Lectionary use

Extract from the introduction to the NZ Lectionary



The Lectionary/Te Maramataka is produced each year to help meet the worship needs of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. It provides the information you need to plan the Eucharist or other services and to say the Daily Offices on a regular basis. It puts in convenient form many of the provisions of The New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (ANZPB/HKMOA), and introduces elements from other sources which we believe will be of benefit to the Church.


The Lectionary gives details of the full range of possibilities offered by the liturgical calendar. It offers many choices to suit the needs of individuals and parishes or groups who meet to pray. For each day we indicate the day’s special character. There is reference to the season and to the character of the day. If the day is a feast or holy day that is indicated in bold type and by the date being given greater prominence.

Other commemorations are indicated in ordinary type. The smaller letter(s) under the date refer to the day’s recommended colour. Further details are given later.

It is customary in the Eucharist to add special words to the Great Thanksgiving when it is desired to emphasise the special character of the season or day. These words (known as Variation) are found in ANZPB/ HKMOA. Further details are given later.

It is important to bear in mind that a lectionary is not so much a daily Bible reading scheme as a provision for reading the Scriptures in the course of the daily round of worship of the Church. Thus, most (but not all) of the Bible is read.


The date is highlighted and reference made to the day’s title in the revision of ANZPB/HKMOA.

1st and 2nd columns

The readings are based on the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) a 3-year cycle used in many churches of differing traditions throughout the world. One feature is its use of a particular gospel for the whole year. 2011-2012 is Year B and the Gospel readings are mostly from Mark. The RCL has been adapted for use in a revision of ANZPB/HKMOA, replacing the existing printed pages 549 to 723. This material can be accessed through the General Synod website at: http://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Lectionary-and-Worship

On a few occasions where provision is not made in RCL or in ANZPB/HKMOA, material has been included from Common Worship, an adaptation of the Revised Common Lectionary for use in the Church of England (CW). For the Sundays after Trinity Sunday two alternatives (for the Psalm and OT readings) are provided. You should choose one of these options and remain with it throughout the period. It is unhelpful to move from week to week from one column to another. One column should be followed for the whole sequence of Sundays after Trinity.

Continuous – a semi-continuous reading of the Old Testament which allows that reading and its psalm to stand independently of the other readings. This allows for preaching on the OT in its own right, just as the Gospel readings allow for consistent preaching from a particular gospel throughout the year.

Related – relates the Old Testament reading and the psalm to the Gospel reading of the day, indicating that all revelation and human experience is focused in Christ.

3rd column

Other Readings: Morning: Psalms and readings are provided under the heading. These are related to RCL, but the readings are shorter and are intended for public worship where a third set of readings is required. This is most appropriate as a morning office. It is not suitable for use in the Eucharist, as a Gospel reading is not always provided.

4th column

Other Readings: Evening: Psalms and readings are provided under the heading. These are intended for a second main service. This may be an appropriate option for those who wish to have a Sunday afternoon or evening service, as they make provision for those who wish to have greater variety during the day. It assumes that the RCL material will have been used in morning worship. It is also available for those who wish to use it for an evening office.


1st column

The readings from the Daily Eucharistic Lectionary (DEL) are suitable for weekday celebrations of the Eucharist when no other provision is made or when you decide not to use the commemoration of the day. These readings may also be used for a single daily office, if desired.

2nd column

FAS (For All the Saints) refers to material provided for each commemoration listed in the Calendar in ANZPB/HKMOA.

3rd and 4th columns

The daily readings for Morning and Evening Prayer (MP and EP) are from the revised edition of the Common Worship Weekday Lectionary from the Liturgical Commission of the Church of England (GS 1520). This is based on the principle of consecutive reading (lectio continua) interrupted only by significant days. The books are allocated according to the shape of the Christian year, e.g. Isaiah in Advent, the Pentateuch in Lent and Eastertide, and Revelation in Advent and Eastertide.

The material included under MP is suitable for use at a daily recitation of the Office especially where there is a regular congregation or for a morning office.

The material included under EP is suitable for use at a daily recitation of the Office perhaps with an occasional congregation, or at an occasional office or time of prayer, or for an evening office.

The Psalms

The psalms in ANZPB/HKMOA are arranged by days, morning and evening, but for those who prefer a shorter provision, psalm cycles are provided for use at Morning and Evening Prayer. For large tracts of the year a consecutive reading of the psalter is provided but during seasons several ‘seasonal’ psalms with a particular emphasis appropriately repeated are provided. Bracketed psalms may be omitted if they have been used as the opening canticle. Longer psalms (*) may be shortened if desired.

Celebrating Common Prayer

Those who use Celebrating Common Prayer: A Version for Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia can make use of The Lectionary, especially in relation to choosing the readings.

CCP follows a pattern relating to seasons by which each day of the week has a flavour of its own corresponding to a church season (e.g. Friday in relation to the Passion). During the Seasons, various Forms are used: Form 1 (Eastertide until Ascension), Form 2 (from the Friday after Ascension until the Day of Pentecost), Form 3 (Advent), Form 4 (Christmastide), Form 5 (Epiphanytide), Form 6 (Lent and Passiontide) and Form 7 (All Saints to Advent). During Ordinary Time, a 7-week cycle is followed, starting with Week 7 from the weekdays after Pentecost, then Week 1, 2, 3 etc until Advent. The same system is followed in the period between the Presentation and Shrove Tuesday. The reference to Celebrating Common Prayer in the Lectionary indicates the Form or Week to be used during the week. Those using CCP will probably prefer to use the Psalter provided in that book.


Collects for use on Sundays and other special days are provided in a number of resources.

