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Exploring the Lectionary

CHAPTER 3 (excerpt)

Exploring the Lectionary

In addition to Lowry’s earlier work and the work of the Consultation on Common Texts itself, several recent books are helpful guides for living with the lectionary, including Gail Ramshaw’s Treasures Old and New: Images in the Lectionary and A Three Year Banquet: The Lectionary for the Assembly, Gail R. O’Day and Charles Hackett’s Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, and O. Wesley Allen’s Preaching and Reading the Lectionary: a Three-Dimensional Approach to the Liturgical Year.  These works will serve as our basis for understanding the history, structure, and use of the RCL.  We will then examine the possibilities and limitations for semicontinuous preaching in the lectionary…



  1. Let me add another book– the 20th Anniversary Study Edition of the RCL, released in 2012 by Augsburg Fortress. This includes the RCL with all corrections (there were a few glitches we found in the 1992 edition from Abingdon), several of the original essays, several new essays describing how the RCL has become adopted and is being used far beyond our original imagining, and, perhaps most importantly, specific citations showing the connections between the RCL, the OLM (Roman Catholic Ordo Missae Lectionum), the Common Lectionary and previous lectionary traditions, along with occasional “notes from our meetings” giving additional insight into how some readings were arrived at.

    Peace in Christ,

    The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards
    Director of Worship Resources
    General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church and
    Secretary, The Consultation on Common Texts

  2. Thank you, Rev. Burton-Edwards! I apologize for not seeing your comment earlier – I have not kept up this site as I should. I will definitely check out the anniversary edition of the RCL. I definitely appreciate the RCL and the hard work of the Consultation on Common Texts – work which I do not suppose will ever be done!

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