I was not aware that a version of our Catholic Lectionary existed in Protestant denominations called the “Common Lectionary” until very recently. I did some comparsion to it and for the most part it is identical in the scriptures of our Lectionary with the exception of them not using the Septuagint OT which they substitute with some other scripture …and it even uses the Liturgical colors! I know for a fact that the United Methodist Church uses it, but I’m wondering how many others use it?
Also, when did it first come to exist in Protestant denominations?
The Revised Common Lectionary is a lectionary of readings or pericopes from the Bible for use in Protestant Christian worship, making provision for the liturgical year with its pattern of observances of festivals and seasons. It was preceded by the Common Lectionary, assembled in 1983, itself preceded by the COCU Lectionary, published in 1974 by the Consultation on Church Union (COCU). This lectionary was derived from various Protestant lectionaries in current use, which in turn were based on the 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae, a three-year lectionary produced by the Roman Catholic Church following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
The Revised Common Lectionary was the product of a collaboration between the North American Consultation on Common Texts (CCT) and the International English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC). After a nine-year trial period, it was publicly released in 1994. The CCT membership includes the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as many traditional liturgically-based American and Canadian Episcopal and Protestant Churches such as Lutheran, North American Anglican (Episcopal), Presbyterian, and more loosely Methodist. The CCT thereby represents the majority of American and Canadian Christians and has been widely adopted in Great Britain and in some countries such as Australia. Various Churches, however, have made some changes to the form of the RCL that they use.
Most Lutheran synods use the common lectionary, and some synods (not so much in America) will use the Deuterocanon liturgically as well.
Additionally, Lutherans will typically alter the readings for Lutheran events such as Reformation Sunday, which marks the posting of the 95 Theses.
The Church of England uses an adapted form of the Revised Common Lectionary. Readings from the Deuterocanon are included although alternatives are provided. For daily Eucharistic readings, the CofE uses an adaption of the Roman Ordo Lectionum Missae. Where the 1662 Book of Common Prayer is used, the Epistles and Gospels largely follow those of the pre-Reformation Sarum Missal.
“Evangelical Catholic” is how the Lutherans originally styled themselves. Lutheran was a name given to us by others. Many still refer to themselves as evangelical Catholics.
It all gets quite confusing.
Now the evangelicals are calling themselves “catholic” and the Catholics are calling themselves “evangelical” and neither are the original “evangelical Catholics”. Human sacrifice, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!
Most of the “mainline” denominations use it, I think–particularly Methodists, Presbyterians, and Lutherans. Methodists and Presbyterians, at least, do not have to use it, and typically the smaller, rural congregations are relatively less likely to do so, being suspicious of all this liturgical frippery (I know more about Methodists than Presbyterians here). The same goes for the Christian year, vestments, etc. In my parents’ former congregation in Tennessee (actually the “First UMC” of the county seat, but in a very conservative, fairly isolated part of Appalachia) I heard murmurs about how "we have so much more ritual than we used to " expressed in terms of discontent. But a lot depends on the pastor.
Episcopalians actually now use it too–we used to have a lectionary that was more like the Catholic one, and I think we still have a few differences (we do use the “Apocrypha” from time to time). The big difference between the RCL and both the Catholic and the old Episcopalian lectionaries is that the RCL treats the OT consecutively, just as most modern lectionaries do the Epistle reading. In other words, for some weeks the OT reading may go through the highlights of 1-2 Samuel, etc. The older Episcopal lectionary (and I’m pretty sure this is true of the Catholic lectionary as well) chooses the OT reading to match the Gospel. There’s actually a fairly big theological issue lying behind this apparently innocuous choice, concerning how we view the OT and its relationship to the NT.
June 25 was when the “Augsburg Confession” was presented in Augsburg, Germany, just so everybody knows. Augsburg is the city traditional to the Lutheran Church like Rome is to Roman Catholics or Constantinople to the Eastern Orthodox. Also there is a river that runs through Augsburg called the Lech. Maybe we can get some people to cross the Lech?
We use the one year Lectionary and actually include the readings from the Septuagint in some cases because our bishop views the LXX to be instructive. I like my “Catholic” Bible and read it along side my “Protestant” Bible because I have never really been able to find a satisfactory “Lutheran” Bible and I actually think all these distinctions are a little silly.
But I love the Lectionary and its focus on the life of Christ and the constant reminder of what He has done and that He will come again.
The older Lutheran lectionaries would match OT with the NT - one of the Lutheran church I go to uses an older Lectionary from the 1920 and it’s quite instructive.
We really should continue the practice! Lutheran theologians are quite adamant that there is correlation between the old and new convenient - with some so bold to say that the OT should only be read once the NT is fully understood.