Daily Mass Readings

Is it true that you will read the whole bible in a year if you read the daily mass readings?

Not quite.

Take a look at this site.

71.5% of the NT and 13.5% of the OT if you follow the readings for Sundays and weekdays.


Wow that seems pretty sad? The Tridentine Mass seems to have very little of both the Old and New Testament.


No, the readings and Gospel used during the liturgical year are set up so that each year the pilgrim church will be reminded of certain mysteries and lessons contained within our faith.
The 1962 Roman Rite liturgy better coincides with the eastern church from what I noticed by attending the Divine Liturgy for a couple years (Byzantine). For example a few weeks ago at the Traditional Latin Mass we heard the parable of the “Publican and the Pharasee”. Each year in the Byzantine Rite, the faithful celebrate this day and it is a reminder of our being sinners and in need of God’s Mercy so as not to act full of pride. The Publican says to the Lord “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

For this reason, I do not care for the liturgical cycle brought fourth by the (1969/1970?) Mass of Paul IV. It is a three year cycle instead of a one year and while it exposes the faithful to “more” of the bible, it does not have the same effect. We live in a day and age where the majority of faithful have acces to scripture for private devotion and are encouraged to read on their own time so they can be immersed in the other scriptures in that way. It is a blessing to have the same cycle each year as a reminder and I find it helps better in the spiritual life.
One who may use the book “Divine Intimacy” is better able to follow the liturgical year as well since it coincides with the 1962 liturgical cycle.
Many things were “lost” with the reform. I don’t want to get too much into polemics, but I have always felt that if the church leadership had never reformed the liturgy and spent more time reinforcing herself and not creating a new war plan, we would not have the majority of the problems we have today. There was a wealth of beautiful information on the Traditional liturgial life and when so many of us should have been helping those in need, we went back and changed our army. The church has already faced many of the problems before and the liturgy stood the test of time, it is just a matter of getting the troops trained and equipped for battle.
History seems to repeat itself, it’s just that the technology is different and people thin they are “modern and advanced” therefore need reform of something outside them, when all reality, it is the individual soul that needs the interios reform.

But there is a lot more prayers/Scripture used at other parts of the Mass like in the Introit, Communion Verse, etc. I personally think that the readings from the Tridentine Mass “fit” the feastdays better than the readings do from the NO.

True there is not as much scripture in the Tridentine Mass as in the Novus Ordo Missae if you just compare the readings.

The Tridentine Mass has the Epistle, the Gradual, and the Gospel where the Novus Ordo has the OT reading, the Epistle, the Responsorial Psalm, and the Gospel.

But in the Tridentine Mass a good deal of the Ordinary of the Mass is straight from scripture and the there are many Propers that are are taken straight from scripture as well. More so, I believe, than in the Novus Ordo.

In the Propers the Introit, the Offertory, the Communion verse and the last Gospel all include readings from scripture.

In the Ordinary of the Mass you have the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the Incensing of the Offerings, the Lavabo, the Domine Non Sum Dignus, and the Ecce Agnus Dei which are all taken from scripture.

I suspect if someone were to compile statistics for these the percentages of scripture used in each Mass wouldn’t be quite so different.


I find fault with the original premise of those who criticize the TLM for its lack of scriptural readings.

The purpose of the Mass is not to offer Catholics a one-stop-spiritual-shopping atmosphere. The reading of the Bible can and should also take place outside of Mass, and the laity are especially invited to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, which offers much in the way of scripture.

The Tridentine/Johannine missal’s lectionary and the NO’s lectionary are based on different principles, besides simply having three on Sunday.

In the NO there are readings based on the Temporal Cycle (Monday of the 3rd week in Advent, for example) for every day in the year, in addition to the daily Saint’s day readings. In the Tridentine mass there are daily Temporal readings only in Lent, the Ember Days, and a few other times. The readings for daily masses are generally of the Saint of the day, which frequently is a common (Common of Virgins, Common of Apostles, etc).

I’m not saying which is better, only that they differ in organization from each other.

This issue, which crops up from time to time (usually to criticize the 1962 liturgy), is based on the false premise that Mass is supposed to offer a complete precis of our faith.

In other word, by that logic, the more Scripture you can cram into the lectionaries, the better.

The old liturgy presented key passages (some of which, by the way, appear NOWHERE in the new cycles) over and over. The idea was they might just stick with frequent repetition. A priest from the FSSP notes it becomes easy to MEMORIZE Scripture when you hear it so often.

Also, as noted, the old liturgy’s ordinary and other propers were almost entirely scriptural. Every Mass had 2 complete psalms just in the ordinary.

In any case, people then…AND NOW…often can’t remember the readings from Mass even as they leave the door of the church. That’s always been true, Latin, vernacular, more readings, less readings, and it will always be so.

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