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A lectionary ( la, lectionarium) is a book or listing that contains a collection of
scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...
readings appointed for
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

Christian
or
Judaic Judaism is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, monotheism, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. It has its roots as an organized religion i ...
worship on a given day or occasion. There are sub-types such as a "gospel lectionary" or
evangeliary The ''Evangeliary'' or ''Book of the Gospels'' is a liturgical book Liturgy is the customary public worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an e ...
, and an
epistolary Epistolary means "in the form of a Letter (message), letter or letters", and may refer to: * Epistolary ( la, epistolarium), a Christian liturgical book containing set readings for church services from the New Testament Epistles * Epistolary novel * ...
with the readings from the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
Epistles An epistle (; el, ἐπιστολή, ''epistolē,'' "letter") is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal Didacticism, didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Eg ...
.


History

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 The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah. ...
portion of the Talmud, probably finished in the early 3rd century AD/CE (''Anno'' ''Domini'' or Common Era) contains a list of Torah readings for various occasions (Talmud, ''Megilah 32a'') and assumes that these special readings interrupt a regular schedule of Torah readings (Talmud, ''Megilah 29a, 30b''). In addition to these Torah readings, the later
Gemara The Gemara (also transliteration, transliterated Gemarah, or in Ashkenazi pronunciation Gemore; from Aramaic , from the Aramaic language, Hebrew verb ''gamar'', to finish or complete) is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analys ...
portion of the Talmud also contains assigned annual readings from the prophets (Talmud, ''Megilah 31a''). By the Medieval era the Jewish community had a standardized schedule of scripture readings from both the Torah and the prophets to be read in the
synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a High German languages, High German–derived language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews. ...

synagogue
. A sequential selection was read from the
Torah The Torah (; he, תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") includes the first five books of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Heb ...

Torah
, followed by the "
haftarah The ''haftarah'' or (in Ashkenazi Jews, Ashkenazic pronunciation) ''haftorah'' (alt. ''haphtara'', he, הפטרה) "parting," "taking leave", (plural form: ''haftarot'' or ''haftoros'') is a series of selections from the books of ''Nevi'im'' ...
" – a selection from the prophetic books or historical narratives (e.g. "Judges," "Kings," etc.) closely linked to the selection from the Torah. Jesus may have read a providentially "random" reading when he read from Isaiah 61:1- 2, as recorded in , when he inaugurated his public ministry. The early Christians adopted the Jewish custom of reading extracts from the Old Testament on the Sabbath. They soon added extracts from the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists. Both Hebrew and 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 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.Elbogen, Ismar. ''Jewish Liturgy: A Comprehensive History''. Original publication 1913. Trans Raymond P. Scheindlin for Jewish Publication Society edition 1993. The existence of both one-year and three-year cycles occurs in both Christianity and Judaism. Within Christianity, the use of pre-assigned, scheduled readings from the scriptures can be traced back to the
early church The history of Christianity concerns the Christianity, Christian religion, Christendom, Christian countries, and the Christians with their various Christian denomination, denominations, from the Christianity in the 1st century, 1st century to ...

early church
, and seems to have developed out of the practices of the second temple period. The earliest documentary record of a special book of readings is a reference by
Gennadius of Massilia Gennadius of Massilia (died c. 496), also known as Gennadius Scholasticus or Gennadius Massiliensis, was a 5th-century Christian priest and historian. His best-known work is ''De Viris Illustribus'' ("Of Famous Men"), a biography of over 90 cont ...
to a work produced at the request of Bishop Venerius of
Marseilles Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languag ...
, who died in 452, though there are 3rd-century references to liturgical readers as a special role in the clergy.Palazzo,Eric, ''A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century'', p. 91, 1998, Liturgical Press, , 9780814661673
google books
/ref> 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 world. Until the
Second Vatican Council The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
, most Western Christians (
Catholics The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...
,
Old Catholics The term Old Catholic Church is used from the 1850s by communions which had separated from the Roman Catholic Church over certain doctrines, primarily concerned with Primacy of the Bishop of Rome, papal authority; some of these groups, especia ...
,
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...
,
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology a ...
, and those Methodists who employed the lectionary of
Wesley Wesley is a name with an Anglo-Norman etymology Etymology () The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) – p. 633 "Etymology /ˌɛtɪˈmɒlədʒi/ the study of the class in words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time". is ...

