The Battle of the Lectionaries

7 September 2007

The Fogey and Derek are both against three-year lectionaries, arguing that the three-year lectionary makes people know three times more Scripture half as well.

I wonder if this is true. Does the reading, or rather the hearing, of Scripture at a liturgy actually teach anything? It certainly puts certain ideas in my head, reminds me of things, encourages me in virtue. But does it teach?

I don’t think people spend enough time with the Scripture to be truly taught, to truly learn anything, in this way.

My students read the weekly parsha (here’s this week’s) twice and write a commentary on it every week; now that’s learning.


2 Responses to “The Battle of the Lectionaries”

  1. Chris Says:

    I haven’t read their arguments.

    However, I do not think that worship is primarily or even significantly a time of learning. Reading and hearing the Word in worship is different than studying the Word for learning’s sake, it seems to me. Surely learning takes place in worship, but the learning and teaching of Scripture best takes place in small groups, with a trained teacher, and in a regular – daily? – context of reading and reflection.

    Well, more to say about this, more to flesh out.

  2. From what I can tell, Derek and the Fogey’s arguments, at least on the surface, are that the liturgical and calender rhythms that people associate with the lectionary and the familiarity with the Scripture are much stronger with a one-year lectionary; additionally a three-year cycle/RCL is an innovation, breaking with tradition in a serious way.

    I’m sure I’m over-simplifying.

    I’m with you on this, Chris.

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