Common Worship texts

  Rules to order how the Psalter
    and the rest of Holy Scripture are
    appointed to be read          
  In the reading of psalms and other portions of Holy Scripture any version of Holy Scripture which is not prohibited by lawful authority may be used.
  The references in the following tables, except those to the psalms, are to the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. References to the psalms are to the Common Worship psalter. When other versions are used, such adaptations are made as necessary.
         The references in the following tables, including those to the psalms, state book, chapter and verse in that order. Where optional additional verses or psalms are set, the references are placed in square parentheses [ . . . ]. A simple choice between two alternative readings is indicated by an italicized or, placed between references.
         Longer psalms, which are starred thus*, have optional shorter alternatives given in the tables.
  When a reading begins with a personal pronoun, the reader may substitute the appropriate noun.
  In these tables, verses are stated inclusively. The letter a after the number of a verse signifies the first part of that verse; the letter b the second part.
  In a compact cycle of readings such as these, some passages have necessarily been abbreviated. When opportunity allows, the passages may be read in full. Verses in brackets may be included or omitted, as desired.
  When there are only two readings at the principal service and that service is Holy Communion, the second reading is always the Gospel reading.
         If there are only two readings at the principal service on Easter Day, the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth or Seventh Sunday of Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, the Conversion of Paul or the Festivals of Matthias, Barnabas, James and Stephen, the reading from the Acts of the Apostles must always be used.
         In the choice of readings other than the Gospel reading, the minister should ensure that, in any year, a balance is maintained between readings from the Old and New Testaments and that, where a particular biblical book is appointed to be read over several weeks, the choice ensures that this continuity of one book is not lost.
         When the Principal Service Lectionary is used at a service other than Holy Communion, the Gospel reading need not always be chosen.
  During the period from the First Sunday of Advent to the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, during the period from Ash Wednesday to Trinity Sunday, and on All Saints' Day, the readings shall come from an authorized lectionary. During Ordinary Time (i.e. between the Presentation and Ash Wednesday and between Trinity Sunday and Advent Sunday), authorized lectionary provision remains the norm but, after due consultation with the Parochial Church Council, the minister may, from time to time, depart from the lectionary provision for pastoral reasons or preaching or teaching purposes.
  Three sets of psalms and readings are provided for each Sunday. The Principal Service Lectionary (which is drawn from the Revised Common Lectionary) is intended for use at the principal service of the day (whether this service is Holy Communion or some other authorized form). In most church communities, this is likely to be the mid-morning service, but the minister is free to decide which service time normally constitutes the principal service of the day.
         The Second Service Lectionary is intended for a second main service. In many churches, this lectionary will be the appropriate provision for a Sunday afternoon or evening service. A Gospel reading is always provided so that this lectionary can, if necessary, be used at Holy Communion.
         The Third Service Lectionary, with shorter readings, is intended for use when a third set of psalms and readings is needed. It is most appropriate for use at an office.
         On Principal Feasts and Festivals the psalms are appropriate either for morning use or for evening use. They are therefore shown separately from the readings for the Second and Third Services.
  On the Sundays between the Presentation of Christ in the Temple and the Second Sunday before Lent, and again on the Sundays after Trinity, the readings and Collects follow independent courses. The Collects and Post Communions are attached to the Sunday title (the Fifth/Fourth/Third Sunday before Lent, the First/Second/Third Sunday after Trinity, etc.), but the sets of proper readings (Propers 4, 5, 6) belong to particular calendar dates (i.e. the Sunday between two dates).
  On the Sundays after Trinity, the Principal Service Lectionary provides alternative Old Testament readings and psalms. Those under the heading 'Continuous' allow the Old Testament reading and its complementary psalm to stand independently of the other readings. Those under the heading 'Related' relate the Old Testament reading and the psalm to the Gospel reading. It is unhelpful to move from week to week from one column to another. One column should be followed for the whole sequence of Sundays after Trinity.