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.
     
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  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.
     
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  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!
     
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  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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  7. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    The thing is, parishes need to be steeped in Morning and Evening Prayer. Popularizing these offices was the main accomplishment of Anglicanism and it needs to be repeated. The Eucharistic lectionary is not supposed to be complete.

    The definitive solution is to, instead of having three services of Holy Communion with different music on Sundays, to consign the electric guitars and drumkits to the flames and instead have a said Eucharist followed by Mattins followed by Choral Eucharist. And the Litany if you can squeeze it in (or if there is no demand for a said service). The priest should alternate his main sermon between Mattins and Communion, or perhaps vary the positioning of the two, in order to popularize both offices. Or perhaps we need to look at reintroducing Ante Communion, because there is a real mess the Episcopalians introduced with Casual Communion Culture; how will people transitioning from the ECUSA appreciate the Eucharist when the ECUSA peer pressures everyone present into partaking, never repels a nototious evil liver, and even admits the unbaptized. So doing ante-Communion with the Exhortations could be part of the solution.

    I think Sunday Evensong could be a huge success in many parishes because of insensitive and impious sports coaches scheduling youth sports events for Sunday morning, a barbaric practice; Sunday evening Masses and also Saturday evening Masses in the RCC tend to be well attended, and if they can do it, surely we could do it also (and the Eucharist could be properly served again even in an Anglo Catholic parish following the one priest per altar per day rule, because Evensong, as it contains Vespers, is the start of the Liturgical day, thus any service following it, from a Patristic liturgical perspective, happens on Monday even if it is before Midnight).
     
  8. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    By the way since you are in Canada, you might enjoy this 1990s article by an ACC priest on the RCL vs. the 1962 BCP lectionary. http://liturgy.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LitCan_Oct_05.pdf

    Unrelated question - does the ACNA in Canada use the 1962 BCP where the 1928 BCP or 1979 BCP would be used in the US?
     
  9. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I am not in Canada. My potential move to BC did not take place. I live and work in Virginia.

    However, I can answer the ACNA question; at least for Western provinces. Most of the Canadian churches are former AMiA types and don't use any prayer book with regularity. In fact, there is a parish in Victoria that celebrates the Lord's Supper with bread and fish.

    When I was looking into moving to Canada, I was informed the only ACoC parish in BC that has a BCP service is the cathedral in Victoria.
     
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  10. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    That’s shockingly un-Anglican. :( This is at an Anglican Church of Canada parish, I hope? One of the ecumenical councils promulgated a canon precluding the Eucharist from being served with anything but bread and wine, and the BCP also demands the use of bread and wine* in the Eucharist. But I have also heard of ultra liberal Episcopalian parishes using milk and honey. This was also done at a notorious “Mother Goddess Liturgy” at the World Council of Churches infamous “Imagine” conference in 1991, the same year the ECUSA did its notorious “Plague mass” where a naked woman spilled cattle blood on herself at the thoroughly desecrated Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.

    By the way, as far as the ACoC is concerned, they do have a Prayer Book Society like that in the Church of England, with a directory of all parishes using the 1962 BCP. In British Columbia I am pretty sure there were more entries than Victoria Cathedral, but it was still a lesser amount than in Ontario, for example.

    But if the ACNA is up there, one would hope BCP usage would be occurring. Are there any Continuing Anglican churches in Canada that you are aware of? The LCMS has the Lutheran Church of Canada, which is the same church but with different branding (I can’t recall if the ELCA has the same thing or got sucked into the United Church of Canada, which as an entity depresses me because it swallowed up the once gleaming Methodist church up there; Toronto used to be nicknamed Methodist Rome a hundred years ago).

    *I don’t get stirred up in debates about how an unmixed chalice is wrong, since the Armenians have always used straight wine, nor does the use of unfermented wine, or grape juice, bother me, because it is essentially the same thing, and historically church wine as used in the East has been extremely sweet and of very low alcoholic content; the one thing I don’t like to see is white wine, because the wine should resemble the blood of our Lord, but there is no ancient canonical legislation even remotely addressing that issue. But adding elements other than bread and wine, both according to the ancient canons, and the rubrics and catechism of the 1662 BCP and all other BCPs I am aware of, including the 1979 BCP, is verboten; so naturally I expect the Episcopal Church will change this in their new BCP.
     
