Book of Common Prayer (ECUSA)/The Lectionary
Concerning the Lectionary
The Lectionary for Sundays is arranged in a three-year cycle, in which Year A always begins on the First Sunday of Advent in years evenly divisible by three. (For example, 1977 divided by 3 is 659 with no remainder. Year A, therefore, begins on Advent Sunday of that year.)
The Psalms and Lessons appointed for the Sundays and for other major Holy Days are intended for use at all public services on such days, except when the same congregation attends two or more services. Thus, the same Lessons are to be read at the principal morning service, whether the Liturgy of the Word takes the form given in the Holy Eucharist, or that of the Daily Office.
When the same congregation is present for Morning or Evening Prayer, in addition to the Eucharist, the Lessons at the Office may be selected from one of the other years of the three-year Sunday cycle, or from the Lectionary for the Daily Office. The Psalms at such Offices are normally those appointed in the Office Lectionary; but, when desired, the Psalm cited in the selected Sunday Proper may be used instead.
In this Lectionary, the selections from the Psalter are frequently cited in a longer and shorter version, usually from the same Psalm. The longer version is particularly appropriate for use at the Office, the shorter version when the Psalm is sung between the Lessons at the Eucharist. The selections may be further lengthened or shortened at discretion.
When an alternative Lessons is cited, it is sometimes identical with a Lessons appointed for the same day in the Daily Office Lectionary.
In the opening verses of Lessons, the Reader should omit initial conjunctions which refer only to what has preceded, substitute nouns for pronouns when the referent is not otherwise clear, or else prefix to the Reading some such introduction as, “N. said (to N.).”
Any Reading may be lengthened at discretion. Suggested lengthenings are shown in parentheses.