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
saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saint
s, feast-day readings. The
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
and many of the Oriental Churches continue to use an annual lectionary. Within
Lutheranism Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a major ...
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 The Heidelberg Catechism (1563), one of the Three Forms of Unity, is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Calvinist Christian doctrine. It was published in 1563 in Heidelberg, ...
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 A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in wate ...
contribute to understanding the textual history of the Bible. See also
List of New Testament lectionaries A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (194 ...
.


Western lectionaries


At Mass in the Latin Rite before the Second Vatican Council

Before the liturgical reforms of
Vatican II The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
, the Latin rite used a one-year lectionary consisting of a limited selection of sacred readings from the Scriptures. The reason to these limited selections is to maintain consistency, as is a true feature in the Roman Rite. There is one reading to be proclaimed before the Gospel, either taken from the Old Testament (referred to as Lesson) or from the letters of Saint Paul, Saint John, or Saint Peter (referred to as Epistle). The Lesson (or Epistle) is contained in a book called the '' Epistolarium'', a liturgical book containing the epistles that were to be said or sung by a subdeacon at a solemn High Mass. The Gospels are contained in a book called '' Evangeliarium'', or more recently called as "Book of the Gospels", that were to be said or sung by a deacon at a solemn High Mass. However, the Ambrosian Rite and the Mozarabic Rite has two Readings to be proclaimed, called ''Prophetia'' and ''Epistola''.


Catholic Mass Lectionary and the Revised Common Lectionary

After the
Second Vatican Council The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, commonly known as the , or , was the 21st ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological e ...
of 1962–1965, the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
, even before producing an actual lectionary (in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

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 #REDIRECT Roman Rite The Roman Rite ( la, Ritus Romanus) is the main liturgical rite of the Latin or Western Church, the largest of the sui iuris particular Churches that make up the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred ...
of
Mass Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value ...
. 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 (including one from the
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh ...

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 originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

Gospel
reading recurs after a single year. This revised Mass Lectionary, covering much more of the Bible than the readings in the
Roman Missal The Roman Missal ( la, Missale Romanum) is the liturgical book of the Roman Rite that contains the texts and rubric A rubric is a word or section of text that is traditionally written or printed in red ink for emphasis. The word derives from ...
, which recurred after a single year, has been translated into the many languages in which the Roman Rite Mass is now celebrated, incorporating existing or specially prepared translations of the 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 is the basis for many Protestant lectionaries, most notably the
Revised Common Lectionary The Revised Common Lectionary is a lectionary of lection, readings or pericopes from the Bible for use in Christian worship, making provision for the liturgical year with its pattern of observances of festivals and seasons. It was preceded by the Co ...
(RCL) and its derivatives, as organized by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) organization located in
Nashville, Tennessee Nashville is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowerca ...
. 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 Mass is the quantity Quantity is a property that can exist as a multitude or magnitude, which illustrate discontinuity and continuity. Quantities can be compared in terms of "more", "less", or "equal", or by assigning a numerical value ...
: *First reading (''Prima lectio'') from the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as aut ...
or, in
Eastertide , which symbolizes the empty tomb The empty tomb is the Christian tradition that on the morning of the first day of the week (Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Pra ...
from certain books of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
; *
Responsorial psalm The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ''Ketuvim Ketuvim (; hbo, כְּתוּבִים ''Kəṯûḇîm'', "writi ...
(''Psalmus responsorium'') (ideally, to be sung, as contained in the Simple Gradual) or Gradual (as contained in the Roman Gradual); *Second reading (''Secunda lectio'') from one of the New Testament Letters (only on Sundays and Solemnities); and a *Gospel reading (''Evangelium'').


Three-year cycle

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 is a season of the liturgical year The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, ...

