year Daily Lectionary
Lectionary
which is thematically tied into the Revised Common Lectionary, but the RCL does not provide a daily Eucharistic lectionary as such. Various Anglican and Lutheran Churches have their own daily lectionaries. Many of the Anglican daily lectionaries are adapted from the one provided in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Other lectionary information[edit] In some churches, the lectionary is carried in the entrance procession by a lector. In the Catholic Church, the Book of the Gospels
Book of the Gospels
is carried in by a deacon (when there is no deacon, a lector might process in with the Book of the Gospels). When the Book of the Gospels is used, the first two readings are read from the lectionary, while the Book of the Gospels
Book of the Gospels
is used for the final reading. The lectionary is not to be confused with a missal, gradual or sacramentary. While the lectionary contains scripture readings, the missal or sacramentary contains the appropriate prayers for the service, and the gradual contains chants for use on any particular day. In particular, the gradual contains a responsory which may be used in place of the responsorial psalm. Eastern lectionaries[edit]

Jaharis Byzantine Lectionary, Metropolitan Museum of Art

In the Eastern Churches (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic, the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East, and those bodies not in communion with any of them but still practicing eastern liturgical customs) tend to retain the use of a one-year lectionary in their liturgy. Different churches follow different liturgical calendars (to an extent). Most Eastern lectionaries provide for an epistle and a Gospel
Gospel
to be read on each day. The oldest known complete Christian
Christian
Lectionary
Lectionary
is in the Caucasian Albanian language.

An example of Byzantine lectionary — Codex Harleianus (l150), AD 995, text of John 1:18.

Byzantine lectionary[edit] Those churches ( Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
and Byzantine Catholic) which follow the Rite of Constantinople, provide an epistle and Gospel
Gospel
reading for most days of the year, to be read at the Divine Liturgy; however, during Great Lent
Lent
there is no celebration of the liturgy on weekdays (Monday through Friday), so no epistle and Gospel
Gospel
are appointed for those days. As a historical note, the Greek lectionaries are a primary source for the Byzantine text-type
Byzantine text-type
used in the scholarly field of textual criticism. Epistle
Epistle
and Gospel[edit] The Gospel
Gospel
readings are found in what Orthodoxy usually calls a Gospel Book (Evangélion), although in strict English terms the Greek ones are in the form of an Evangeliary, and an Epistle
Epistle
Book (Apostól). There are differences in the precise arrangement of these books between the various national churches. In the Byzantine practice, the readings are in the form of pericopes (selections from scripture containing only the portion actually chanted during the service), and are arranged according to the order in which they occur in the church year, beginning with the Sunday of Pascha (Easter), and continuing throughout the entire year, concluding with Holy Week. Then follows a section of readings for the commemorations of saints and readings for special occasions (baptism, funeral, etc.). In the Slavic practice, the biblical books are reproduced in their entirety and arranged in the canonical order in which they appear in the Bible. The annual cycle of the Gospels is composed of four series:

The Gospel
Gospel
of St. John

read from Pascha until Pentecost
Pentecost
Sunday

The Gospel
Gospel
of St. Matthew

divided over seventeen weeks beginning with the Monday of the Holy Spirit (the day after Pentecost). From the twelfth week, it is read on Saturdays and Sundays while the Gospel
Gospel
of St. Mark is read on the remaining weekdays

The Gospel
Gospel
of St. Luke

divided over nineteen weeks beginning on the Monday after the Sunday after the Elevation of the Holy Cross. From the thirteenth week, it is only read on Saturdays and Sundays, while St. Mark's Gospel
Gospel
is read on the remaining weekdays

The Gospel
Gospel
of St. Mark

read during the Lenten period on Saturdays and Sundays — with the exception of the Sunday of Orthodoxy.

The interruption of the reading of the Gospel
Gospel
of Matthew after the Elevation of the Holy Cross is known as the "Lukan Jump" The jump occurs only in the Gospel
Gospel
readings, there is no corresponding jump in the epistles. From this point on the epistle and Gospel
Gospel
readings do not exactly correspond, the epistles continuing to be determined according to the moveable Paschal cycle
Paschal cycle
and the Gospels being influenced by the fixed cycle. The Lukan Jump is related to the chronological proximity of the Elevation of the Cross to the Conception of the Forerunner (St. John the Baptist), celebrated on September 23. In late Antiquity, this feast marked the beginning of the ecclesiastical New Year. Thus, beginning the reading of the Lukan Gospel
Gospel
toward the middle of September can be understood. The reasoning is theological, and is based on a vision of Salvation History: the Conception of the Forerunner constitutes the first step of the New Economy, as mentioned in the stikhera of the matins of this feast. The Evangelist Luke is the only one to mention this Conception (Luke 1:5-24). In Russia, the use of the Lukan Jump vanished; however in recent decades, the Russian Church has begun the process of returning to the use of the Lukan Jump. Old Testament
Old Testament
readings[edit] Other services have scriptural readings also. There is a Gospel
Gospel
lesson at Matins on Sundays and feast days. These are found in the Evangelion. There are also readings from the Old Testament, called "parables" (paroemia), which are read at vespers on feast days. These parables are found in the Menaion, Triodion or Pentecostarion. During Great Lent, parables are read every day at vespers and at the Sixth Hour. These parables are found in the Triodion. Syriac and Malankara churches: Catholic, Orthodox[edit]

Small portion of a Coptic lectionary.

