Wednesday, April 4, 2018


As I have written before, I believe it is time to reconsider the revised lectionary. It is too wordy.

The Tridentine Lectionary was perfect. There was the Epistle Reading, the Gradual and the Gospel.

It's flaw was that it was limited in the selection of Scriptures for Sunday and the daily Mass Tridentine Lectionary was non existent except for Advent, Lent and Easter.  Our revised daily Mass lectionary is great, just get rid of the useless repetition of the Responsorial Psalm and return to the Gradual and Tract.

Certainly Vatican II asked that there be a more lavish use of Scripture in a revised Lectionary. Have a Year B then with Old Testament readings used during the year where appropriate and a year C to use New Testament Readings not in the Tridentine's Lectionary. But keep the Tridentine Lectionary for year A.

With that said, Let me ask a question with my statement first.

For funeral, I do not encourage two readings and the Responsorial Psalm before the Gospel. I recommend a first reading (from either the Old Testament or New Testament, the Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel.

How many of you experience this at funerals.

I'd like to do the same for weddings but haven't pushed that as I aggressively as I have for funerals.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ!”

The old lectionary was far from perfect.

Roman Missal / Missale Romanum (various pre-Vatican II editions, based on the Missal of Pope Pius V from 1570)
◾The same readings are read each year on the Sundays and feast days.
◾Most Masses had only two readings: the Epistle and the Gospel.
◾Parts of the Old Testament were read on only a few feasts, vigils, ember days, and within some liturgical octaves.
◾Most weekday Masses did not have their own assigned readings (Propers). On feast days, the readings were from the feast. Otherwise, the readings were usually from the prior Sunday.
◾The biblical texts used for Sundays, vigils, and major feasts include about 22% of the NT Gospels, 11% of the NT Epistles, and only 0.8% of the OT (not counting the Psalms).

The revised lectionary is plainly superior.
Lectionary for Mass (first and second edition after the Second Vatican Council, 1963)
◾A greater variety of readings is included in a three-year cycle for Sundays (A/B/C) and a two-year cycle (I/II) for weekdays.
◾Three main readings are now prescribed for Sundays and major feasts: Reading 1, usually from OT books; Reading 2, from NT Epistles; Reading 3, from NT Gospels.
◾The biblical texts used for Sundays, vigils, and major feasts now include about 58% of the NT Gospels, 25% of the NT Epistles, but still only 3.7% of the OT (not counting the Psalms).
◾Including all the Masses for Sundays, weekdays, rituals, votives, the propers and commons of saints, and special needs and occasions, the Lectionary for Mass now covers much of the NT (about 90% of the Gospels, 55% of the rest: Acts, Epistles, Revelation), but still very little of the OT (slightly over 13%).

What benefits to the congregation do you see in your preference for fewer readings at funerals and/or weddings?

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald

You can't say the 'Tridentine' lectionary (which is in fact a good deal older than Trent) is perfect and then in the same breath maintain that it has flaws.

The 1970 concoction was done in considerable haste and signed off by a Pontiff who admitted he had not read it. It's like most of the Novus Ordo - fabricated on rational principles which take little account of pastoral realities or historical precedent - and is unwieldy, cumbersome, and is only 'plainly superior' to those who advocate it.

Odd that the rites had to be considerably attenuated to take account of the poor attention span of modern man, who then was assumed to have an attention span of three years to accommodate the new Sunday cycle.

By the way, the Gradual and Alleluia/Tract are not part of the lectionary either in the EF or OF. The 1970 lectionary includes a 'responsorial psalm' which is an invention of Joseph Gelineau, and a 'gospel acclamation' which is equally unhistorical.

Your idea of including the traditional Epistle and Gospel as part of a multi-year cycle negates the advantage of the traditional readings in that they are, and have always been, part of a one-year cycle.

Anonymous (above) gives himself away by maintaining that funeral rites are for the benefit of the congregation. If heretics like he are so in favour of the 1970 lectionary, then Catholics are justified in treating it with the utmost suspicion.

As I do.

Anonymous said...

Funeral rites are prayers for the deceased, asking God to judge him/her with mercy.

They are also VERY much for the congregation who can benefit from hearing the word of God proclaimed and preached.

Or don't you believe the faithful benefit from hearing the word of God...?

John Nolan said...

Congregations derive less benefit from being preached at and read to than most post-V2 clerics
would be prepared to admit. The reason for having a larger number of readings at what is essentially a weekday Mass is to involve as many of the family as possible. The same applies to bidding prayers with each intercession read by a different person.

Anonymous said...

The benefits of hearing the Word of God and the benefits of preaching are not so easily dismissed.

CCC "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."


"Go ye into the world," He told them, "and preach the Gospel." Mark 16:15 Their preaching renewed the face of the earth. For if the religion of Christ has withdrawn the minds of men from errors of every kind to the truth, and won their hearts from the degradation of vice to the excellence and beauty of every virtue, assuredly it has done so by means of that very preaching." - Pope Benedict XV, HUMANI GENERIS REDEMPTIONEM, 15 June 1917, no 1

Anonymous said...

Note that Pope Benedict XV was not "post-V2 cleric."

Note also:

"The preaching of the word is required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacraments are sacraments of faith, which is born of the word and is nourished by it. This is especially true of the liturgy of the word within the celebration of Mass where there is an indivisible unity between the proclamation of the Lord’s death and resurrection, the response of the hearers and the offering itself by which Christ confirmed the new covenant in his blood. In this offering the faithful share both by their prayer and by the reception of the sacrament." (Presbyterorum Ordinis: The Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests 4)

John Nolan said...

Once again, I make a common sense comment based on half a century of experience of a deformed liturgy, and then an anonymous (albeit identifiable) commentator pops up with the usual post-V2 theme.

One is supposed to benefit from a lay person reading the Scripture to you. Sorry, I would prefer to go home and read it for myself, in the Vulgate or the Douay-Rheims translation. I would not then be distracted by the length of her skirt or the fact that his English is so bad I don't understand a word of it.

Actually, until 1965 this would not have happened anyway, and even Kavanaugh was around at that time.

On a positive note - the priest today preached a sermon against Islam. Shock! Horror! What next? A sermon against Protestants?

It can't come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

1. The liturgy is not "deformed." It is changed. Just because you don't care for the changes doesn't make it "deformed."

2. You blamed post-Vatican 2 clerics for overemphasizing the importance of preaching. I quoted Scripture and Pope Benedict XV, both pre-Vatican 2 sources, for emphasizing the importance of preaching, and you react with your usual "I don't like it, therefore there's something wrong with it" nonsense. (There are dozens and dozens more pre-Vatican 2 sources that say the same things.)

3. What you prefer or what you find distracting isn't the point. You THINK that your preferences and your weaknesses are the point, but they aren't.

4. "Actually, until 1965 this would not have happened anyway, and even Kavanaugh was around at that time." It doesn't matter what would or would not have happened pre-1965, pre-1565, pre-765, or any other time.

5. A sermon "against Islam." I'm sure the priest feels very satisfied.