Advent
(the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive). Year B follows year A, year C follows year B, then back again to A. *Year A:
Gospel of Matthew The Gospel according to Matthew ( el, Κατὰ Ματθαῖον Εὐαγγέλιον, translit=Katà Matthaîon Euangélion), also called the Gospel of Matthew, or simply Matthew, is the first book of the New Testament and one of the three s ...
(Advent 2019 through 2020) *Year B:
Gospel of Mark The Gospel according to Mark ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Μᾶρκον , translit=Euangélion katà Mârkon), also called the Gospel of Mark, or simply Mark, is the second of the four Gospel#Canonical_gospels, canonical gospels and of ...
(Advent 2020 through 2021) * Year C:
Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν , translit=Euangélion katà Loukân), also called the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, tells of the origins, Nativity of Jesus, birth, Ministry of Jesus, ministry, Cr ...
(Advent 2021 through 2022 - current year) The
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
is read throughout
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
, and is used for other liturgical seasons including
Advent Advent is a season of the liturgical year The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, ...

Advent
,
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around the world ...

Christmas
, and
Lent Lent (Latin: ''Quadragesima'', 'Fortieth') is a Solemnity, solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the Christian liturgical calendar commemorating the Temptation of Jesus, 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the ...

Lent
where appropriate.


Daily lectionaries

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 The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), commonly referred to simply as Psalms, the Psalter or "the Psalms", is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Christianity ...
; 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 The veneration of saints in the Episcopal Church is a continuation of an ancient tradition from the early Church which honors important and influential people of the Christian faith. The usage of the term ''saint In religious belief, a saint ...
and in the
Anglican Church of Canada Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
's
Book of Alternative Services The ''Book of Alternative Services'' (''BAS'') is the contemporary, inclusive-language liturgical book used alongside the ''Book of Common Prayer'' (1962) (BCP) in most parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada. When first published, the BAS includ ...
(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 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

In some churches, the lectionary is carried in the entrance procession by a
lector Lector is Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it bec ...

lector
. In the Catholic Church, the
Book of the Gospels , c. 800, showing the lavishly decorated text that opens the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply ...
is carried in by a
deacon A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christianity, Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the C ...

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 is used for the final reading. The lectionary is not to be confused with a
missal A missal is a containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of throughout the year. History Before the compilation of such books, several books were used when celebrating Mass. These included the gradual (texts mainly ...

missal
,
gradual The gradual ( la, graduale or ) is a chant or hymn in the Mass in the Catholic Church, Mass, the liturgy, liturgical celebration of the Eucharist in the Catholic Church, and among some other Christians. It gets its name from the Latin (meaning ...
or
sacramentary In the Latin Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by co ...
. While the lectionary contains scripture readings, the missal or sacramentary contains the appropriate prayers for the service, and the gradual contains
chants A chant (from French ', from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or ...

chants
for use on any particular day. In particular, the gradual contains a
responsory A responsory or respond is a type of chant in western Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ...
which may be used in place of the responsorial psalm.


Eastern lectionaries

] In the Eastern Christendom, Eastern Churches (
Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
,
Oriental Orthodox The Oriental Orthodox Churches are a group of Eastern Christian Eastern Christianity comprises Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings ...
,
Eastern Catholic The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to as ''Uniates'', are twenty-three East ...
, the
Assyrian Church of the East The Assyrian Church of the East ( syc, ܥܕܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ܕܐܬܘܖ̈ܝܐ, ʿĒḏtā ḏ-Maḏnḥā ḏ-ʾĀṯūrāyē, ar, كنيسة المشرق الآشورية), officially the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East ( sy ...
,
Ancient Church of the East The Ancient Church of the East ( syr, ܥܕܬܐ ܥܬܝܩܬܐ ܕܡܕܢܚܐ ''ʿĒdtā ʿAttiqtā ḏMaḏnḥā''; ar, كنيسة المشرق القديمة, ''Kanīsat al-Mašriq al-Qadīma''), officially the Ancient Holy Apostolic Catholic Chur ...

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 to be read on each day. The oldest known complete Christian Lectionary is in the
Caucasian Albanian language Caucasian Albanian (also called Old Udi, Aluan or Aghwan) is an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual ...
.


