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New Zealand Lectionary 2020

You will find New Zealand’s Lectionary Te Maramataka 2020 PDF online (1.51 MB – click link to download). Page numbers of the printed booklet are identical to the online version.

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?). Pleasingly, some errors noted on this site in previous years have been corrected.

Page 5 includes a link to the online version of A New Zealand Prayer Book He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa [NZPB/HKMA]. NB. if you are looking for the diglot material (English – Te Reo Maori) starting at page 476, that has been separated into two sections:
Te Whakawhetai me te Whakamoemiti
Thanksgiving and Praise
[And also note: the online NZPB/HKMA pagination is different to the IRL printed edition].

The trial collects have again been added in full in most places. This is an addition that will make this trial more widely known. Using any other collect continues to be allowed.

The 2019 terrorist attack in Christchurch is acknowledged on 15 March.

The ‘Propers’ are back! These were in previous Lectionaries without any explanation. In 2019, many (but not all) ‘Propers’ were removed. Now they are all back – I still can see no explanation. [‘Proper 4’ and ‘Proper 5’ are missing]. ‘Proper 1’ is on 9 February – the first Sunday after Candlemas (Feast of the Presentation) when our Anglican Church of Or rules say Ordinary Time begins. So is Proper 1 actually the Anglican Church of Or’s First Sunday in Ordinary Time?!

Furthermore, on page 15, there are Propers I, II, and III (Roman numerals) followed immediately by Propers 1, 2, and 3 (Arabic numerals). And the instructions around their use contradict each other (eg. can “Proper II and the collect, Proper 2, be used for Midnight or only on ‘Christmas Day’?)

Some errors have not been corrected. General Synod Te Hinota Whanui (GSTHW) went to significant effort (starting six 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 continues to call them Sundays “of the Epiphany”. This error has been pointed out four years running now.

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 9), rather than being called the “1st Sunday in Ordinary Time” (following our GSTHW ruling) is called the “5th Sunday in Ordinary Time”. [To be fair, see my point above, this is ‘Proper 1’]. There is no sign of the 4th or earlier Sundays in Ordinary Time. [My own solution to this would be to change the formulary, and have our Ordinary Time begin the day after the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord following majority Christianity and the originators of the Ordinary Time concept].

The 5th Sunday in Lent (March 29) 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.

“after” was not an option agreed to by GSTHW but “Sunday after Ascension” is an option in the Lectionary for 24 May.

On page 46 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”.

As in previous years, 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”.]

Each year, I have been noting our Anglican Church of Or suggestion to have all four colours in the lectionary for the Second Sunday in November (8 November). The colours in the lectionary booklet are not required to be followed – in fact, the lectionary booklet itself claims it is simply collating “common practice in most parishes” page 4.

Some clarification: some of the lectionary booklet presents formularies (ANZPB/HKMA or RCL are binding formularies of our Church). The majority of what the lectionary booklet presents, however, is not of this agreed binding formulary status. There is no distinction made in the text. For example the lectionary booklet has DEL:

the Daily Eucharistic Lectionary (DEL) are suitable for weekday celebrations of the Eucharist when no other provision is made or when you decide not to use the commemoration of the day. These readings may also be used for a single daily office, if desired.
The DEL (based on the Roman Catholic Daily Eucharistic Lectionary) is a semi-continuous two year lectionary with a wide use of scripture, though not complete coverage of the Bible. Two readings are provided for each day, the first from the Old or New Testament, the second always a Gospel. Psalm provision is intended to be a brief response to the first reading.

Lectionary 2020 page 3

DEL (please correct me if I am wrong) has no official status in our Church. I personally put the DEL alongside my commitment to the 3-year way of organising Sunday readings (in which RCL stands). But that’s just my own appreciation of the most followed system for reading the Bible systematically. In the Anglican Church of Or, while there looks to be no indication that this is so, DEL has no authorised status in our church, whilst the 3-year Sunday system (including RCL) is a vowed-and-signed-up-to-use requirement.

The 3rd and 4th columns, similarly, have no official status in our Church.

And then there’s CW:

On a few occasions where provision is not made in RCL or in ANZPB/HKMOA, material has been included from Common Worship, an adaptation of the Revised Common Lectionary for use in the Church of England (CW).

Lectionary 2020 page 2 and even repeated on page 6!

The situation with CW is fraught. While the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has binding, formulary-level readings which we have agreed to use, on about 15 feast days the Lectionary booklet has the heading CW instead. It is certainly not the case that “On a few occasions where provision is not made in RCL or in ANZPB/HKMOA, material has been included from Common Worship”.

Other issues of the Anglican Church of Or continue.
November 22 can be:
Christ the King Sunday
or The Reign of Christ Sunday
or 34th Sunday in Ordinary Time
or Proper 29
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 146).

The Anglican Church of Or presents two completely different weeks of readings – pages 22-23 OR pages 24-25 [not even counting the options within those pages].

Finally, “THE BISHOPS” (pages 150-151) states that this gives “Dates of Consecration/Episcopal ordination of those episcopally ordained in or currently resident in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia”. The list is a good one, but the descriptor needs to change (eg. Bishop Victoria Matthews was neither ordained nor is currently resident here; without prejudicing what the Church does about bishops on this page who participated in the recent schismatic consecration – that also may be worthy of reflection).

Are there any things you notice as you skim through the lectionary booklet for 2020 – things you like; things you think can be improved?

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3 thoughts on “New Zealand Lectionary 2020”

  1. Is there some way I can find the daily readings for March without having to download the whole lectionary?

    1. I’m not sure, Jo, which of the readings you are interested in (Eucharist; Morning Prayer; Evening Prayer). There are lots of aps and websites that provide daily readings. This Lectionary is 1.6MB. Blessings.

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