Liturgy and Music commission makes Holy Week lectionary recommendation

March 24, 2011

The Episcopal Church's Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) issued a statement March 24 concerning inconsistencies between the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and the Holy Week liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer.

The statement was prepared during the commission's March 15-19 meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. It recommends that Episcopal Church congregations use the RCL readings rather than those listed in the prayer book.

The Revised Common Lectionary became the Episcopal Church's official lectionary on the First Sunday in Advent 2010 (via General Convention Resolution A077, passed in 2006). Holy Week this year is the first time the RCL is in use.

However, Resolution A077 did not address the Holy Week readings listed on pages 270-295 of the prayer book in the Holy Week liturgies. Commission members said in the statement that they plan to recommend to the 77th General Convention, meeting in Indianapolis in July 2012, that it remove the inconsistencies.

The complete statement, with the recommended list of readings, follows.

The 2006 General Convention resolved that "the Revised Common Lectionary shall be the Lectionary of this Church, amending the Lectionary on pp. 889-921 of the Book of Common Prayer," but did not deal with the resultant inconsistencies of pages within the Book of Common Prayer itself.



Statement from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
March 24, 2011

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music recommends that congregations use the RCL lections during Holy Week 2011, the first year that the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is required for use in the Episcopal Church. In its report to the 77th General Convention, the SCLM will formally propose a resolution to remove the inconsistencies between the RCL and BCP.

The RCL lections for Holy Week 2011 are:

Palm Sunday, BCP pp. 270-273

  • Liturgy of the Palms: Matthew 21:1-11
  • Processional Psalm 118: 1-2,19-29
  • Liturgy of the Word:
    Isaiah 50:4-9a
    Psalm 31:9-16
    Philippians 2:5-11
    Matthew 26:14—27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54

Maundy Thursday, BCP p. 274

  • Exodus 12:1-4,(5-10), 11-14
  • Psalm 116:1, 10-171 Corinthians 11:23-26
  • John 13:1-17, 31b-35

The Commission strongly recommends omitting the "Hallelujah!" at the end of Psalm 116 (v. 17).

Good Friday, BCP pp. 276-277

  • Isaiah 52:13—53:12
  • Psalm 22
  • Hebrews 10:16-25 or Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
  • John 18:1–19:42

Holy Saturday, BCP p. 283

  • Job 14:1-14 or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24
  • Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
  • 1 Peter 4:1-8
  • Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

Easter Vigil, BCP pp. 288-295

  • The story of Creation:
    Genesis 1:1—2:4a
    Psalm 136:1-9,23-26
  • The Flood:
    Genesis 7:1-5,11-18;8:6-18,9:8-13
    Psalm 46
  • Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac:
    Genesis 22:1-18
    Psalm 16
  • Israel's deliverance at the Red Sea:
    Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
    Canticle 8
  • God's Presence in a renewed Israel:
    Baruch 3:9-15, 32---4:4 or Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4b-6
    Psalm 19
  • Salvation offered freely to all:
    Isaiah 55:1-11
    Canticle 9
  • A new heart and a new spirit:
    Ezekiel 36:24-28
    Psalms 42 and 43
  • The valley of dry bones:
    Ezekiel 37:1-14
    Psalm 143
  • The gathering of God's people:
    Zephaniah 3:14-20
    Psalm 98
  • At the Eucharist:
    Romans 6:3-11
    Psalm 114
    Matthew 28:1-10