The Lectionary


Sometime ago I read that if you attend every Mass of the 3 year Sunday Cycle and every Mass of the 2 year cycle you will hear about 35% of the Bible.
This compares with just 1% of the Bible prior it the Second Vatican Council.

Unfortunately, I can’t find the source I read this information in. Does anyone know where it is found, please?


It’s in the concluding notes here:


And on this page, it has a table showing what percent of each book of the OT and NT are used pre-VII and post-VII.

Interesting statistics!

(Note: the page was last updated in 2009, so there may be some changes due to any revisions in the Lectionary since then, but I would guess that any changes are very minor.)


Many thanks. That was it!!

Having looked at them again, if Catholics rely on just what they hear at Sunday Mass for their Bible ‘diet’ over the 3 year cycle they’d hear only 41% of the New Testament and just 4% of the Old Testament.

If there was such a thing as a Scriptural Nutritionist I’m sure s/he’d class those people as scriptural anorexics.


[quote="jpjd, post:3, topic:306838"]
And on this page, it has a table showing what percent of each book of the OT and NT are used pre-VII and post-VII.


This is much better! I knew it was on Fr. Felix Just's pages and grabbed the first one I found.


Don’t be so quick to make a broad conclusion. I can point out several things:

There is something to be said for repetition. Most of the scripture that I know comes from hearing out over and over. Thus, the traditional one-year cycle is ingrained and associated with certain seasons and days, as opposed to something one does not hear very often.

The scriptural antiphons (introit, gradual/alleluia, offetory and communion) tend not be used regularly in most parishes today–these are a huge chunk of scripture that is included in every pre-V2 Mass, if one follows in a missal. Reading these also makes a difference. The average Mass-goer now does not see at least two, if not all four, of these.


The point of attending the Mass is NOT to get a dose of Scripture, or to learn about Scripture. The point is to unite oneself to the ineffable sacrifice of Our Lord being mystically re-presented.

If it were otherwise, we’d just be better off going to a Protestant church where we might hear oh, 50% of the New Testament.

Besides, I’ve always been very skeptical of these claims, since I think many important Scriptural passages (especially those with politically incorrect sentiments such as certain of St. Paul’s admonitions) in the Old Rite are not heard in the new rite cycle.

But in short, adding more Scripture into the liturgy was not necessarily an improvement or something that renders the New Rite superior to the Old. Based on the increasing ignorance of the truths of the Faith of the Catholic population, more Scripture during Mass has not produced positive results.


Amen! :thumbsup: :tiphat:


It is true that Mass is not just a scripture lesson, but hearing a bit more scripture is not a bad thing. I would like to see a specific example of the Epistles that you think are no longer read in the OF, because I have not heard that claim before.

There are many reasons for a decline in Catholic education among the faithful, but you can’t pin it either way on how much scripture is included in the lectionary.

Finally, despite what protestants claim, they actually don’t read any more scripture at their services than we do. Those that have a liturgical bases (like Lutherans) also have a lectionary with similar ‘limitations’ as our. Those that don’t (evangelicals) only hear as much of the scripture (read in their services) as their minister feels like preaching on.


It seems to me that depends on the church or congregation.

[quote=Mrs Sally]Those that don’t (evangelicals) only hear as much of the scripture (read in their services) as their minister feels like preaching on.

Which in some cases means going through the entire Bible week by week.


Perhaps, but that is hardly the majority of protestant churches. Among the Bible churches that I am familiar with, the preacher will organize certain themes or topics. So there might be several weeks on Acts, but there will also be weeks-long themes on “Redemption” or “The End Times”.


Try here for some examples of how “hard sayings” and illustrations of the obdurate Jewish leadership and miracles appear to have been intentionally omitted from the new Lectionary:

If you attended the new Mass for years, as I did, and then the traditional Mass, you will hear the difference if you’ve been attentive.

So it’s not simply how much Scripture is used that one should consider, but how the Scripture that is there is used (or watered down by critical omissions).

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