Acts of the Apostles in the One Year Sunday Lectionary

Discussion in 'Feasts, Fasts, and Church Calendar' started by Shane R, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I received a new commentary on the Acts last week and was enjoying looking through the new book when I thought to myself: how often do we read Acts in the Sunday and Feast Day Propers? Not very often. Here is the answer.

    St. Stephen: Acts 7:55
    Easter Monday: Acts 10:34
    Easter Tuesday: Acts 13:26
    Ascension: Acts 1:1
    Pentecost: Acts 2:1
    Pentecost Monday: Acts 10:34
    Pentecost Tuesday: Acts 8:14
    Conversion of St. Paul: Acts 9:1
    St. Matthias: Acts 1:15
    St. Barnabas: Acts 11:22
    St. Peter: Acts 12:1
    St. James: Acts 11:27
    St. Bartholomew: Acts 5:12
    Ember Days: Acts 13:44
    The BCP has prescribed reading the Acts 18 times in the church year (because the Ember Days occur four times in the year). It has provided only 13 unique readings (as the reading for Easter Monday and Pentecost Monday is identical). I would speculate that most parishes on the one year lectionary are only hearing a reading from the Acts twice a year: Ascension and Pentecost.
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    It is a shame Acts 15 did not get a guernsey.
     
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  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Active Member

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    The 2019 BCP Lectionary calls for quite a bit of Acts between Easter and Pentecost. Portions are read of Acts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 13, 14, and 16 during these Sundays. I'm glad for this because that book is the account of the very early church's actions and activities. It lays foundational groundwork for how the church should function and what aspects of our faith walk the Apostles regarded as most important.

    There is a sense in which we are still living in the ongoing age of Acts.
     
  4. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Active Member Anglican

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    That's a feature of the Revised Common Lectionary in its various forms.

    To the original post, I'd say that from your compiled list Acts actually has really good coverage in the traditional Communion lectionary. Compared to other New Testament books, 18 appearances is quite a lot!
     
  5. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    But the only one that routinely falls on Sunday is Pentecost. If I announce a service during the week for a red letter day I'm lucky to get 6-7 people to come out. And most of my parishioners are retired.

    The One Year cycle of Propers is crippling in its lack of coverage. My bishop tasked me to examine various three year systems a couple of years ago and make a recommendation. I recommended the Roman cycle with revision to bulk up the Epistle readings, which tend to be truncated to 3-4 verses in that lectionary. He said, "No. I want something that can be used as is. It looks bad if we go to revising something and making our own proprietary lectionary." And that is a reasonable position. We settled on the LCMS lectionary for congregations that wish to go on a three year cycle.

    Unfortunately, there are large swathes of the Continuum that are still resistant to this idea. Abp. Haverland (ACC) himself absolutely unloaded on me for sharing my opinion in the Continuing Anglican Facebook group. The truth is, 3/4 of continuing parishes (a rough estimate) are not regularly conducting the offices. If your parish is steeped in the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, the one year lectionary is okay. But most are not and you can tell it when you try to launch Sunday School and none of the adults know anything that's not in the American Missal.
     
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  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The Revised Common Lectionary seems to get a guernsey in a few places. It was used in Australia with the 1973 book AAPB, and heavily modified for the 1991 book APBA. I thought the Revised Common was better - our new lectionary threads OT lessons together over weeks, however this means we often have readings that don't make a lot of sense as a set.
     

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