Brench Lectionary

Last week I mentioned a lectionary that I was designing.  It is now finished, and publicly available at this link!

This lectionary is based upon the basic Christian liturgical calendar, so anyone who is familiar with the Daily Office lectionary in the Book of Common Prayer will immediately recognize most of its features.  It starts in Advent, but is meant to be a cycle from year to year.  Over the course of each year, one will read the Hebrew Old Testament, the Apocrypha (according to Western tradition), the Christian New Testament, and the Apostolic Fathers, all in their entirety.

It has five readings per day: two in the morning, two in the evening, and one at night.  Each of these follow a different track, roughly chronological order through the course of the year.  In the morning it takes you through 1) the Torah and the prophetic writings, and 2) the four Gospel books as well as Acts.  In the morning it takes you through 1) the OT historical writings, and 2) the other NT and Apostolic writings.  In the night, it goes through the OT and Apocryphal wisdom literature.  The Psalms are excluded from this lectionary, because it is assumed that these readings will be incorporated into the Daily Office (morning, evening, and night prayers), wherein the Psalms are already covered.

The primary difference between this lectionary and typical Anglican lectionaries is the handling of the “green seasons,” technically known as Ordinary Time.  Rather than estimating the number of weeks between Epiphany and Lent verses the weeks between Pentecost and Advent, those two periods of time are considered as one: “Ordinary Time.”  How this plays out, then, is that after Epiphany’s calendar week ends, Ordinary Time begins.  On Ash Wednesday, Ordinary Time is interrupted.  When Pentecost Sunday arrives, Ordinary Time is continued on the next week from where it left off.

Additionally, major holy days are appended to this lectionary.  The readings for these are greatly reduced compared to traditional Anglican office lectionaries, having only the morning readings replaced.

 Abbreviations used in this lectionary:

Adv     Advent
Xmas   Christmas
Steph.  St. Stephen
Innoc.  Holy Innocents
Circ.    Circumcision / Holy Name of Jesus
Epiph.  Epiphany
Ash W Ash Wednesday
Palm    Palm Sunday
East     Easter
Asc.     Ascension
Pent.    Pentecost
Or        Ordinary Time
Andr.   St. Andrew
Thom.  St. Thomas
C. Pet. Confession of St. Peter
Paul     Conversion of St. Paul
Purif.   Purification of Mary / Presentation of Jesus
Matthi St. Matthias
Ann.    The Annunciation of Jesus to Mary
Ph & J St. Philip & St. James
Visit.   The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
Barn.   St. Barnabus
J. Bap. St. John the Baptist
P & P   Martyrdom of Peter and Paul
Magd.  St. Mary Magdelene
James   St. James the Apostle
Trans.  The Transfiguration of Jesus
Mary    The Blessed Virgin Mary
Barth.  St. Bartholomew
Cross   Holy Cross / Triumph of the Cross
Matt.   St. Matthew
Angels St. Michael and all Angels
Si & J  St. Simon & St. Jude
Saints  All Saints’ Day
Souls   All Souls’ Day
Thnx    Thanksgiving Day

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About Fr. Brench

I'm an Anglican Priest and a sci-fi geek. Therefore, I write about liturgy & spiritual formation, theology & biblical studies, and Doctor Who. But I keep those blogs separate so I don't confuse too many people!
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14 Responses to Brench Lectionary

  1. Pingback: An Alternative Lectionary « The Writers' Block

  2. For those not familiar with all the abbreviations among the readings:
    II Clem. II Clement (popular title, actual author unknown)
    Dan. Cant. Daniel’s Canticle (Canticle of the Three Young Men)
    Eccles. Ecclesiastes
    Ig. Eph. Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians
    Ig. Mag. Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians
    Ig. Trall. Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians
    Ig. Rom. Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans
    Ig. Phil. Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians
    Ig. Polycarp Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp
    Herm. The Shepherd of Hermas
    Macc. Maccabees
    Martyr. Martyrdom of Polycarp
    SoS Song of Songs
    Wis. Wisdom of Solomon

  3. Most interesting! Would you recommend a source for the Patristic readings?

  4. baruchblogos says:

