If you think you can make a contribution to the Singing the Faith Plus lectionary team, please get in touch by emailing us.
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. The complete list of Principal Services for Year A (beginning Advent 2019) is available here (downloadable PDF). This runs through to the Sunday before Advent in 2020. For reference, the complete readings for 2019 are also still available.
What 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.
What 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:
- the “sequential” or “semi-continuous” track of readings, OR
- 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.)
Lectionary suggestions on Singing the Faith Plus
On Singing the Faith Plus, our team provides hymn suggestions to accompany each of the Sunday readings in the lectionary (including hymns that echo the theme of the psalmist). We also invite users to feed back to us more suggestions – perhaps ones they included themselves when planning a worship service.
"I do find these suggestions so helpful. It reduces the time to choose hymns by half."
The Spirituality of Conflict lectionary resource is a free online resource providing reflections on conflict through the lens of the Sunday Gospel readings. An ecumenical team of writers follows the three-year lectionary cycle.
Not just for Sundays
The lectionary offers a cycle of readings for use on weekdays as well as on Sundays. These readings are each listed in the Methodist Prayer Handbook, together with the suggestion of a hymn to read and an appropriate passage from the Psalms.
The Methodist Prayer Handbook is available from Methodist Publishing.