a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
Trumpet Lily Golden Splendour / 2006 (Click the picture for more information)
For each week, the RCL website has added scriptural reflections based on a featured art image, as well as RCL prayers for worship.
-- Site Tip --
Do the Jewish or Muslim faiths also have an order of readings based on a calendar?

Do the Jewish or Muslim faiths also have an order of readings based on a calendar?

Regarding a prescribed order of readings for Jews: there is no one prescribed order. The length of a "reading cycle" has varied over time: as the article on the "Triennial Cycle" in the Encyclopedia Judaica (2nd edition) notes, "In traditional synagogues, the Pentateuch is read in one year. Reform Judaism (and some Conservative synagogues) has, however, reverted to the ancient Palestinian custom of a triennial cycle" (vol. 20, p. 143). Another article in the Encyclopedia Judaica, 2nd edition, ("Torah, Reading Of") goes into a bit more detail about how the Torah is read today and includes a number of tables of readings. There is also an article on the "Triennial Cycle" in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Judaica; it's available for free online (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=327&letter=T&search=triennial).

Tables of readings for the Jewish faith can be found online -- for example, http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/readingp.htm has a table for the annual reading of the Torah, along with another table of readings for special Sabbaths and holidays. Note that the Torah reading is accompanied by readings from the Prophets (called Haftaroth; the article mentioned above, entitled "Torah, Reading Of," notes that "[t]he practice of "completing" the Torah reading with a passage from one of the prophetic books, the haftarah ("completion"), is mentioned in the Mishnah (Meg. 4:1–2); the origins of the custom, however, are obscure" (vol. 20, p. 50). These tables are keyed to a calendar (http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/current.htm); if you start with the calendar, you can get to the correct reading for a particular day by clicking the links on the calendar.

Online orders of reading for the triennial cycle are available, as this example: http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/; to see weekly readings, make sure you check the "Weekly sedrot on Saturdays" option under the "Include events" section on the left of the page. The calendar will have links to the readings for both the annual and the triennial cycles.

Regarding a prescribed order of reading for Muslims: the Encyclopedia of the Qu'ran notes the following about recitation of the text: "During the fasting month of Ramaḍān, the entire Qur'ān is read over the course of the month in night prayers called tarāwīḥ. One of the standard divisions of the Qur'ān is its partition into thirty equal, consecutive parts, or juz' (pl. ajzā'); this sectioning facilitates complete recitation over the course of a month. In addition, during Ramaḍān or during the days of the pilgrimage, pious Muslims may recite the entire Qur'ān in one night. Muslims read the Qur'ān frequently as an act of supererogatory piety, and recitation — especially at night — is performed by committed Muslims" (from the article "Recitation of the Qur'ān" by Anna M. Gade, in Encyclopaedia of the Qur'ān, gen. ed. Jane Dammen McAuliffe (Washington DC. Brill, 2009). This article goes on to mention some of the sūras that are frequently evoked in specific situations, with emphasis on the correct recitation (including pronunciation) of the Arabic. As best we know, there is not a "cycle" or "order of readings for the Qur'ān, other than the Ramadan division of readings.

See All FAQs >>

Readings for the Coming Week
Proper 25 (30) (October 29, 2017)
  • First reading and Psalm
    • Deuteronomy 34:1-12
    • Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
  • Alternate First reading and Psalm
    • Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18
    • Psalm 1
  • Second reading
    • 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 22:34-46
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.