Lectionary Mods

Examples of Lectionary Mods

The point of the Open Source Lectionary is not to set up a rival lectionary to replace the current RCL but rather to open up opportunities to modify the RCL.  In this section, examples of Lectionary Mods will be given.  Since some of these Mods arose in the author’s context and out of the author’s wrestling with Scripture with others in the congregation and elsewhere, they will be described from a more personal and local perspective.  There is no limit to the number of possible Lectionary Mods that can arise in different congregational contexts and at different times in the lectionary cycle.

As these Lectionary Mods reveal, the best justification for pursuing an Open Source Lectionary is the positive outcome of trying it, of moving outside the lectionary for a season and exploring sermon series that intentionally expose the congregation to the narrative of Scripture for the purpose of growing biblically formed and informed disciples.  Ultimately, the success of www.opensourcelectionary.com will be demonstrated by the growing collection of useful Lectionary Mods and other preaching planning resources on the site.


The Book of Acts If the assigned lections do not serve to advance the mission of this congregation at this time, then the lections need to be changed.  During a New Testament Narrative course with Dr. Matthew Skinner in June of 2008, immersion in the extended narrative of the birth and growth of the early …

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Revelation Another New Testament book that gets scant attention in the RCL is Revelation.  In the Easter Season of Year C, there is a series of texts from the book of Revelation: Revelation 1:4-8; Revelation 5:11-14; Revelation 7:9-17; Revelation 21:1-6; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5; Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21.  While some of these texts arise in other …

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Advent Sermon series like the Acts series—outside the box of the lectionary, building on and sharing the preacher’s own studies, rooted in Scripture, and directed to the mission of growing and sending disciples of Jesus Christ—are most obviously and easily inserted into Ordinary Time, the long season between Pentecost and Advent.  In the Northern Hemisphere, …

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Neglected Characters of the Bible for Lent

“Neglected Characters of the Bible” for Lent Lent is an unusual season in many congregations, in that it is one season when the whole congregation worships both on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings, often after a communal meal (Advent is another season like this in some congregations).  For congregations who worship on Wednesdays during Lent, …

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Year of John

A Year of John A major Lectionary Mod for Year B is to substitute a Year of John for a Year of Mark.  Certainly, John gets significant attention in the RCL, as Gail Ramshaw noted, especially during festival seasons.  But, whereas the Synoptic Gospels receive extensive blocks of time for semicontinuous readings, John does not.  …

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Genesis: The Beginning

In chapter 3, we noted some of the semicontinuous series possibilities in the RCL, especially during Ordinary Time for the First Readings. For example, during Year A there is a series that takes one semicontinuously – and thus quickly – from Genesis through Judges in 26 weeks, with the first 13 weeks focused on Genesis. …

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Narrative Lectionaries

Narrative Lectionaries A final example of Lectionary Mods is what one might call narrative lectionaries.[1] Narrative lectionaries are ways to explore, to greater or lesser detail, the narrative arc of the Bible or specific parts of the Bible beyond the scope of a focused sermon series.  The Narrative Lectionary being developed by Rolf Jacobson and …

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The African American Lectionary

The African American Lectionary: www.theafricanamericanlectionary.org One important lectionary alternative is the African American Lectionary, developed by the Reverend Martha Simmons and an ecumenical team of scholars, preachers, and musicians.[1] Supported by funding from the Lilly Endowment, the lectionary’s first year was 2008.  In accordance with African American preaching and worship practices, the African American Lectionary …

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