    Hey Mathew! I am a student at Gordon-Conwell. I actually work in Mentored Ministry and stopped in to get a phone cable the other day at IT, maybe you remember. Anyway, I love liturgy and my sacramental theology has really developed while at Gordon-Conwell. However, I have tried time and time again to make the BCP part of my prayer life and it is difficult for me. One of the major reasons is the, “out of context” nature that some passages randomly appear. My more exhaustive biblical theological mind struggles with this. I know there is a “church context” with the liturgical year, and that the topical organization is a good thing. But my spiritual needs really to tend to lean more toward what you are talking about in this lectionary. I have for quite some time thought that I just need to study more on how the BCP was structured and why the scriptures that were chosen were in fact chosen they way they are structure. But I have yet to get around to doing this, so I still do not use the BCP. So, I guess I have two alternatives, 1) get around to understanding why the scriptures were chosen they way they were in the current lectionary, giving me more context for when I am reading it, and then having a separate time in the day to read scripture contextually. (but am I realistically going to make time to do the second reading?) or, 2) use your lectionary. I would love to talk with you more about the BCP and how it was structured, and also why you chose the scriptures the way you did. Do you also have any good books to recommend that deal with the organization, creation, and structuring of the BCP?

    Thanks for the hard work!

    David Baruch

    • Hi Dave,

      For most of a given year, the BCP’s daily office lectionary is sequential. For example, this summer, the OT readings have been going through 1 Samuel, are now in 2 Samuel, and will take us through Kings, Ezra/Nehemiah, and a bit of Maccabees until Advent starts. The NT and Gospel readings do similar things – go through books fairly sequentially and in order. But in all cases, there is skipped material (for various reasons, some good some questionable). It’s also worth pointing out that different editions of the BCP (1662, 1789, 1928, 1979, etc.) have different lectionaries.

  5. Pingback: Shepherd of Hermas – 1st Vision | Leorningcnihtes boc

  6. Arafea says:

    Hello Matthew!

    You left a comment on my blog a couple months ago, and due to a hectic schedule and computer problems I am just now checking out this link!

    I am new to your blog, so this question may sound dumb, but you this lectionary work for Catholics? I ask this only because it sounds like you are Anglican, and I know that the Church and the Anglicans are extremely similar, but I just wasn’t sure if the readings and prayers would be close enough.

    Thank you for visiting my blog, and I am adding your lectionary to my wish list! 🙂

    God Bless

    • The lectionary I wrote doesn’t have prayers associated with already, they’re set up to be read with (or within) the Daily Offices of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayers. So it could be used with the Book of Common Prayer just as easily as with the Roman Shorter Christian Prayer, akin to what I believe you folks call ‘the Office of Readings.’

      The contents of the lectionary include the same OT Deuterocanon that the Roman Church publishes in Bibles today, so you wouldn’t be missing out, from your perspective. The Apostolic Fathers are also included in the Office of Readings, to some extent (I’m not sure how much), but the way I included them made sure that whole documents got read straight through for better reading comprehension.

      Not sure what you mean by your wish list, though, it’s a free .pdf document available to the world 😉 Thanks for stopping by! God bless you as Christmastide rapidly approaches.

  7. UPDATE #1:
    It’s still Christmastide and I’ve already noted four mistakes:
    1. Amos has a 9th chapter, and squishing it in with 7 & 8 results in a very long reading.
    2. Baruch should break at the end of chapter 5, not at 6:1. Baruch 6, by the way, is sometimes considered a separate document called the Epistle of Jeremiah.
    3. On January 3rd, the Judges reading is meant to be 10:1-11:28.
    4. In Easter week 2, Hebrews 1 is read two days in a row. Split that chapter in half for now.

    Additionally, as I took my final seminary course, Old Testament Survey, I discovered how strangely out of order the OT Prophetic books are in Advent, Christmas, and the beginning of Epiphany. In next year’s revision of this lectionary they’ll be ordered as follows:
    Advent: Amos, Jonah, Hosea, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Obadiah, Baruch
    Christmastide: Haggai, Zechariah, Joel, Malachi
    Conveniently (and/or providentially), the prophets in Advent are pre-exile, and the ones in Christmastide are post-exile. (Sure, Baruch’s kind of a during-exile guy, but that’s fine.)

    I’ll continue to document errors & errata here, and for Advent of next year I’ll have a revised edition complete!

    • UPDATE #2:

      In the first week of Ordinary Time, the second half of 1 Corinthians 5 is repeated on Friday, even though the whole chapter was just read on Thursday.

      Ezekiel 32:17-32 is missing (in week 4 of Ordinary Time). Much of this book’s readings could also benefit from a redistribution so the beginning and end of different prophetic sections are more closely honored.

      • Dcn. Brench says:

        UPDATE #3:

        At the end of Ordinary 23, the verses noted for chapter 9 actually belong to chapter 10. Chapter 9 needs to be added back in.
        Furthermore, Leviticus 28 doesn’t exist, so you can’t read it. I’ll have to update how Leviticus is laid out, too.

  8. Pingback: Stuff thinking Christians should read | Leorningcnihtes boc

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