a service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
Joseph's Dream / Gandolfi, Gaetano, 1734-1802 / 1790 (Click the picture for more information)
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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How can the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary be used in worship?
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How can the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary be used in worship?

First and foremost all of the texts can be read aloud (although the Psalm is often sung). In addition, hymns, prayers, litanies, and other liturgical elements which reflect the themes and language of the text can be incorporated into the service. When a congregation hears, sings, prays, and listens to the words and images of common scriptures over the course of several years, their connection to those texts is deepened significantly.

Using the RCL ties worship in a local congregation to the worship of millions of Christians around the world. Drawing from a common set of texts means that Christians will be hearing and reflecting on the same scriptures and themes. Sometimes they are even singing the same hymns. In addition, building worship around the texts of the RCL also ties local worship to that of the historic Church. Using all four readings develops the discipline of reading and hearing the scriptures that define the Christian faith. It also deepens the congregation's understanding of the Church Year (and consequently the life of Christ) while also helping to set the rhythm for that year. Since the Revised Common Lectionary is drawn from a long succession of older lectionaries, using those readings in worship echoes the earlier practice of the Church. One final, pragmatic advantage to using the RCL is the wealth of liturgical and homiletic resources that are available around the common texts.


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Readings for the Coming Week
Third Sunday of Advent (December 15, 2019)
  • First reading
    • Isaiah 35:1-10
  • Psalm
    • Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55
  • Second reading
    • James 5:7-10
  • Gospel
    • Matthew 11:2-11
Table of Readings for the Current Season
Advent (December 1, 2019 - December 22, 2019)

NEW! INTEGRATED PRINT PDFS AND SLIDES: Slideshows and Print PDFs can now be seamlessly accessed from every Sunday/Special Day scripture texts page. Links are located in the box on the right side of the page.

SLIDESHOW FORMATS: We offer PowerPoint and PDF slideshow files containing selected texts from each of the Sunday Lectionary readings along with reflective images. Since the images have copyright release for non-commercial use, the slideshows may be freely used in worship and educational settings. The slideshows are also linked via the "SLIDES" links in the box on the right of the scripture text pages. We are interested in your feedback; please contact us with your questions or comments.

PRINT PDF FORMATS: We offer a wide variety of printable formats that arrange the Lectionary readings for use as a handout, bulletin insert, or Bible study tool. The print PDFs are also linked via the "PRINT PDF" link in the box on the right of the scripture text pages. Please offer feedback, as we continue to develop these tools.

DAILY LECTIONARY READINGS: 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 Special Days scripture text pages. It is in the box on the right 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.