Although the full text hasn’t been finalized yet, I do have plans for how the Saint Aelfric Customary will recommend the implementation of most of the features in the 2019 Prayer Book.  In short, I can’t tell you why these suggestions are here yet, but if you want to order your prayers accordingly, here is the weekly guide!

Planning Prayers

Sunday 12/29

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum laudamus and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: First Sunday in Christmas
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Monday 12/30

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum laudamus and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: First Sunday in Christmas (with the traditional readings)
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Tuesday 12/31

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum laudamus and Benedictus
  • Morning Holy Communion: Votive of the Incarnation (Christmas Day I or II)
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, Collect for the Circumcision

Wednesday 1/1

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: The Circumcision and Holy Name of our Lord Jesus
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Thursday 1/2

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Votive *
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Friday 1/3

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Votive *
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Saturday 1/4

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Votive *
  • Evening Prayer: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis

Sunday 1/5

  • Morning Prayer Canticles: Te Deum laudamus and Benedictus
  • Holy Communion: Second Sunday in Christmas
  • Evening Prayer Canticles: Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, Collect for The Epiphany

* 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.

Readings Review

Last week: Wisdom 6-8, Revelation 14-20, Isaiah 65-66, Song of Songs 1-5, Luke 20:27-23:49
This week: Wisdom 9-11 Genesis 1-4, Revelation 21-22, John 1-3:21, Song of Songs 6-8, Jeremiah 1-3, Luke 23-24, Galatians 1-4

Special reading for the Circumcision on Wednesday evening: Luke 2:8-21

The big flip-over is happening this week: we finish some books and dive into some new ones as we turn to January.  In Morning Prayer the Old Testament track goes back to Genesis, where we’ll restart our journey through the Law and the (mostly) Historical Narratives.

In Evening Prayer the Old Testament starts with Jeremiah, which may feel like an odd choice – why not start with the earliest prophets and work your way forward?  There are two justifications to this that occur to me.  First of all, we recently finished reading Isaiah, and Jeremiah is the next canonical book after that, so in one sense we’re basically picking up where we left off a week before.  Another angle on this is that by reading Jeremiah at the beginning of the year, followed by his shorter book, Lamentations, we land ourselves very close to the beginning of Lent as we wrap that up.  It would make more sense to read Jeremiah during Lent instead, as some daily lectionaries appoint, but there’s nothing wrong with a little lead-up, too.

The New Testament readings flip-flop again, as they did half-way through the year – the Gospels now in the Morning and the Epistles in the evening.  Some might ask why we start with John, and then go to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Again there may be more than one answer.  Perhaps starting with John provides a nice echo of Christmas Day & Sunday’s reading of John 1:1-18.  Perhaps this way we insure that the Passion narratives in St. Matthew’s Gospel land close to the Annunciation, which is also close to where Holy Week tends to fall, on average.  Also, in more distant history, certain Bibles (I think particularly Western/Latin ones) ordered the four gospels with John before the three synoptics, and this lectionary may be evoking a throw-back, not that I could surmise why.

The Epistles of St. Paul, at least, are being read in their estimated chronological order, beginning with Galatians – which again is convenient given that epistle has significant contributions to Christmas and (at least thematically) to the Circumcision of Christ.

One thought on “Planning Prayers & Readings Review 12/30

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