A lectionary is a series of readings appointed for a church’s worship on Sundays and Festivals.
This lectionary provides a three-year series of readings for Sunday starting with the season of Advent, four weeks before Christmas Day. For each Sunday and festival, three readings and a psalm are suggested and include: a Gospel reading, an Old Testament reading, and a New Testament reading. The lectionary is a work of The Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada, who produce liturgical texts for use in common by North American Christian Churches.
Each year of the Revised Common Lectionary centers on one of the synoptic Gospels — Matthew, Mark and Luke. The Gospel of John is read periodically in all three years and is especially frequent in Year B.
Year A focuses on the Gospel of Matthew. The semi-continuous Old Testament readings focus on major Genesis narratives, the covenant with Moses, and the establishment of Israel in the Promised Land. The second, New Testament, readings are from Romans, Philippians and 1 Thessalonians.
Year B focuses on the Gospel of Mark with more selections from the Gospel of John than any other year. The semi-continuous readings from the Old Testament focus on the covenant of David and Wisdom literature. The second, New Testament, readings are from 1 and 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, James and Hebrews.
Year C focuses on the Gospel of Luke. The semi-continuous Old Testament readings are of prophetic proclamation chosen in chronological order and highlighting Jeremiah. The second, New Testament, readings are chosen mainly from Galatians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy and 2 Thessalonians.For much of the year, the Old Testament lesson is closely related to the Gospel reading. However, from the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday to the end of the church year, two provisions have been made: a continuation of the complementary readings or a semi-continuous pattern of Old Testament readings.
In Christian historical art, theimages above are the symbols of the Four Evangelists, the four living Creatures derived from the Book of Ezekiel. Each of the four Evangelists has a creature, usually shown with wings: St Matthew the man, St Mark the lion, St Luke the ox, and John the eagle.
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