What is the Revised Common Lectionary?

The Revised Common Lectionary is a three-year cycle of Holy Scripture readings that follow the Sundays, festivals, and seasons of the Christian liturgical year.  It was compiled in 1992 by the ecumenical Consultation on Common Texts to provide a balanced scriptural guide for weekly worship that ensures exposure to the main themes of Christian faith and worship. It is ecumenical in nature and overlaps heavily with the Roman Catholic lectionary.

Four texts are assigned for each Sunday and festival:

  • The first reading usually comes from the Old Testament but is replaced by a reading from Acts during the season of Easter
  • Psalm(s)
  • A reading from an Epistle or other New Testament writing
  • A reading from a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John).

The three-year lectionary cycle (A, B, and C) focuses on different portions of the Gospels in each year:

  • Matthew in Year A
  • Mark in Year B
  • Luke in Year C
  • John featured at certain times in each year

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Sunday after the Epiphany / Baptism of Our Lord 2018 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Sunday after the Epiphany / Baptism of Our Lord 2018 (Year B)

The Light of the World
God is the creator of all things and the author of light (Genesis 1:1-5). He sent John the Baptizer to prepare the way for the Light (Mark 1:4-11). We praise God, who has given us the Holy Spirit (Acts 19:1-7). May the Lord give strength to His people! May the Lord bless his people with peace (Psalm 29).
– Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Sunday after Christmas Day 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Sunday after Christmas Day 2017 (Year B)

Christ is Born!
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice (Psalm 96), for Jesus Christ redeems us from all of our sins (Titus 2:11-14). The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light (Isaiah 9:2-7). Jesus Christ is born (Luke 2:1-20)!
– Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

The Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Fourth Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Nothing is Impossible for God
“The Lord was with David (2 Samuel 7:1-11,16); through his lineage and the Virgin Mary, the Son of God was born. Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:26-38). Glory to his name (Romans 16:25-27), the Rock of our salvation (Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26).”
– Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Third Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Hold Fast to Good While Waiting for Redemption

“John prepared the way for Jesus Christ (John 1:6-8, 19-28). God has done great things for us (Psalm 126); he brings good tidings to the afflicted and loves justice (Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11). Rejoice always, pray constantly, hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24).” – Thomas Oden, Ancient Christian Devotional

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Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Sunday of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – Second Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Comfort My People and Prepare the Way of the Lord 

God’s promise of redemption is rooted in his steadfast love and faithfulness (Psalm 85:1-3, 8-13). We quickly fade like flowers, but the eternal Word of God will save and renew his people (Isaiah 40:1-11). Prepare for his coming through repentance and expectation (Mark 1:1-8), for one day Christ will come again to renew creation and establish his righteous rule (2 Peter 3:8-15a).

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“Sunday Before Advent” by Christina Rossetti

Sunday Before Advent

The end of all things is at hand. We all
Stand in the balance trembling as we stand;
Or if not trembling, tottering to a fall.
The end of all things is at hand.

O hearts of men, covet the unending land!
O hearts of men, covet the musical,
Sweet, never-ending waters of that strand!

While Earth shows poor, a slippery rolling ball,
And Hell looms vast, a gulf unplumbed, unspanned,
And Heaven flings wide its gates to great and small,
The end of all things is at hand.

Christina Rossetti

Before 1893

Source: The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, with a Memoir and Notes by William Michael Rossetti (1904), Page 179.

 

 

Show Your Power and Mercy: A Prayer for Advent

Show your power and mercy
on all people who are bound
in the fetters of superstition
or the dreariness of unbelief, idolatry, false doctrine,
or utter careless ungodliness.
May Christ come also to them,
and establish among them
his kingdom of light, truth, and righteousness.
O eternal Father,
with your eternal Son and your Holy Spirit,
may you be praised and worshiped
at all times and in all places,
now and forever. Amen.

-Riga Prayer Book, 1707, from Prayers from the Collection of Baron Bunsen. Based on the translation of Catherine Winkworth and found in Prayers from the Evangelical-Lutheran Heritage by Paul C. Stratman.

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Liturgy Letter Newsletter – First Week of Advent 2017 (Year B)

Our Faithful Savior Will Come Again

“Our awe-inspiring heavenly Father knows our sins (Isaiah 64:1-9). Restore us, O Lord God, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19). God is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:3-9). We must keep an ever-present watch, for Jesus is coming again (Mark 13:24-37).”

-Thomas Oden in Ancient Christian Devotional

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