1. The collects printed in ANZPB/HKMOA relate to the 2-year series and do not usually relate to other sets of readings. Using these with RCL will frequently result in a mismatch. However, each RCL entry now suggests a suitable collect. For example, where the suggested collect is ‘Pent 16.2’ that is a reference to Pentecost 16, and to the second collect provided (ANZPB/HKMOA, p.625) ‘God of mercy….’. Similarly, the reference to ‘Pent 3:3’ is to the third collect for Pentecost 3, on p. 609 ‘God of unchangeable power…’. General Synod 2010 approved a form for new propers for each Sunday and major feasts and holy days in place of the material in ANZPB/HKMOA, pp 549-723. See: http://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Lectionary-and-Worship

2. Collects written specifically for use with RCL are published in Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (Consultation on Common Texts, compilers of RCL).

3. Collects in A Prayer Book for Australia have been reprinted in New Zealand for each of the three years of the cycle. Published by DEFT, they are available from the Resource Centre, Diocese of Auckland, PO Box 37 242, Parnell, Auckland.

Collects for each commemoration and other days and seasons are included in For All the Saints (FAS). A common practice is to use the collect for Sunday during the whole week from the “first Evensong” (on the Saturday night before) until the following Saturday morning. When other provision is made there is reference to it in The Lectionary. It is common also to add the collect for the day’s commemoration.

When it falls on a Sunday or major feast day, it usually lapses. Full details of the readings for the days so omitted are set out at the end of each week’s entries.


The colours suggested for each day are shown in the left hand column under the date. They are not mandatory but reflect common practice in most parishes. Traditional or local uses may be followed where established. Please refer to the Liturgical Colours section on a later page.

The abbreviations mean: W for white, R for red, V for violet, and G for green. When, e.g. Vw is shown, that means that V (the colour for the season) may be used, but if the commemoration for the day is observed, it may be appropriate to use white.

If two colours are indicated, one under the other; that suggests that the second colour may be used in the evening. This is most commonly the case on the day before a major feast. For further details refer to a later section.


Throughout the year there are many special occasions and seasons. These are often referred to in The Lectionary and it is suggested that you refer to the Special Occasions section on later pages.


Each day has a “flavour” of its own. Worship in the Eucharist can be enhanced if you insert seasonal material. The Great Thanksgiving for each Eucharistic service in the Prayer Book provides seasonal variations. A suggested variation is indicated each day. e.g. Var: Easter, Saint suggests that you use the variations for Easter (e.g. p.432), and for the Feasts of Saints (e.g. p.435). Take time to make sure these are inserted at the right place. As each season approaches, there is reference to seasonal Sentences, Prayers and Readings.

It provides a calendar for the 13 months from the beginning of the church year to the end of the following calendar year. A 2013 Calendar is also included. It gives details of all holidays and days of significance in nations within this Church and to other days of significance, shown in upper case in [closed brackets].

It gives details of New Zealand state school terms and holidays.

It provides a list of all Bishops in this Church, including those who have retired, with their dates of episcopal ordination/consecration.


A New Zealand Prayer Book/He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa (2005 edition). Note that General Synod in 2004 agreed to new provisions to regulate liturgical observances.

For All the Saints (revised edition 1996): (copyright: The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia) provides sentences, collects, psalms, readings and background material relating to each commemoration provided for in the Calendar (indicated by FAS). Out of print but can be accessed online http://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Lectionary-and-Worship

Celebrating Common Prayer: A Version for Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (Common Life Liturgical Commission) is an adaptation of CCP and Daily Office SSF. Available through General Synod Office.

Ashes to Fire: Liturgy for the Seasons of Lent and Easter, prepared by the Tikanga Pakeha Liturgical Working Group, adopted as alternative services by General Synod, 2010. This may be downloaded in pdf. Format from http://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Lectionary-and-Worship

Sentences, Collects and Readings for use in Years A, B, and C, approved by General Synod in 2010, are also available at http://www.anglican.org.nz/Resources/Lectionary-and-Worship


A Prayer Book for Australia (Broughton Books, 1995) provides sentences and collects for Sundays and other days relating to the RCL in each of the three years of the cycle.


The Revised Common Lectionary (Canterbury Press, 1992) (copyright 1992 Consultation on Common Texts) provides the readings for the 3-year RCL series. More recent publications have made adaptations to RCL. These include: The Christian Year: Calendar, Lectionary and Collects (Church

House Publishing, 1997) (Copyright: The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England), from which the alternative readings for Sundays and major feast days (shown under Other Readings:

Morning and Evening) come. This material is now included in one of the Prayer Books published by the Church of England: Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England (Church House Publishing, 2000).

The Weekday Lectionary produced by the Liturgical Commission and published by the General Synod of the Church of England (GS 1520) is the source of the daily lessons. We acknowledge the permission granted for the use of this material in The Lectionary.

Other material of significance is included in publications like Common Worship: Times and Seasons which offers creative liturgical resources in the Anglican tradition.

New Patterns of Worship (Church House Publishing, 2002) is a liturgical resource containing seasonal and thematic introductions, prayers, templates, and sample services.


Let us Pray: Intercessions following the Revised Common Lectionary, Janet Nelson (Harper Collins, Australia, 1999).

Living Stones, Prayers of Intercessions, an all-age resource for the Revised Common Lectionary,

Susan Sayers (Kevin Mayhew, 1998), 3 volumes Year A, Year B, Year C.

Lord for all Seasons (Canterbury Press, 1998) provides meditative prayers on the 3-year lectionary readings.

Anglican-Roman Catholic Advent Liturgy:

Click to access liturgy-arccanz-adventliturgy.pdf

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