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For each week, the RCL website has added scriptural reflections based on a featured art image, as well as RCL prayers for worship.
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Why are there so many options for first and second readings, Psalms, and Gospel readings? Doesn't this detract from the goal of getting everyone to read the same lessons?

Why are there so many options for first and second readings, Psalms, and Gospel readings? Doesn't this detract from the goal of getting everyone to read the same lessons?

It's understandable that users of the Revised Common Lectionary might have these questions. One way to answer them would be to note that the Consultation on Common Texts, the ecumenical committee charged with developing the reading selections, negotiated a variety of perspectives that occasionally called for additional inclusions of texts. Representatives of the many faiths and denominations participating in this ecumenical effort determined that in some cases only adding additional options to a service day's reading would sufficiently represent the perspectives of the participants or the unique theological/historical focus of the day. The Consultation on Common Texts understood that to bring the Revised Common Lectionary to common acceptance across the community of Christian faith, the commonality would need to include some flexibility.

The most significant number of options occurs during the Season after Pentecost. One strand of Old Testament readings follows major stories/themes, read mostly continuously, beginning in Year A with Genesis and ending in Year C with the later prophets. A different strand of readings follow the centuries-old historical tradition of thematically pairing the Old Testament reading with the Gospel reading, often typologically, with the presaging of Jesus Christ's life and ministry. The Consultation on Common Texts designed the Lectionary to make use of either of these strands, but once a strand has been selected, it should be followed through to the end of the Pentecost season. Within each strand there may be additional readings, readings which are complementary to the standard reading; these may be used with the standard reading, or in place of it. These complementary readings are indicated by italics; complementary readings appear throughout the church year, not just during the Season of Pentecost.

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Readings for the Coming Week
Proper 17 (22) (August 30, 2015)
  • First reading and Psalm
    • Song of Solomon 2:8-13
    • Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
    • Psalm 15
  • Second reading
    • James 1:17-27
  • Gospel
    • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Table of Readings for the Current Season
Season after Pentecost (May 31, 2015 - November 26, 2015)

DAILY LECTIONARY READINGS NOW AVAILABLE VIA LINK-OUT: Daily readings expand the range of biblical reading in worship and personal devotion by providing daily citations for the full three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect on and digest what they heard in worship. You can also find the readings by looking for the "DAILY" link on the Sunday and festival scripture text pages; it is in the box on the right hand side of the screen.

ALL THREE YEARS OF RCL PDFS ARE AVAILABLE FOR PRINTING: Please offer feedback as we refine this resource.

CALENDARS: We offer a calendar feature for Google Calendar, iCal, and Outlook. Just click on the "calendar" icon in the top right corner of any page.

During the Season after Pentecost, the Revised Common Lectionary offers two sets of parallel readings. The first set of "semicontinuous" OT readings follows major stories/themes, beginning in Year A with Genesis and ending in Year C with the later prophets. "Complementary" OT readings follow the historical tradition of thematically pairing the OT reading with the Gospel reading. Whichever approach is chosen at the beginning of Pentecost, the intent is for the remaining Season after Pentecost readings to follow the same approach. In addition, both sets of readings sometimes offer alternate options (indicated by italics): readings that may be used with, or in place of, the standard reading. Finally, note that the psalms for each Sunday after Pentecost are intended to paired with a particular OT reading (either semicontinuous or complementary).

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