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Lectionary readings

New Zealand Lectionary 2017

Lectionary readings

Online, you will now find New Zealand’s Lectionary Te Maramataka 2017 PDF (1.99 MB – click link to download). [Note – this year, page numbers of the printed booklet are identical to the online version.]

UPDATE: Thanks to Rev. Jason Granger who has spotted that the title for Sunday 1 January is incorrect. It should be the First Sunday of Christmas (not the 2nd as in the Lectionary).

This post is just a collection of comments from a quick first glance. There is much in a publication such as this that is good and is of value, helping connect to the world-wide church, and back through the traditions of the centuries, while grounding us in this place in the South Pacific, at this time. Those tend to mostly be when the lectionary booklet expresses what we have agreed together – including celebrations of days that are international and ecumenical, as well as of persons who have expressed God’s love and life on these shores.

In a document like a lectionary, the devil, of course, is in the detail. That detail will, for some, appear as nitpicking (gnatpicking?). It was a vicar’s tweet about errors in the new document that started a closer look. The tweet is correct – January 5, on both pages 22 and 25, should have Jn 2:13-end both times instead of what is there.

New, trial collects have been added in full in most places. This is an addition that will make this trial more widely known.

General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) went to significant effort (starting three years ago and debated in every diocesan synod and hui amorangi, then debated again at the next meeting of General Synod Te Hinota Whanui) about the use of “of, in, or after” in titles for Sundays. The agreement was Sundays “of Epiphany” – yet the Lectionary calls them Sundays “of the Epiphany”. This error was pointed out last year also.

Our church’s formulary (agreement) is that “Ordinary time is the period after the Feast of the Presentation of Christ” (February 2). Yet the first Sunday after The Presentation (February 5), rather than being called the “1st Sunday in Ordinary Time” (following our GSTHW ruling) is called the “5th Sunday in Ordinary Time”. There is no sign of the 4th, 3rd, or earlier Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The 5th Sunday in Lent (April 2) is optionally called “Passion Sunday” while there is no mention of the Passion. Ecumenical, international reform has the reading of the Passion on the 6th Sunday in Lent (as our Lectionary does also). The title “Passion Sunday” is, hence, best reserved for that international, ecumenical agreement. It is particularly odd given that the collect the Lectionary assigns to what it calls “Passion Sunday” speaks of “life that never dies”.

“after” was not an option in GSTHW but “Sunday after Ascension” is an option in the Lectionary. On page 48 begins readings for “the 3rd Week of Lent” (should that be “in Lent”?). Furthermore these readings are said to originate in “CWL” – there is no indication what CWL stands for or its status in our church or why there are not similar readings provided for the 1st and 2nd weeks “of Lent”.

‘Propers’ appear without any explanation. The first time is on page 16 where it talks about Propers I, II, and III (Roman numerals) followed immediately by Propers 1, 2, and 3 (Arabic numerals – pages 16 and 17). ‘Proper 1’ reappears again on page 36 (again with no explanation). Interestingly, this Proper numbering is what the Ordinary Sunday numbering would be if we followed our own agreement that Ordinary Time begins after the Presentation!

Again, as last year, I would be interested to know where this lectionary booklet gets the ruling from: “The reading from Acts must be used each Sunday in Eastertide” (pages 58ff). It may very well be a good idea – but where does “must” come from? We are only required to follow formularies of our church – not what is indicated by this lectionary booklet. This is an important principle. Where the lectionary booklet does not conform to the formularies, we must follow the formularies, not the lectionary booklet. Where the lectionary booklet sets requirements beyond what the formularies require, we do not need to follow the booklet.

Furthermore, as an aside, where does “Eastertide” come from in this lectionary booklet? Our formularies consistently call this “The Season of Easter”.

All Saints’ Day prints a traditional collect (NZPB/HKMA page 670 – but with some alteration to capitals at the start of lines) rather than a trial one. Why is this not done earlier? Jan 29 (page 32), for example, can be celebrated as “4th Sunday of the Epiphany” – but the collect is not provided (even with a lot of blank space following on page 33).

November 12, in the Anglican Church of Or, once again suggests the colour is Green, or Red, or White, or Violet.

All the other issues of the Anglican Church of Or continue
November 26 can be:
Christ the King Sunday
or The Reign of Christ Sunday
or 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
or Sunday before Advent
or Aotearoa Sunday
or Feast of Christ in All Creation
or, of course, A Spring Festival of Praise to the Creator (see page 140).

The error in the 2016 Lectionary, that on 6 November says “Feast of Christ in All Creation may be celebrated today (or last Sunday)” and the following Sunday, 13 November, says “Feast of Christ in All Creation may be celebrated today or next Sunday”, has been fixed for 2017.

Are there any things you notice as you skim through the lectionary booklet for 2017 – things you like; things you think can be improved?

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4 thoughts on “New Zealand Lectionary 2017”

  1. At first glance –

    It’s getting so packed with material it’s becoming hard to read. One half expects there to be a recipe for Simnel cake given there’s virtually everything else.

    Thomas Beckett seems singled out for special treatment: he’s described as ‘Thomas of Canterbury, bishop …’, whereas the other Archbishops of Canterbury are, e.g. ‘Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, …’

    I suppose this is churlish, but I lament the passing of the verb, to praetermit. Where else but the NZ Lectionary could one find such a wonderful word?

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