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The Revised Common Lectionary
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The Revised Common Lectionary

Posted by: Paula Anthony on Sun, Nov 25, 2007

In use by St. Francis Episcopal Church as of 12/2/07


What is the Revised Common Lectionary?

A Lectionary is a table of readings from Scripture appointed to be read at public worship. The association of particular texts with specific days began in the 4th century.

The Roman Catholic Church after Vatican II provided for a three-year cycle of Sunday readings in order to increase the amount of scripture that was being read on Sundays. This Roman lectionary provided the basis for the lectionary in The Book of Common Prayer 1979 as well as for lectionaries in other denominations. Each lectionary was different and there were no common resources for Bible study or sermon preparation.

The Common Lectionary, published in 1983, was an ecumenical project of Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. Developed out of a concern for the unity of the Church and a desire for a common experience of Scripture, it was intended as a harmonization of the many different denominational approaches and was in trial use until 1992.

The Revised Common Lectionary, published in 1992, took into account the constructive criticism from the first trial use period and was adopted for trial use in 1994. It has continued to be adopted by General Convention every year since that time. In June of 2006, the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church directed that the Revised Common Lectionary replace the BCP lectionary “effective the first Sunday of Advent 2007.” 

The Revised Common Lectionary provides:

· The option of semi-continuous reading of the Old Testament lessons.

· The option of Old Testament lessons with a similar theme to the Gospel.

· More lessons including women and their role in salvation history.

· 90% of the same Gospel readings in the BCP lectionary.

· It incorporates most of the readings with which the church is familiar.

· It is a truly ecumenical lectionary shared by most Protestant denominations and is widely used throughout the Anglican communion

Who is using it?

The Anglican Churches of Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Melanesia, Papua New Guinea, Japan and England; American Baptist Churches USA, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church in the USA, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church and beginning Sunday December 2nd, The Protestant Episcopal Church USA!


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