How does the Lectionary work?

NEW RESOURCE: Scroll down to discover new Lectionary Index 


Lectionary suggestions week by week

lectionary-suggestionsOn Singing the Faith Plus, our  team of volunteers provides hymn suggestions to accompany each of the Sunday readings in the lectionary (including hymns that echo the theme of the psalmist). 

To find lectionary suggestions for a particular day, scroll down to the calendar below (or on any StF+ page) and click on the date you need. Sundays or other das with current suggestions published are coloured yellow.

If you think you can make a contribution to the Singing the Faith Plus lectionary team, please get in touch by emailing us.

"I do find these suggestions so helpful. It reduces the time to choose hymns by half."


Lectionary Index

Download as PDF
Download as searchable Excel spreadsheet

Index includes: Bible passages used over the three-year cycle of the lectionary, together with a short description of each passage; plus the day(s) and year(s) in which they are included in the lectionary, and for which service. The resource enables a preacher to:

  1. find where in the lectionary a particular text appears, in order to track down music and other worship resources related to that text
  2. identify texts which don’t appear in the lectionary, so they can be used in worship
  3. check quickly when a text appears in the lectionary, so they can avoid treading on other preachers’ toes

Read further information about the Lectionary index, including abbreviations


What is the lectionary?

A lectionary is a cycle of biblical readings that runs through the Church Year, beginning at the start of Advent.

The Methodist Church in Britain uses the Revised Common Lectionary, which was developed in the 1980s and is now used throughout the world by many Christian denominations. 

Download Principal Services for Year B (beginning Advent 2023) (PDF). 

The complete list of Principal Services for Year A (beginning Advent 2022) is also still available ( PDF). This runs through to the Sunday before Advent in 2023. 


four-gospel-writers-1What is the three-year cycle?

The lectionary for Sundays is arranged in a three-year cycle that is planned around the four gospels in the New Testament.

  • Year A is the year of Matthew
  • Year B is the year of Mark
  • Year C is the year of Luke

Extracts from the Gospel of John are read each year, especially around Christmas, Lent and Easter. Additional readings from John are included in the year of Mark (Year B), whose Gospel is shorter than the others. The sequence of Gospel readings is designed to assist God’s people in to a deeper understanding of Christ and a stronger faith in him. Readings are grouped around the birth, baptism, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus)

Each year of the lectionary cycles beings on the First Sunday of Advent.

  • Year A begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2016, 2019, 2022 etc.
  • Year B begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2017, 2020, 2023 etc.
  • Year C begins on the first Sunday of Advent in 2018, 2021, 2024 etc.


isaiah-2What about the Old Testament (Hebrew scriptures)?

Following the Feast of the Epiphany in early January, there are two options for selecting readings from the Old Testament:

  1. the “sequential” or “semi-continuous” track of readings, OR
  2. the “thematic” or “related” readings

1. The thematic / related Old Testament readings are designed to complement the Gospel reading.

2. For the sequential / semi-continuous track, Genesis through Judges is read in Year A, the story of the kings of Israel in Year B, and the prophets in Year C. (Roots resources use the sequential / semi-continuous readings.)