We deny to claim "any Superiority to ourself
to defyne, decyde, or determyn any Article or Poynt
of the Christian Fayth and Relligion,
or to chang any Ancient Ceremony of the Church
from the Forme before received and observed
by the Catholick and Apostolick Church."

Norman Simplicity

Norman Simplicity
Click image for original | © Vitrearum (Allan Barton)

Sunday, March 9, 2014


I'm not a fan. How can the following two imperatives be attempted simultaneously (or reconciled in thought)?

The major principle behind the lectionary is that on a Sunday members of congregations should be able to hear the voice of each writer week by week, rather than readings being selected according to a theme. Thus, in any given year the writer of one of the first three gospels will be heard from beginning to end. Likewise the rest of the New Testament is heard, in some cases, virtually in total, in others in large part.

This principle is subject to a number of exceptions. Firstly, different principles apply during the special seasons of the year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent and Easter. Here appropriate lections relevant to the season are chosen.

Even if we assume that "hearing the voice of the [individual] writer" is a good thing, it simply won't be achieved that way. Having (twice now) taught the synoptic Gospels to intelligent undergraduates, I can say that even with the most intense preparation, scholarly apparati, focused exercises, and strong coaching from me, this is a most difficult task. And part of the problem stems from the sharp declines in attentive hearing and reading comprehension, resultant from our cultural malaise.

I'm all for biblical scholarship: but that ought not to be confused with the function of the proclamation of Verbum Domini (IMHO).

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