A priest in my area has been choosing to use the readings for the wrong liturgical cycle. Is this permitted?
Which cycle is he choosing instead? And has he indicated why?
From what I understand, he chooses whatever cycle he prefers for each Mass. I have not personally asked him for a reason, nor have I been to one of these Masses. I heard about it from a friend who attends his parish.
Is your friend sure he’s actually choosing readings from another cycle, or is it that the readings don’t match what is in your friend’s missal?
No, it is not “allowed”, but…
it does happen from time to time, mostly on accident, since all 3 cycles are in the same lectionary, and it is very easy to set the page wrong. I have done it myself when lectoring. :o Luckily, I was able to correct myself before I read the wrong readings.
Your friend should ask before presuming anything.
The priest should be using the appropriate readings however there are often legitimate options to use other readings. Missalettes are not going to include all those options or give info on when they can be used.
On Sundays in Lent, if the Catechumens (not sure about Candidates only) are present, you are supposed to use the Cycle A readings regardless of what cycle year it is.
Sometimes there are options. Sometimes it could be a simple mistake.
If it’s something your friend is concerned about, then he or she should ask the priest. Since it’s not something you’ve encountered it’s not really something you need to fret about.
Kindly present the authority for this. I have never known such to take place.
SMHW is mostly correct. I have a 3-year Lectionary in front of me now (“Lectionary for Mass,” Catholic Book Publishing Company, 1998). Beginning with the THIRD Sunday of Lent, the B and C cycle readings have this note: “The readings given for Year A, n.28, may be used in place of these.” This same note occurs each following Sunday before the B and C readings until the readings for Holy Week.
- The Gospel readings are arranged as follows:
The first and second Sundays maintain the accounts of the Temptation and Transfiguration of the Lord, with readings, however, from all three Synoptics.
On the next three Sundays, the Gospels about the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, and the raising of Lazarus have been restored in Year A. Because these Gospels are of major importance in regard to Christian initiation, they may also be read in Year B and Year C, especially in places where there are catechumens.
General Introduction to the Lectionary (Second Edition)
Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship
Reminds me of the time I was at the local monastery at Vigils (the monastic equivalent to the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours). The monastery uses a two-year cycle. I asked my oblate director “why did Fr. X use the reading from Year 1 when we’re in Year 2?”. The very matter-of-fact answer: “because Fr. X made a mistake”.
Another time, the monk proclaiming the Gospel took the reading for the wrong year by mistake. That threw off the poor monk who was giving the homily, who obviously had put great care into preparing his homily. He ended up prefacing his homily by “In the Gospel we were supposed to hear this morning…”, then he gave a very brief summary of that gospel, and then proceeded with his homily. A nice save
Mistakes do happen, but then there are official reasons too as Fr. David pointed out.
Also in weekdays votive Masses may be used, and there may be optional memorials that are/aren’t observed, with readings different from the missal.