Byzantine lectionary

Those churches (Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic) which follow the Rite of Constantinople, provide an epistle and Gospel reading for most days of the year, to be read at the
Divine Liturgy Divine Liturgy ( grc-gre, Θεία Λειτουργία, Theia Leitourgia) or Holy Liturgy is the Eucharist The Eucharist (; grc-gre, εὐχαριστία, eucharistía, thanksgiving) also known as Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper, am ...
; however, during
Great Lent Great Lent, or the Great Fast, (Greek Language, Greek: Μεγάλη Τεσσαρακοστή or Μεγάλη Νηστεία, meaning "Great 40 Days," and "Great Fast," respectively) is the most important fasting season in the church year in the ...
there is no celebration of the liturgy on weekdays (Monday through Friday), so no epistle and Gospel are appointed for those days. As a historical note, the Greek lectionaries are a primary source for the
Byzantine text-type In Biblical textual criticism, the Byzantine text-type (also called Majority Text, Traditional Text, Ecclesiastical Text, Constantinopolitan Text, Antiocheian Text, or Syrian Text) is one of several Textual criticism#New Testament, text-types of t ...
used in the scholarly field of
textual criticism Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and of literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants, or different versions, of either manuscripts or of printed books. Such texts may range in da ...
.


Epistle and Gospel

The Gospel readings are found in what Orthodoxy usually calls a
Gospel Book A Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels (: , ''Evangélion'') is a or bound volume containing one or more of the four s of the – normally all four – centering on the life of and the roots of the Christian faith. The term is also ...
(''Evangélion''), although in strict English terms the Greek ones are in the form of an
Evangeliary The ''Evangeliary'' or ''Book of the Gospels'' is a liturgical book Liturgy is the customary public worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an e ...
, and an Epistle Book (''Apostól''). There are differences in the precise arrangement of these books between the various national churches. In the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
practice, the readings are in the form of
pericope A pericope (; Greek language, Greek , "a cutting-out") in rhetoric is a set of verses that forms one coherent unit or thought, suitable for public reading from a text, now usually of sacred scripture. Also can be used as a way to identify certain t ...
s (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 Pascha (or other similar spellings) may refer to: *Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; he, פֶּסַח '), is a major Jewish holiday that occurs on the 15th day of the Hebrew calendar, Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month of Aviv, or ...

Pascha
(Easter), and continuing throughout the entire year, concluding with
Holy Week In some traditions of , Holy Week (: or , 'Greater Week'; el, Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς, translit=Hagia kai Megale Hebdomas, lit=Holy and Great Week) is the most sacred week in the Church year. In Eastern Rite Churches ...

Holy Week
. Then follows a section of readings for the commemorations of
saints In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, holiness, likeness, or closeness to God. However, the use of the term ''saint'' depends on the context and Christian denomination, denominatio ...

saints
and readings for special occasions (
baptism Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian rite of initiation, admission and Adoption (theology), adoption, almost invariably with the use of water, into Christianity. It may be pe ...

baptism
,
funeral A funeral is a ceremony A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a commu ...

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 Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
. The annual cycle of the Gospels is composed of four series: #''The Gospel of St. John'' #:read from Pascha until
Pentecost The Christian holiday of Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for rec ...
Sunday #''The 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 of St. Mark is read on the remaining weekdays #''The Gospel of St. Luke'' #:divided over nineteen weeks beginning on the Monday after the Sunday after the
Elevation of the Holy Cross The Elevation of the Holy Cross ( el, Ύψωση του Τιμίου Σταυρού; also known as the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on September 14. It is one of the two feast days wh ...
. From the thirteenth week, it is only read on Saturdays and Sundays, while St. Mark's Gospel is read on the remaining weekdays #''The Gospel of St. Mark'' #:read during the Lenten period on Saturdays and Sundays — with the exception of the
Sunday of Orthodoxy Sunday is the day of the week between Saturday and Monday. In most Western countries, Sunday is a day of rest and a part of the Workweek and weekend, weekend, whereas in much of the rest of the world, it is considered the first day of the week. ...
. The interruption of the reading of the Gospel of Matthew after the Elevation of the Holy Cross is known as th
"Lukan Jump"
The jump occurs only in the Gospel readings, there is no corresponding jump in the epistles. From this point on the epistle and Gospel readings do not exactly correspond, the epistles continuing to be determined according to the moveable
Paschal cycle The Paschal cycle, in the Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 ...
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 John the Baptist ''Yohanān HaMatbil''; la, Ioannes Baptista; grc-gre, Ἰωάννης ὁ βαπτιστής, ''Iōánnēs ho baptistḗs'' or , ''Iōánnēs ho baptízōn'', or , ''Iōánnēs ho pródromos'';Wetterau, Bruce. ''World history' ...

