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For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Lessons from Trinity to Advent

As a concluding post to this series about the experimental lectionary I have been building (follow the link at the foot of the page "Sarum Office" which can be accessed at the top of the blog) - the table of lessons from Trinity to Advent is not quite ready for public view, but the overall scheme is already on paper.

I will write a little about the scheme now, and put up a notification post here when it is ready, but it is likely to take a while. Perhaps it will be ready after Easter.

During Trinity week the Matins lessons are homilies. I have taken New Testament lessons for Prime and Vespers from John's Gospel: the chapters from the third to the sixth fit in with the feast of Trinity, and then Corpus Christi. I have not given the later chapters of John a specific place in the office lectionary. They are read extensively in the few weeks before Easter in the Missal lectionary, and just before Easter seems to be their natural place - although I have also placed the discourse at the Last Supper in Whitsun week.

From Trinity to Advent, the synoptic Gospels are read serially as the second lesson of Vespers. There is also space made (in the weeks just before the August lessons begin) for lessons from the Pauline epistles that are missed if any of the weeks after Epiphany are omitted because an early Easter.

The traditional Sarum scheme for Matins is followed, but the entire books are read serially, not just excerpts, by adding in a lesson from these books as the first lesson of Vespers each day: the books of Kings (I have added Ezra and Nehemiah onto the end of the Kings series) are read from Trinity until August. Ecclesiasticus is read in August; Job, Tobit and Judith in September; Maccabees in October; and Ezekiel in November.

Fitting in the rest of the Old Testament around this scheme proves to be fairly straightforward - in the lesson for Prime. Firstly Esther is read in the early weeks of Trinitytide, followed by the wisdom books other than Ecclesiasticus (i.e. Proverbs, Wisdom and Ecclesiastes), and then Leviticus and Numbers. As a pleasant coincidence, the lessons of September Ember-tide are drawn from a seasonally appropriate "harvest" section of Leviticus, the part about the Feast of Tabernacles. This series takes one up to November, when the minor prophets from Hosea to Malachi are read.

There are a few adjustments to the overall scheme that I have still to work in. For example, I am going to leave an eight day gap in the second to third week of August for a series from the Song of Solomon, for use in the Octave of the Assumption. Also, I have to construct a list of proper lessons for holy days, e.g. the Annunciation, SS Peter & Paul, and so on. A lot of these lessons are in the Book of Common Prayer already, so it shouldn't be too difficult to put together.

That is about that for the experimental lectionary: I will put a notice on here when it is finally finished and on-line.

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