The Daily Lectionary


The Daily Lectionary is a list of Bible readings that can be used in daily church services, so that the readings are always appropriate to the time of year. However, it also makes a good daily Bible reading plan.

The Daily Lectionary is arranged in a two-year cycle. The Christian year begins on the first Sunday in Advent. For the purpose of this lectionary, Year One begins on the First Sunday of Advent in an even-numbered year, and Year Two begins on the First Sunday of Advent in an odd-numbered year. For example: Easter 1997 is in Year One, because the preceding Advent was in an even-numbered year.

This Daily Lectionary comes from The Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, which uses the Apocrypha for historical information, moral instruction, and as a liturgical resource, but not to formulate doctrine. Lutherans, Methodists, and other mainline Protestants have the same position. Accordingly, the Daily Lectionary contains readings from the Apocrypha. If your church bans the use of the Apocrypha, you may wish to make substitutions.

In general, parentheses suggest how you can lengthen the readings. In the case of the Psalms, brackets indicate Psalms you can omit and parentheses indicate passages you can omit.

Year One
It is Year One when the preceding Advent began in an even-numbered year.

Advent
Christmas
Epiphany
Lent includes Holy Week
Easter
The Season After Pentecost

Year Two
It is Year Two when the preceding Advent began in an odd-numbered year.

Advent
Christmas
Epiphany
Lent includes Holy Week
Easter
The Season After Pentecost

When the Seasons Begin and End

Advent

Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day and ends at sundown on 24 December, which begins Christmas Eve. If 24 December is a Sunday, it is the Fourth Sunday in Advent until sundown, after which it is Christmas Eve.

Christmas
Christmas is twelve days long, beginning on 25 December and lasting through 5 January.
Epiphany
For lectionary purposes, Epiphany begins on 6 January and lasts until the day before Lent, which is called Shrove Tuesday in English, Fasching in German, Mardi Gras in French.
Lent
Lent begins on the Wednesday in the seventh week before Easter, which is called Ash Wednesday, and lasts through the Saturday before Easter.
Easter
Easter begins on Easter Day and lasts through Pentecost Sunday.
After Pentecost
The Season After Pentecost—also called Kingdomtide, Dominiontide, or Ordinary Time—begins on the Monday after Pentecost and lasts until the day before the First Sunday in Advent.

You can find an alternative to this daily lectionary at: The Bible Through the Seasons, a web site constructed by a United Methodist Pastor.


For more information about the purpose of the seasons, see Holy Days and Holidays.