A Non-Parenthetical Lectionary


The Anglican Church in North America has published a daily office lectionary based on the 1962 Anglican Church of Canada daily lectionary. I will critique its manifold problems in a future post, but I have been working on a solution. First, an explanation.

What do I mean by “non-parenthetical”? Two things. First, it is a reference to a line in the preface to the first English Book of Common Prayer (1549) which says, “For they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible (or the greatest part thereof) should be read over once in the year.” Did you catch what was in the parenthesis? Or the greatest part thereof.

This remark has haunted Anglican lectionaries to this day. To my knowledge, none of them manage to include the entirety of the Scriptures in a year. This leads to the second sense of parenthetical which is that within some of these lectionaries, there are parenthetical verses listed — those that can be read, but are not prescribed.

What have I done to correct this? The simple thing to do is to divide all Scripture into 365 bits and go forth. But, because of the church calendar and the desire of most people to not put the New Testament off until Autumn each year, it is not so straightforward.

I have conducted a thorough analysis of the ACNA Daily Lectionary as it is to be read for 2017 (starting with Advent in 2016). Some of what I discovered in this analysis will be in my critique of this particular lectionary.

What I then set out to do was to add what was missing in a way that made sense. This allows a reader to use the NPL and still be “in synch” with others who are reading the ACNA Daily Lectionary. The largest change I made was to shift a chapter from Morning to Evening in a few places in order to preserve continuity.

Where possible, I have inserted the missing sections into the readings. If this was not possible, they were included in the 5th column which I have labeled “Supplementary” and can be read with Morning or Evening, or at any other time throughout the day. As much as I could, I tried to keep these readings near other related readings, though some were just placed where there was room. For example, Leviticus was deliberately placed in Lent in order to highlight the sacrificial system which Christ came to fulfill and complete.

I not only included missing Old Testament and New Testament passages, but also the entirety of the Apocrypha as recognized by the Anglican Church. (Some parts of the Apocrypha are included in the ACNA Daily Lectionary.) Because of the number of chapters omitted, I also repeated a few of the less-repeated New Testament chapters to fill things out.

My goal was to create a lectionary that follows the ACNA Daily Lectionary while also addressing its omissions. I wanted to create a daily lectionary that is non-parenthetical in either of the two senses addressed above. I believe I have accomplished that for 2017. If you find any errors or omissions, please let me know so I can address them.

Non-Parenthetical Lectionary


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Filed under Bible, Book of Common Prayer, Lectionary, Reading

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