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Transfiguration of Jesus

Transfiguration 2022?

Many churches will, this coming Sunday (27 February, 2022) have the Transfiguration (Luke 9) as their Gospel. The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) has that as an option for the Sunday immediately prior to Lent. Best I can ascertain, this comes from a Lutheran (and possibly other) tradition of focusing on the Transfiguration on the Sunday immediately before the Gesima Sundays.

Here is the 1992 Revised Common Lectionary:
Year AYear BYear C (this year).

This 1992 RCL is an agreed and binding formulary of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. Until 2017, the Transfiguration option for this coming Sunday was found in our Church lectionary booklet:

NZ Lectionary Booklet 2016

In the six years since then, while the option (it is the  Anglican Church of Or after all!) has continued to be there in our formal agreements, there has been no mention of the Transfiguration-on-the-Last-Sunday-before-Lent option in the Church lectionary booklet:

NZ Lectionary Booklet 2022

Furthermore, and possibly more concerning, I can see no mention of the Transfiguration option in the draft New Zealand Prayer Book printed in 2020 (and online).

Let me be clear: I am in favour of having the Transfiguration each year on the Second Sunday in Lent (from each of the three Synoptic Gospels rotating year by year), rather than prior to Lent – Transfiguration on Lent 2 is the practice of the majority of Christians, and so, doing so, increases the discipline and the experience of common prayer, it is a sign and a source of Christian unity.

But, until our Church has a (formulary) agreement that we all commemorate the Transfiguration on Lent 2, we have to be clear what we have agreed to. RCL has the options of Transfiguration on the Sunday before Lent or Lent 2 – and so RCL, obviously, provides an alternative Gospel on those Sundays. So, that alternative is provided in our Church lectionary booklet:

NZ Lectionary Booklet 2022

Think this through now: it is possible the Transfiguration is not celebrated this coming Sunday; it is possible that the Transfiguration is ALSO not celebrated on Lent 2. There’s one other Transfiguration feast day – but it’s not a Sunday, August 6, and when it falls on a Sunday, the normal Sunday readings take precedence. So – let me be clear again: in NZ Anglicanism, it is possible to NEVER hear the Transfiguration story, a central story in the Gospels; one might never encounter this at Sunday church!

In summary: in the Anglican Church of Or, it is possible to celebrate the Transfiguration once, twice, or three times a year. Or never!


Let us pray (in silence) [that we may grow into the likeness of Christ]


Transfiguring God,
before the passion of your beloved Son
you revealed his glory on the holy mountain:
grant that we who by faith behold the light of his face
may be strengthened to bear the cross,
and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory;
through the same Jesus Christ
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Commentary on the above collect.

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2 thoughts on “Transfiguration 2022?”

  1. Right on, brother! I was astounded to see the Yr C lectionary readings for 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Next Before Lent purporting to be RCL but not including the transfiguration option. How can this claim to be consistent with RCL? As, in preparing to preach, I was following the RCL app on my phone which had the transfiguration option, I was not aware of this omission till one of our readers pointed it out.
    (Yes, there is the possibility of never preaching on this important reading. Not good!)

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