In the Jacobite Syriac Churches, the lectionary begins with the liturgical calendar year on Qudosh `Idto (the Sanctification of the Church), which falls on the eighth Sunday before Christmas. Both the Old and the New Testament
New Testament
books are read except the books of Revelation, Song of Solomon, and I and II Maccabees. Scripture readings are assigned for Sundays and feast days, for each day of Lent and Holy Week, for raising people to various offices of the Church, for the blessing of Holy Oil and various services such as baptisms and funerals. Generally, three Old Testament
Old Testament
lections, a selection from the prophets, and three readings from the New Testament
New Testament
are prescribed for each Sunday and Feast day. The New Testament
New Testament
readings include a reading from Acts, another from the Catholic Epistles
Epistles
or the Pauline Epistles, and a third reading from one of the Gospels. During Christmas
Christmas
and Easter
Easter
a fourth lesson is added for the evening service. The readings reach a climax with the approach of the week of the Crucifixion. Through Lent
Lent
lessons are recited twice a day except Saturdays. During the Passion Week readings are assigned for each of the major canonical hours. If there is a weekday Liturgy celebrated on a non-feast day, the custom is to read the Pauline epistle only, followed by the Gospel. See also[edit]

Book of Alternative Services Dominical letter Ekphonetic notation Gospel
Gospel
Book Lection Lector List of New Testament
New Testament
lectionaries Liturgical year Manzil Mass (liturgy) Pericope Revised Common Lectionary The Text This Week Weekly Torah
Torah
portion The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran

References[edit]

^ "Lectionary". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-07-06.  ^ Elbogen, Ismar. Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History. Original publication 1913. Trans Raymond P. Scheindlin for Jewish Publication Society edition 1993. ^ Palazzo,Eric, A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, p. 91, 1998, Liturgical Press, ISBN 081466167X, 9780814661673, google books ^ Thorngate, Steve (October 16, 2013). "What's the text: Alternatives to the common lectionary". The Christian
Christian
Century. Retrieved 2017-11-20.  ^ Jacobson, Rolf (Spring 2012). "The narrative lectionary". Lutheran Forum. 46 (1): 24–26. ISSN 0024-7456. 

Further reading[edit]

Evans, Helen C. (2004). Byzantium: faith and power (1261-1557). New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 1588391132.  Evans, Helen C.; Wixom, William D. (1997). The glory of Byzantium: art and culture of the Middle Byzantine era, A.D. 843-1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780810965072. 

External links[edit]

Look up lectionary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Thesaurus Antiquorum Lectionariorum Ecclesiae Synagogaeque A database on ancient and medieval Jewish and Christian
Christian
lectionaries allowing to automatically compare 25000 readings of ca. 35 lectionaries of many ancient denominations (Jewish Ashkenazy, Sephardic, Yemenite, Byzantine, Italian, Talmuds, Mishnah, Tosefta, Rav Saadia Gaon, some Midrashim, triannual from the Geniza, Armenian rite of Jerusalem, Gallican, Mozarabic, Roman, Byzantine, Coptic, West- and East Syriac, Maronite). Automatic synopsis and automatic calendar reconstruction tools. Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox
Online Chapel lectionary Lectionary
Lectionary
of the Greek Orthodox Church according to the typicon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Books and Resources Books and resources to learn more about the Eucharistic lectionary. The Revised Common Lectionary The Roman Catholic Lectionary
Lectionary
- based on the New American Bible, as approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (also used in the Philippines) General Introduction to the Lectionary
Lectionary
(Roman Catholic) The Joint Liturgical Group (UK) – which developed The Four Year Lectionary
Lectionary
(One Gospel
Gospel
per Year) Narrative Lectionary
Lectionary
with history, contexts, and links to readings The "Lukan Jump" Orthodox Research Institute Orthodox Christian
Christian
Lectionary
Lectionary
Explained (Russian Orthodox) Lectionary
Lectionary
of the Syriac Orthodox Church  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Lectionary". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  Roman Catholic Lectionary
Lectionary
for Mass Resources for the study of the current Roman Catholic lectionary. [permanent dead link] Historic Lectionary
Lectionary
Lutheran one-year lectionary "The Four Gospels" a lectionary in Syriac from 1687

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