Q. What is a lectionary?
A. See my preview post from last week.
Q. Why “alternative” lectionary?
A. Ah, there’s the big question. Depending upon which edition of the Book of Common Prayer your parish uses, you may be using (or encouraged to use) one of several different lectionaries associated with the Daily Office over the course of Anglican history. Why some nearly-finished seminary student should think himself worthy of creating yet another lectionary on his own is nearly unfathomable. The reason for creating this lectionary is not to compete with the traditional and official lectionaries of the Church, but to provide an alternative for those with a certain need.
Q. Okay Mr. Smartypants, for whom didst thou make this lectionary anyway?
A. I have to admit, I originally designed this lectionary for myself. But as I told more people about what I was doing, I found that a number of people were interested in checking it out, and maybe even trying it out. Basically, this lectionary is for:
- those who seek a rigorous habit of reading the Bible every day;
- those who intentionally want to read the whole Bible every year without having to ignore the liturgical calendar;
- those who want to get more historical, spiritual, and literary context around the Bible by reading the Apocrypha and the Apostolic Fathers;
- anyone who is interested in trying something new!
Q. Isn’t this still competing with the traditional/official lectionaries if I use this instead?
A. I suppose different people may well have different attitudes about this. Perhaps the greatest argument for sticking with the Book of Common Prayer‘s lectionary is the fact that there are more people reading the same things as you are. On the other hand, one might point out that 1) there are different BCP lectionaries out there anyway, and 2) even if the lectionaries differ, the content is still the same Bible. Following this line of thought, I believe it’s worth noting that different people have different spiritual needs; some are in need of more focused and topical Bible reading, and others are in need of more broad and exhaustive Bible reading. This lectionary is for that latter category of people.
Q. Awesome, you have me convinced! Where can I get a copy of this lectionary?
A. The author, Matthew Brench, is publicly sharing the lectionary from his Google account temporarily. However, it will soon be made available on the Center for Theology website; keep an eye out for it!
Q. Is there “how-to” document, giving me more information on how to use this lectionary?
A. Yes, the author’s blog has the basic introduction guide, which may also be posted on the Center for Theology website.