What’s in a Lectionary?

Since I wrote a post against the use of the lectionary a short while back, I thought I’d point to someone who’s writing some really interesting things from the positive side.

On his blog Stellar Cross, Father Robert Lyons has a series going on the nature of the lectionary, its weekly use, and ways the lectionary could be definitively improved. In his first post in the series, Father Rob ends with these three questions:

1. What is the value of reading four passages of Scripture, two or three of which are ignored, marginalized, or even misappropriated to a specific theme?

2. What good is including such a significant amount of Scripture in the Liturgy of the Church when/if people largely tune it out?

3. If the Lectionary is a tool to serve the needs of the People of God, what form should the Lectionary take to ensure that said needs are met?

I find Father Rob’s take very interesting and thought-provoking. So what do you think? If it were up to us to improve the lectionary and make it more useful for our day? What would you do? What changes would you make?


2 responses to “What’s in a Lectionary?

  • Father Robert Lyons


    Thanks for the kind words. I have updated with part 3 of my series, a proposed model for Lectionary renewal… I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.


  • Frank

    I like the whole service to have one theme that can be followed all the way through but the lectionary makes this impossible. Instead of one 15-20 minute sermon I give four 4-5 minute talks, and two of these follow on from the readings – but to do this you have to be able to select your readings according to the theme. It seems to me that if you want to say anything topical or relevant to the congregation the lectionary gets in the way of this, and trying to make a whole theme out of verses you haven’t chosen makes for unfocused worship and a lack of real relationship between the church and the word. Mind you, I’m a congregationalist so you’ll probably say ‘he would say that, wouldn’t he?’ but I’m preaching in United Reformed Churches too who expect to have the lectionary and this is causing me some difficulty in my preparation.

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