What Is a Lectionary?


A lectionary is a collection of readings from the Bible (called “lections”) that are intended to enhance the act of worship.

Lectionaries have been in use in the Christian church from the fourth century, spanning denominational differences. Scripture selections are arranged according to a schedule which follows the church calendar of Sundays and festivals, centering on the life and work of Christ.

Church Calendar

Christian lectionaries generally include a reading from the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), a Psalm, a reading from the Epistles, and a Gospel reading. The The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) offers a three-year cycle with four readings for every Sunday in the church year, which begins on the first Sunday of Advent (four Sundays prior to December 25).

The Revised Common Lectionary (Semicontinuous) is now a part of Bible Gateway’s many Bible reading plans for your daily enjoyment, personal worship, and spiritual benefit. You can have it sent to your inbox for free each morning when you sign up here.

Why Read the Revised Common Lectionary?

  • The Revised Common Lectionary provides a uniform pattern of biblical proclamation that offers consistency of Bible reading between Christians around the world.
  • It serves as a guide for biblical content throughout the church calendar.
  • And it provides a contextual framework showing the relationship of readings of one Sunday with those that come before it and after it. The major Christian seasons of Lent, Easter, Advent, and Christmas-Epiphany are reflected in all the Scripture texts.

Whether you use The Revised Common Lectionary or any of our other Bible Reading Plans, we hope you’ll sign up to receive the readings automatically by email and that your walk with God and his Word deepens throughout this season.

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