I touch upon a sensitive subject here, because I know that some of our TAC bishops and priests favour (without obliging their clergy in the matter) following the three-year lectionary used in the modern Roman rite, the current Anglican Use and most Anglican liturgies in use since the 1970’s.
I find it pointless to go into reasons for my reserves about the three-year lectionary when things are expressed that much better in the New Liturgical Movement – Doubts About the Three-Year Cycle. The article and the comments are food for thought.
There are a couple more considerations. I don’t think the lectionary for Mass should compensate for the absence of faithful from the Offices. More importantly, the lectionary of the Roman rite (or that of the Prayer Book) could have been improved along the lines of the early eighteenth-century Parisian missal or the medieval Norman uses including Sarum. Ferial Wednesdays and Fridays have their proper Old Testament lessons, Epistles and Gospels.
My other main reserve is the change made to the temporal cycle made in 1969 by the late Archbishop Bugnini: particularly the Sundays after Epiphany and Sundays after Trinity (Pentecost) becoming “ordinary” Sundays per annum, the abolition of Septuagesima and the Ember Days, the suppression of all the Octaves other than Easter. One positive aspect of the Pauline reform is the wealth of propers for ferias when no saint’s feast is appointed, and another is the wealth of prefaces.
I hope, in a future reform of the reform, that the old temporal cycle will be restored. I am much less bothered about saint’s feasts being displaced. Those of us who follow the Sarum Use find feasts celebrated on different days to what is prescribed in the classical Roman rite. For example, we celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus on August 7th instead of January 2nd.
I would also hope for a return to a single-year liturgical cycle, not only for the Scripture Readings, but also for the Gradual psalms, Alleluia verses and so forth.
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