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Our Lectionary

The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination.

- Shane Claiborne

Reading scripture is central to faith communities. The Episcopal Church, like many others, generally includes four readings during a Sunday service. Usually we begin with one from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), and we read a Psalm together. Then we read from the Epistles, or non-Gospel New Testament, and finally, we have a Gospel reading.  

It is telling that we read from both Psalms and the Gospels each week, for it accentuates the significance of these parts of our Bible. The Psalms are ancient prayers, many written as songs, that help convey the variety of emotions humans experience as we seek to relate to God. There are Psalms for everything from pain and anguish to overwhelming joy. The Gospels each capture the life and ministry of Jesus, who we seek to follow as the way, the truth, and the life.

Some churches and denominations select readings week by week. Others, including the Episcopal Church, follow a lectionary, which is a set of selected readings. I’ve been Episcopalian my entire life, so I’m most familiar with following a lectionary. I appreciate the comprehensive nature of this systematic reading that ensures we hear most of the Bible as we gather over time.  

The Book of Common Prayer contains a lectionary for both our daily prayers and our weekly gatherings. The Episcopal Church now follows ‘The Revised Common Lectionary', a slightly different lectionary that unites us with other denominations. You can view the readings for a coming Sunday and use the website to see when a particular passage will next be read.

Our weekly bible study on Wednesdays at noon follows the lectionary and is open to all. We meet in the conference room, and I facilitate the study with a faithful group of members. Let me know if you’re interested in joining us; we’d love to have you!


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