In the Fourth Nocturn


On this page I’m collecting links and files which are useful to me for various reasons. Maybe they’ll be useful to you too.


Mass Lectionary

Advocacy of the One-Year Lectionary

Each resource is summarized, either in my own words or with a ‘money quote’ from the article itself, after the link. I’ve tried to de-emphasize traditionalist perspectives by moving them further down this list. It’s most interesting, and hopeful, when people who are otherwise on board with the 20th century liturgical renewals recover the classic lectionary for themselves!

  • ‘A Lectionary and Additional Collects for Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer)’ in Common Worship (Church of England)

    Fully authorized lectionary providing an additional Old Testament lesson and gradual psalm for every feast and fast in the 1662 lectionary, and full propers for some additional feasts. These, or the original 1662 lectionary, can be used at Common Worship services.

    The SPCK publishes this in worked-out form annually, in the same volume as their lectionary almanac of the RCL readings.

  • ‘Why the RCL is killing churches, and what you can do about it’, Matthew S. C. Oliver, 1 July 2016, Covenant.

    ‘The RCL sometimes proposes texts that are superficially “at odds” with each other, creating theological tensions that the preacher must then attempt to solve or leave unaddressed.’ … ‘Public recitation of these huge swathes of Scripture, all of which are basically unrelated to each other, can easily have a detrimental effect on nascent faith.’

  • ‘One year with the 1928 lectionary’, Drew Nathaniel Keane, 22 December 2017, Covenant.

    N.B. The U.S. 1928 lectionary, essentially the same as the 1662 lectionary.

    ‘With less text at each service to mark, learn, and inwardly digest, I found it far more likely that the sermon would touch on everything read and that I would walk out of the service remembering it. Less proved to be more.’ … ‘I also began to feel a more thematic unity across the Propers. This unity is something I often wanted but felt was lacking in the RCL.’

  • ‘Discipling children: a problem with the three-year lectionary’, Richard Peers, 3 January 2019, Quodcumque: Serious Christianity.

    Modern pedagogical techniques emphasize repetition, which the current three-year Sunday lectionary (especially with the addition of the weekday lectionary) does not provide at all; proposes five solutions, of which only the fifth, adoption of the historic one-year lectionary, is really practical.

  • ‘Vatican II and the Destruction of the Western Liturgy’, Derek Olsen, 31 March 2007, St Bede Productions.

    ‘It wasn’t the vernacular that did it in but the three year lectionary … Formerly the Mass and Office were on a common one-year calendar. No longer.’

  • ‘Reading the Bible as a Church’, Gavin Dunbar, 20 October 2013, Anglican Way Magazine.

    ‘Despite the reverence for the ancient liturgy professed by contemporary liturgists, the new Anglican liturgies scrap an actual ancient lectionary that has been in continuous use since late antiquity for an entirely modern construct, in which the doctrinal coherence of each Sunday’s proclamation is much diminished, or even abandoned altogether.’

  • ‘Save the lectionary, save the world’, Andrew Sabisky, 2 June 2018, Excvbitor.

    The three-year lectionary has destroyed the coherence of the whole series of propers, making services thematically chaotic and the individual lessons, including the gospel, essentially immemorable. ‘St Augustine and Luther wrote sermons on the same texts for the same Sunday, a marvellous sign of the invisible continuity of the Church over time and space, despite the cruelties of schisms. A Bach cantata, though composed for the Lutheran context, can usually be more or less directly transplanted to the Roman or Anglican context, and it still fits perfectly [because of the historic one-year lectionary].’

  • ‘Confessions of a one year lectionary convert’, Mark Surburg, 27 January 2014, Surburg’s Blog.

    N.B. Of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, very similar to the 1662 lectionary.

Office Lectionary

  • The Church of England’s 1922 Revised Table of Lessons in CSV format: proper of time; proper of saints.

    This possibly contains errors; it has not been extensively checked. I would appreciate error reports. It should be machine-readable, so you could use this to build a 1922 lectionary version of a daily office app, for instance.