Celebrating Sundays: Patristic Readings for the Sunday Gospels, Years A, B & C Compiled and introduced by the Rev. Stephen Holmes.

This is a treasure.

It is a wonderful collection of patristic readings linked with the three year series of Sunday gospel readings followed by Roman Catholics and ecumenically in the Revised Common Lectionary. There is nothing like this available.

The Rev. Stephen Holmes began this collection in the 1980’s for Pluscarden Abbey in the North of Scotland. There it is used in the Office of Vigils (in what is called the 3rd Nocturn of that office).

Two years ago, I pointed you to a two-year set of daily patristic readings commenting on the Roman Catholic 2 year Scripture cycle for the Office of Readings. That delightful collection was also produced by Stephen Holmes.

Let the inspired books of both the Old and the New Testaments be read at Vigils, as also commentaries on them by the most eminent orthodox and catholic fathers.” (Rule of Benedict, IX)

This book is gratifyingly thorough. Everything I would hope was there – is. When I looked through the book, and thought – this really needs a little biography about the original patristic author, there it was in the back. Seasons are superbly introduced. There are indexes and tables.

There is a lot by Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Cyril of Alexandria (glancing down the first contents page we have Paschasius Radbertus, Godfrey of Admont, Bernard, Origen, Ambrose, John Scotus Eriugena, Bede, Guerric of Igny… the list goes on and on). 43% writers from the Greek East, 54% Latin West, 6 writers who wrote in Syriac, a couple of pieces were written in Anglo-Saxon and English. This should further and enrich the ecumenism of the lectionary, and continue the spiritual renewal that focuses on spirituality, prayer, and the scriptures as the way forward that this site promotes.

Buy this book. Give it to clergy. Let us enrich the spiritual life of our communities. There are any number of ways you can use this book: as part of your daily office, as a reading to prepare for a sermon on the associated gospel reading, in a group that focuses on the Sunday gospel,…

Stephen Holmes is an Anglican/Episcopalian priest, and a PhD student at New College Edinburgh. He was previously Associate Lecturer in Divinity at Maynooth and for the distance leaning programme at the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham.

Maybe one day this collection also will be made available online…

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