Long Form / Short Form Readings

[Apologies and sympathies to anyone here who was given a “modern” education, sorely lacking in grammar]

Maybe Katherine Jefferts Schori was right when she implied Catholics were stupid?

First – Somewhere during my lifetime – The (non-authoritative) missalette rubric changed from *“For a shorter form of the reading, omit the part in brackets” *to *“For a longer reading, include the bracketed portion” *(because – You know – We’re adding superfluous stuff that no one really needs to hear :confused: ). And I’ve almost come to terms with that.

But the today’s reading (The Woman at the Well, John 4:4-42) came with an additional instruction along the lines of “The parenthesized words are only for the short form”. There were, naturally, large swaths of bracketed text which could be skipped over, but what are the parenthesized words, you might ask? There are precisely two:

The woman said to him,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything.”
Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one (who is) speaking with you.”

:confused: :eek: :confused:

Have we Catholics become so dumb that we must no only shorten the readings for comprehension, but we also cannot understand the meaning of a participle without building an explicit relative clause around it!?!?

Oy vey!



I started reading your rant, but then my mind started to wander. Can you please post the short form? :smiley:

OK That was funny…

My Church read the long version at Mass. Didn’t take that much longer.

My pastor always chooses the longer forms for himself, and for the readers.

I like that a lot.


We were treated to the short version this morning. Our priest almost always chooses the short form which, I have to admit, I appreciate.

NOT looking forward to Palm Sunday.

Well the missalette isn’t any official document of the church anyway.

The two versions of the readings are in the Lectionary separately. So whatever language or direction is found in the missalette is an unfortunate editorial decision, but not any official wording coming from the church. Perhaps write the missal company and voice your displeasure.

The missalettes are attempting to account for all possible parish choices in condensed space. Personally I’d rather they print both options than do the bracket thing.

In the Lectionary it looks like this:


What the GIRM says about it is this:

  1. At times, a longer and shorter form of the same text is given. In choosing between these two forms, a pastoral criterion should be kept in mind. On such an occasion, attention should be paid to the capacity of the faithful to listen with fruit to a reading of greater or lesser length, and to their capacity to hear a more complete text, which is then explained in the Homily.
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