Monday, May 23, 2011
Mondays with Verbum Domini
One of the great fruits of the Second Vatican Council was the Roman Lectionary. As this section from Verbum Domini says: "The present structure of the Lectionary not only presents the more important texts of Scripture with some frequency, but also helps us to understand the unity of God’s plan thanks to the interplay of the Old and New Testament readings, an interplay “in which Christ is the central figure, commemorated in his paschal mystery.” Also, the fact that the Roman Lectionary became the basis of the Revised Common Lectionary, used in many of the churches of our separated brethren, was a sure sign of ecumenical progress. I look at it this way, we (Catholics) adapted the RSV and they (Protestants) adapted our Lectionary. :)
Sacred Scripture and the Lectionary
In stressing the bond between word and Eucharist, the Synod also rightly wanted to call attention to certain aspects of the celebration which concern the service of the word. In the first place I wish to mention the importance of the Lectionary. The reform called for by the Second Vatican Council has borne fruit in a richer access to sacred Scripture, which is now offered in abundance, especially at Sunday Mass. The present structure of the Lectionary not only presents the more important texts of Scripture with some frequency, but also helps us to understand the unity of God’s plan thanks to the interplay of the Old and New Testament readings, an interplay “in which Christ is the central figure, commemorated in his paschal mystery”. Any remaining difficulties in seeing the relationship between those readings should be approached in the light of canonical interpretation, that is to say, by referring to the inherent unity of the Bible as a whole. Wherever necessary, the competent offices and groups can make provision for publications aimed at bringing out the interconnection of the Lectionary readings, all of which are to be proclaimed to the liturgical assembly as called for by the liturgy of the day. Other problems or difficulties should be brought to the attention of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Nor should we overlook the fact that the current Lectionary of the Latin rite has ecumenical significance, since it is used and valued also by communities not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. The issue of the Lectionary presents itself differently in the liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches; the Synod requested that this issue be “examined authoritatively”, in accordance with the proper tradition and competences of the sui iuris Churches, likewise taking into account the ecumenical context. --Verbum Domini 57