  11. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    You know, there is one other major limitation with the Anglican one year lectionary and that is, unlike the Roman lectionary, it does not have proper Epistles, Gospels and Collects for weekdays; instead the rule is to use those from Sunday. A translation of the weekday epistles, gospels and collects from the Sarum Rite, or if that proved unworkable due to excessive sanctorale, perhaps from the Byzantine Rite, which provides proper gospels and epistles for weekdays following each Sunday, which only semi-major feasts (I think those with at least a Polyeleos) will override. And these are already translated into English, but there are no proper Collects, but perhaps a Collect could be authored for each day of the week, partially following the Byzantine Rite (Monday for example having a troparia related to St. Michael the Archangel) and partially following Holy Week, which could start on Wednesday by having the collects anticipate the following weekday. Or one could write new collects, or simply dispense with them for midweek Communion services.

    There are a few other lectionaries of antiquity that also feature lessons for midweek, but the Byzantine, Armenian and Roman lectionaries and derivatives like the Anglican and Lutheran lectionaries are unique in having an epistle followed by a Gospel lesson. The Ambrosian and Mozarabic Rites have an Old Testament lesson, like the RCL, and the Oriental and Assyrian lectionaries tend to have more New Testament lessons (or in the case of the Assyrian church, a Torah and haftarah, that is, a Pentateuch and other lesson from the Old Testament, followed by an Epistle and a Gospel; the Torah and haftarah lessons are paired for the most part as they are in the lectionary of the Babylonian Talmud, used by almost all Jews, which is unsurprising as both the Church of East and the Babylonian Talmud were based in the intermediate replacement for Babylon (due to the shifting of the Euphrates making Old Babylon uninhabitable), Seleucia-Cstesiphon. And of course Baghdad was built after a similar shift rendered Seleucia-Cstesiphon uninhabitable, very near to the ruins of Babylon.
     
  12. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    The bread and fish folks were part of ACNA's Canadian diocese. They hold eucharist, such as it is, every two weeks. The off weeks are a happy-clappy praise service. No prayer books in sight or hearing. Are you familiar with the reputation AMiA had/has? They carved out their own special low church niche.

    As for continuing churches in Canada, there's only about 20-25 in the whole nation. Most are part of TAC (ACA in the US). XnEC, which is known mostly for being the jurisdiction that consecrated Gavin Ashenden, has a handful. No one else has more than a token Canadian presence these days.

    There is a vagante bishop out in Ontario (if I recall correctly) that has his own version of the Missal. He allowed churches to have dual affiliation so most of his were still formally in ACoC. He was ahead of the larger Canadian synod on approving gay marriage.
     
  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    The chap out of Ontario I believe was a bishop from the Polish National Catholic Church who dissented from the PNCC and the Norweigian Catholic Church (who were both ejected from the Union of Utrecht for ordaining women or doing gay marriage), :sick:

    So the PNCC had just one parish in Canuckistan, as I like to call Canada when I am feeling especially cheerful, :tiphat:, and this creep tried to hijack that parish and a rainbow banner was errected, with the financial support of the much larger Union of Utrecht, but my recollection is the PNCC won the parish back by bringing action at the law, to the surprise of some, as the PNCC/Union of Scranton is small compared to the Union of Utrecht.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  14. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    You've got that very confused. The Union of Scranton split from the Union of Utrecht when Utrecht began to ordain women. The Union of Scranton is composed of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Nordic Catholic Church. Scranton does not ordain women or endorse homosexual marriages and they have more than one Canadian parish as well.
     
  15. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Active Member

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    I am aware of the history there; my point is, after the PNCC was expelled from the Union of Utrecht after failing to meet a deadline to conform with Utrecht’s policies on the ordination of women (and the PNCC was in fact expelled from Utrecht), a liberal element did try to take over their main Toronto parish, with financial help from the Union of Utrecht. When this went down, which I believe was around 15 years ago, the Union of Scranton had been formed by the PNCC and the NCC as a traditional alternative to Utrech.

    I vaguely recall a rogue bishop being part of the drama concerning the parish in question, and if that is the case, he might be the episcopi vagante in question. I would assume it is not the formerly vagante Archbishop Lazar Puhalo of the OCA, who was a vagante before the OCA generously received him as a retired bishop (he was canonical at one time); they did have to command him to stop making pro gay marriage statements.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019

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