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, January 18, 2015


Circa 600–625 in Rome, with one notable exception — the first Sunday after Pentecost — Revelation readings at mass were reserved to Holy Innocents, the archangel Michael (29 September), and the dedication of a church. As the sanctoral developed, Revelation lections were gradually added.

Is the absence of such readings a result of the belief that they are generally not suited for public proclamation or is it merely an artefact of the loss of a third lection, not derived from the Epistles or Gospels? Notice how the RCL does very little to rectify this situation, no matter how it actually arose.


  1. I've heard that story about it being thought too esoteric for didactic purposes but that seems like a rationalisation. Syrian Christianity rejected it completely for a time, I think. Revelation's apocalyptic form - and Jude's references to the book of Enoch - meant that both these books were a problem, because the apocalyptic in general fell under the suspicion of heretical gnosticism sometime in the 2nd C: is that why they were kept at arm's length?

    One of the fascinating things about the canon is that they ended up inside it. What is one to do with the book of Enoch, then? And the whole apocalyptic genre?

  2. Eastern Orthodox Church does not use Revelation of St. John for any liturgical readings, as it was rather suspect when the lectionaries were compiled. That is not to say that it is not used devotionally or theologically.
    Rdr. James Morgan