Lectionary : A book or list of portions of the Bible appointed to be used during Divine Worship.

The same basic scheme for reading the Bible in worship is followed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and other Reformed Churches. There is a three-year cycle of scripture readings, Sunday by Sunday. On Advent Sunday we move onto a new year cycle. Year A commenced on Sunday 27 November 2022.

The Lectionary section on the Church of Ireland website provides the texts of the readings for each Sunday; also the Sunday Collects and Post-Communion prayers, and the readings and collects for saints’ and other holy days.

The Church of Ireland uses the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). RCL is very similar to the Roman Lectionary (RL), which is used by the Roman Catholic Church. The three-year reading plan is the same; the liturgical calendar is virtually the same; the Gospel readings are almost always the same, as are the selections for second readings. The only major difference is in the choice of Old Testament readings after Pentecost.

The appointed psalm each Sunday relates to and is a prayerful reflection on the Old Testament reading that precedes it. Psalms are an integral element of historic Christian worship and are an important link with Judaistic worship. The Book of Common Prayer states that they are ‘vital components’ of worship. Psalms should be used regularly. To omit them is to disregard and set aside a significant part of our worship DNA. A better-known or shorter psalm may be substituted for what is appointed in the lectionary. The psalms may be used in a number of ways. There are suggestions on page 592 of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP).

The text of the psalms and readings may be found on many websites. Downloads of the psalms with chants for forthcoming Sundays will be found on the Psalms Online page on this website.