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The Bishop’s Note – BCP Morning Prayer – The Holy Scriptures

In last week’s Bishop’s Note, I spoke of the importance and beauty of praying the Psalms of David on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis. As we continue our examination of the 2019 Book of Common Prayer and the service of Morning Prayer we move from the Psalter to the Holy Scriptures. I am reminded of Archbishop Cramner’s collect from the Second Sunday in Advent and the importance that we, as Anglicans, place on the reading of Holy Scripture.
 
“Blessed Lord, who caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
 
For me personally, and for my family, the daily practice of praying the daily offices and reading the appointed scriptures have immersed us in the Word of God and that has been a true blessing.
 
I’ll let the Prayer Book speak for itself with regards to the appointment of scriptures throughout the year…

Annual Cycle of Lessons Appointed
 
“The principle adopted at the Reformation was that “the whole of Holy Scripture (or the greatest part thereof)” should be read each year. This cycle of lessons is based on that principle.

The first lesson is normally taken from the Old Testament or the Apocrypha. The Old Testament is read in its entirety once each year (with the exception of a few passages in Leviticus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges, Ezra, Nehemiah, Ezekiel, and the majority of Chronicles). These readings may be shortened if necessary, as long as the plain sense of the text is not lost. The dagger symbol (†) indicates a way to abbreviate a longer chapter if desired. The Gospels and Acts are read in their entirety twice each year, at Morning Prayer during the first part of the year, at Evening Prayer during the second part of the year. The Epistles are read twice each year in the opposite pattern, except for the Revelation to John, which is read only once, during the Advent season. Less of the Apocrypha has been included than in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; however, select passages have been retained, in keeping with the classic Anglican principle that “the Church doth read [these books] for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine” (Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles).

In general, readings move continuously through books of the Bible, interrupted only by Holy Days. For most Holy Days a single proper lesson is included, usually in Morning Prayer. For major feasts of our Lord, two proper lessons are included. The Holy Days connected to the date of Easter (Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Day, Ascension, and Pentecost) have a variable calendar date year to year. Proper readings for these days are provided in additional tables in the midst of the lectionary, and are indicated at the earliest possible date with a double dagger (‡).
 
If Morning Prayer is the principal liturgy on a Sunday, the psalms and lessons appointed for the day should be replaced with the psalm and two of the lessons from the sunday, holy day, and commemoration lectionary. On other Holy Days, the psalm and lessons from the sunday, holy day, and com­memoration lectionary may be used, if those lessons are not to be used at a celebration of the Eucharist on that day.

When a Lesson begins with a pronoun, the reader should sub­stitute the appropriate noun.

Readings from the Apocrypha are in italics. It is appropriate to conclude readings from the Apocrypha with “Here ends the Reading.” Should an alternate reading be desired to replace the Apocrypha, the reading appointed as the first lesson of the other Office for that day may be divided between the two Offices.

This Daily Office Lectionary may be adapted for use in a two-year cycle (indicated by I and II in the monthly headings) by reading only the two lessons appointed for Morning Prayer in odd-numbered years (e.g., 2019) and the two lessons appointed for Evening Prayer in even-numbered years (e.g., 2020). The two lessons each day may be divided across the two Offices. In this way, the New Testament will be read through once each year, and the Old Testament will be read through in two years.”  (Pages 736-737)
I pray you all a very blessed day!

Bishop Menees
San Joaquin Anglican
Calendar
September 20-22
Clergy Wives Retreat

October 5
Daughters of the Holy Cross Fall Gathering

November 7
Diocesan Convention Dinner

November 8
Diocesan Convention

December 2-4
Diocesan Clergy Retreat






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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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