You may have noticed that when we finished reading from Wisdom (or, in full, The Wisdom of Solomon) on December 31st, we weren’t actually finished with the book. The lectionary just ran out of space, dropped it, and moved on with life. This is typical of how the 2019 daily lectionary handles the Ecclesiastical Books: just highlight some of the main features of a few books and scurry along in what almost looks like embarrassment of the unique Anglican perspective on these books.
So what if you want to finish the book of Wisdom? The Saint Aelfric Customary has an answer! Turn to the Midday Lectionary I put together and you will find that today we pick up where December left us off, and chapter by chapter you can finish the book in Midday Prayer. With one more interruption on January 6th for The Epiphany, you’ll finish the Wisdom of Solomon on January 10th.
Is this an ideal situation? Not really; it’d be simpler if we, like the original daily office lectionary in the prayer book, just read it all the way through. But with our culture the way it is, the best way to “fill the gaps” in the daily lectionary is to utilize Midday Prayer as a catch-up. And in its own way this is actually a reasonable solution, because Midday Prayer is an extra office, not part of the historic prayer book standard; so by having a lectionary of “primary” readings for Morning & Evening Prayer and a lectionary of “supplemental” readings for Midday Prayer, we can cover literally the entire Bible in a way that actually acknowledges some sense of gradations regarding the usefulness or edifying nature of its component writings. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it works reasonably well for what we’ve got.