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ART and PRAYER
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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What is the Revised Common Lectionary?
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What is the Revised Common Lectionary?

The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of weekly lections used to varying degrees by the vast majority of mainline Protestant churches in Canada and the United States. The RCL is built around the seasons of the Church Year, and includes four lections for each Sunday, as well as additional readings for major feast days. During most of the year, the lections are: a reading from the Hebrew Bible, a Psalm, a reading from the Epistles, and a Gospel reading. During the season of Easter, the Hebrew Bible lection is usually replaced with one from the Acts of the Apostles. The lections from the Hebrew Bible are sometimes chosen from the Apocrypha.

The seasons of the Church Year reflect the life of Christ. Consequently, the gospel lections for each Sunday provide the focus for that day. The other lections for a given day generally have a thematic relationship to the gospel reading for that day, although this is not always the case. In Ordinary Time, the Revised Common Lectionary offers two sets of readings for the lessons from the Hebrew Bible. One set proceeds mostly continuously, giving the story of the Patriarchs and the Exodus in Year A, the monarchial narratives in Year B, and readings from the Prophets in Year C. In the other set of readings for Ordinary Time (shown in italics on this site) the readings from the Hebrew Bible are thematically related to the gospel lections. Denominations or local churches generally use either the semicontinuous readings or the thematic readings during Ordinary Time. They do not typically move back and forth between the two over the course of a single season.

The gospel readings for each year come from one of the synoptic gospels according to the following pattern:

  • Year A - Matthew
  • Year B - Mark
  • Year C - Luke

Readings from the Gospel of John can be found throughout the RCL.


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Readings for the Coming Week
Thanksgiving Day, USA (November 23, 2017)
  • First reading and Psalm
    • Deuteronomy 8:7-18
    • Psalm 65
  • Second reading
    • 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
  • Gospel
    • Luke 17:11-19
Table of Readings for the Current Season
Season after Pentecost (June 11, 2017 - November 26, 2017)

NEW SLIDESHOW FORMATS: Beginning with Advent, we are offering new slideshow files containing selected texts from each of the Sunday Lectionary readings along with reflective images. Each is available in PowerPoint and PDF format. Since the images have copyright release for non-commercial use, the slideshows may be freely used in worship and educational settings. We are interested in your feedback; please contact us with your questions or comments.

NEW PDF HALF-PAGE FORMAT: We have added a new format that arranges the biblical texts as a half-page bulletin insert/handout. Please offer feedback, as we continue to develop these tools.

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.

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 be paired with a particular OT reading (either semicontinuous or complementary).

Comments: Please send your comments and questions about the website and its offerings to the Vanderbilt Divinity Library staff.