What we’re doing on this blog on Mondays is looking back and forth at the Daily Office readings (or lessons) so we can better process together what the Scriptures are saying, and list the recommended Propers for the Communion or Antecommunion service for each day of the week.
Last week: 2 Kings 18-22, 2 Chronicles 30-33, Acts 9:32-13:12, Isaiah 16-22, Mark 11-14
This week: 2 Kings 23-25, Judith 4, 8, 9-10, Acts 13-16, Isaiah 23-29, Mark 15-16, Luke 1-2
You may have seen something like this kicking around Facebook or other social media:
It’s a neat idea, as Luke has 24 chapters, so if you read one chapter a day starting on December 1st, you’ll cover the whole story of Jesus just in time for Christmas. If there was no such thing as a Daily Office, I would wholeheartedly endorse this sort of thing. But, of course, we have a Daily Office, with a Daily Lectionary, that takes the entire year into account. And so, reading a full chapter at a time is a bit excessive, especially for chapters 1, 2, and 20-24, which are quite long. So instead we’re starting Luke on November 12th and finishing on December 31st.
By way of an interesting aside in version 2 (of 3) of this daily office lectionary, Christmas Day’s reading for Evening Prayer did not have a special Christmas-related reading, resulting in a reading on the passion and suffering of Jesus on CHRISTMAS DAY itself. That struck me as inappropriate, and enough other people complained that we got the reading for Christmas Day fixed to be about Christmas in the final version.
Meanwhile, in Morning Prayer, we’re finishing 2 Kings and moving on to the deuterocanonical books, commonly called apocrypha. Unlike historic Anglican lectionaries, we’re not getting the full story of Judith, just selections from that book to get the highlights of the story in 10 parts instead of 16. An even stranger disappointment: the book of Tobit is omitted entirely from this lectionary – perhaps a first in Prayer Book history. Nevertheless, enjoy what we’ve got. The fall of Jerusalem, in progress today and tomorrow, is a dramatic turning point in biblical history, and sets up a very different situation for the later prophets and the intertestamental period – no longer are God’s people a distinct country. A nation, or people-group, sure, but complete political autonomy under their own Davidic King is gone forever. As we get into Judith later this week, and Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) and Wisdom after that, that backwards-looking sentimentality for the fullness of Israel becomes quite a noticeable trend, accompanied with a growing forward-looking hopefulness for full restoration. A restoration we see only in Christ!
This is the week of Proper 27 (or 21st after Trinity in the traditional calendar), so keep in mind that the historic Prayer Book default is that a mid-week Eucharist will repeat the Collect & Lessons (the propers) for yesterday. Otherwise, we recommend…
- Monday 11/11 = Veterans/Remembrance Day or St. Martin (bishop)
- Tuesday 11/12 = Votive*
- Wednesday 11/13 = Votive
- Thursday 11/14 = Votive
- Friday 11/15 = Votive
- Saturday 11/16 = Votive or St. Margaret
* A Votive is a “Various Occasion” (page 733 in the BCP 2019). The traditional appointments are Holy Trinity on Sunday, Holy Spirit on Monday, Holy Angels on Tuesday, of the Incarnation on Wednesdays, of the Holy Eucharist on Thursdays, the Holy Cross on Fridays, and of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturdays.