As I explain in my guide to the Daily Office lectionary, a lectionary simply tells you what passages to read during a prayer/worship service. So, if you’re doing Morning or Evening Prayer, you use the Daily Office Lectionary to figure out what passages of Scripture you should read.
The New (January 2018) ACNA Daily Office Lectionary
The Anglican Church in North America [ACNA] recently released (January 2018) a new version of its Daily Office Lectionary, and I’ve formatted it into a table/spreadsheet where you can access all of the readings in one place.
Full disclosure: I’m ordained as a Deacon in the ACNA. Furthermore, I think the new ACNA Daily Office Lectionary, as it stands, is a great resource. It definitely represents a return to Thomas Cranmer’s original vision for the Daily Office Lectionary to take you through the vast majority of Scripture in a single calendar year.
The “Shortcoming” of the New ACNA Daily Office Lectionary
However, it does have one “shortcoming” – you have to do BOTH Morning AND Evening Prayer in order to follow along with the sequence of readings.
This is mainly the case with the First Lesson or Old Testament readings. You read Genesis 1 in the morning and then Genesis 2 in the evening. But, the question’s been asked, what happens when someone can only do EITHER Morning OR Evening Prayer?
Now, to be perfectly honest, part of me is hesitant to call this a shortcoming of the Lectionary. I’m partially tempted to reply: Then you should try harder to make time for both Morning and Evening Prayer! The design of the Daily Office Lectionary incentivizes doing both.
But, I get it. Let’s be realistic. Some people just can’t make Morning AND Evening Prayer happen every day, for a variety of reasons.
We could really use a Daily Office Lectionary that could be used by both someone just starting off with the Daily Office, only able to do one prayer service as a day, as well as by someone who does both Morning and Evening Prayer.
A Solution: A Two-Year Version of the ACNA Daily Office Lectionary
So, what I’ve done is I’ve created an experimental TWO-YEAR version of the ACNA Daily Office Lectionary.
To do this, I
- Created a new Psalms cycle
- Consolidated the First Lesson columns (for Morning and Evening Prayer) into one First Lesson column
- Placed the Gospels/Acts cycle into a the Second Lesson column
- Placed the Epistles/Acts cycle into a Third Lesson column
THE ONLY READINGS I HAD TO CHANGE, apart from the new Psalms cycle, are the following:
- I made the readings from John 1-5 longer to decrease the number of days they took up
- I made the readings from Colossians 1-3 shorter to increase the number of days they took up
This was done to avoid the readings from the beginning of John appearing in both columns for the space of four days, like they do in the January 2018 version of the ACNA Daily Office Lectionary.
Other than that, the readings (as in the length of the passages) are as you’ll find them in the January 2018 ACNA Lectionary.
(Special thanks go to our very own founding editor at Anglican Pastor, Greg Goebel, for giving valuable feedback in this process. Special thanks also go to Sheila Jackson of C4SO for helping me to consolidate the First Lesson columns into a single First Lesson column. She went through and merged the two columns by hand/keyboard!)
SO, in this new, experimental version, you can do
- EITHER Morning OR Evening Prayer
- or BOTH Morning AND Evening Prayer
That is, each column of readings is kept separate.
How to Use This Two-Year Lectionary
There are two Psalms assigned to each day.
You go through all 150 Psalms in 77 days (Psalm 119 is broken up into chunks).
If you are doing ONE prayer service a day, either:
- read both Psalms together
- or read the first column of Psalms (starting with Psalm 1) until you complete the cycle (ending with Psalm 149), and then read the second column of Psalms (starting with Psalm 2) until you complete the cycle (ending with Psalm 150).
If you are doing TWO prayer services a day,
- read the first Psalm in the morning,
- and the second in the evening.
There are three Lessons assigned to each day.
First Lesson takes you through almost the entire Old Testament (minus some passages in Numbers, Leviticus, and Judges, and Chronicles), plus some readings from the Apocrypha, in two years.
The Second Lesson column takes you through the Gospels twice and Acts once each year.
The Third Lesson column takes you through the Epistles twice and Acts once each year. Revelation is only read once a year, during the Advent season.
If you are doing ONE prayer service a day, either
- read all three Lessons
- or read the first two Lessons.
If you are doing TWO prayer services a day,
- read the First and Second Lessons in the morning,
- and the Third in the evening.
How to Access This Experimental Two-Year Lectionary
Got Questions? Ask them in the comments below!
I hope that this experimental Lectionary allows more people to do the Daily Office.
Grace and Peace,
As Managing Editor, Josh is in charge of the day-to-day operations at Anglican Pastor. He is a priest in the Anglican Church in North America, serving at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, IL (Diocese of C4SO). Josh is also a Ph.D. student in theology at Wheaton College. You can follow Josh on micro.blog, or learn more at joshuapsteele.com.