Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bring Back the Old Lectionary

I wholeheartedly support Bp. Martins's Resolution B009 which would restore the option to use the 1979 BCP lectionary instead of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). And I agree with every one of the reasons he gives for the change, plus I would add these:
  • Use of the RCL is incompatible with the use of the BCP psalter. The RCL psalm selections are notoriously prone to skipping lines and other practices which make it difficult to read the psalm directly out of the BCP. By contrast, the canny observer may notice that there are breaks in the BCP text where the psalm selections begin and end, helping to nudge the reader into reading the correct verses. Service sheets have their uses but there is also something to be said for getting the laity to actually crack the prayer book and read it.
  • Commonality is not what it was once cracked up to be. The Roman church has demonstrated, with their new mass translation, that they have ceased to care about a common liturgy. Yes, other churches are using the RCL, but I'm not sure that getting the more liberal elements of a bunch of Protestant denominations together to work out the details is such a good idea. We need to stick more to our own identity.
The RCL probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but its many quirks show that it was insufficiently reviewed. And at this time I would prefer to hew more closely to our own prayer book. Therefore I support the availability of the old lectionary, and furthermore would advocate returning to its use if it is once again authorized.

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