John the Baptist
), celebrated on September 23. In
late Antiquity Late antiquity is a periodization Periodization is the process or study of categorizing the past into discrete, quantified named blocks of time.Adam Rabinowitz. It’s about time: historical periodization and Linked Ancient World Data'. Inst ...
, this feast marked the beginning of the ecclesiastical New Year. Thus, beginning the reading of the Lukan 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 Luke the Evangelist, Evangelist Luke is the only one to mention this Conception (). 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. Similarly to the Gospel Cycle, Epistle readings follow this plan although some exceptions vary: #''Book of Acts of Apostles'' #:read from Pascha until Pentecost Sunday #''Letter to the Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians'' #:From Pentecost to Elevation of the Holy Cross #''Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Hebrews'' #:From Elevation of the Holy Cross to the Circumcision of Christ, 1st of January #''James, Hebrews, 1 Peter and 2 Peter'' #:read from the Circumcision of Christ to the Clean Monday, first weekday of Great Lent.


Old Testament readings

Other services have scriptural readings also. There is a Gospel lesson at Matins on Sundays and feast days. These are found in the ''Evangelion''. There are also readings from the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as aut ...
, 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 Sext, Sixth Hour. These parables are found in the Triodion.


Syriac and Malankara churches: Catholic, Orthodox

In the Jacob Baradeus, 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 Testament, Old and the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
books are read except the books of Book of Revelation, Revelation, Song of Solomon, and I Maccabees, 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 lections, a selection from the prophets, and three readings from the New Testament are prescribed for each Sunday and Feast day. The New Testament readings include a reading from Acts, another from the Catholic Epistles or the Pauline Epistles, and a third reading from one of the
Gospel Gospel originally meant the Christian message ("the gospel#REDIRECT The gospel In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Te ...

Gospel
s. During Christmas and Easter a fourth lesson is added for the Vespers, evening service. The readings reach a climax with the approach of the week of the Crucifixion. Through
Lent Lent (Latin: ''Quadragesima'', 'Fortieth') is a Solemnity, solemn religious moveable feast#Lent, observance in the Christian liturgical calendar commemorating the Temptation of Jesus, 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the ...

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

*
Book of Alternative Services The ''Book of Alternative Services'' (''BAS'') is the contemporary, inclusive-language liturgical book used alongside the ''Book of Common Prayer'' (1962) (BCP) in most parishes of the Anglican Church of Canada. When first published, the BAS includ ...
* Dominical letter * Ekphonetic notation *
Gospel Book A Gospel Book, Evangelion, or Book of the Gospels (: , ''Evangélion'') is a or bound volume containing one or more of the four s of the – normally all four – centering on the life of and the roots of the Christian faith. The term is also ...
* Lection * Lector *
List of New Testament lectionaries A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (194 ...
* Liturgical year * Manzil * Mass (liturgy) * Pericope *
Revised Common Lectionary The Revised Common Lectionary is a lectionary of lection, readings or pericopes from the Bible for use in Christian worship, making provision for the liturgical year with its pattern of observances of festivals and seasons. It was preceded by the Co ...
* The Text This Week * Weekly Torah portion * The Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran


References


Further reading

* *


External links


Thesaurus Antiquorum Lectionariorum Ecclesiae Synagogaeque
A database on ancient and medieval Jewish and 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 Online Chapel lectionary
Lectionary of the Greek Orthodox Church according to the typicon of th
Ecumenical PatriarchateBooks and Resources
Books and resources to learn more about the Eucharistic lectionary.
The Revised Common LectionaryThe Roman Catholic 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
(Roman Catholic)
The Joint Liturgical Group (UK)
– which develope
Narrative Lectionary
with history, contexts, and links to readings

Orthodox Research Institute

(Russian Orthodox)
Lectionary
of the Syriac Orthodox Church *

Resources for the study of the current Roman Catholic lectionary.
"The Four Gospels"
a lectionary in Syriac from 1687 {{Authority control Christian worship and liturgy Bible Christian genres Christian terminology