SCLM statement concerns inconsistencies in Holy Week liturgies

Posted Feb 23, 2012

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) has issued the following statement concerning inconsistencies between the Revised Common Lectionary and the Holy Week Liturgies of the Book of Common Prayer.

The statement was prepared during the SCLM meeting in March 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

SCLM members and their dioceses are: the Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, chair, Chicago; the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Phillips, vice-chair, Rio Grande; John Repulski, secretary, Michigan; Martha Baker, Missouri; Dent Davidson, Chicago; Bishop Thomas Ely, Vermont; Br. Christopher Hamlett, O.P, Southern Virginia; Sandra Montes, Texas; Jeannine Otis, New York; Bishop John McKee Sloan, Alabama; the Rev. Dr. Louis Weil, California; and Bishop Pierre Whalon, Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.


The 2006 General Convention resolved that “the Revised Common Lectionary shall be the Lectionary of this Church, amending the Lectionary on pp. 889-921 of the Book of Common Prayer,” but did not deal with the resultant inconsistencies of pages within the Book of Common Prayer itself.

In anticipation of Holy Week 2012, the second year that the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) is required for use in The Episcopal Church, the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music recommends that congregations use the RCL lections during Holy Week 2012. In our report to the 77th General Convention, the SCLM will formally propose a resolution to remove the inconsistencies between the RCL and BCP.

The RCL lections for Holy Week 2012, Year B follow:

p.271: Palm Sunday, Liturgy of the Palms
Mark 11:1-11, or John 12:12-16

p. 272: Palm Sunday, At the Eucharist
Old Testament: Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel: Mark 14:1–15:47, or 15:1-39 (40-47)

p. 274: Maundy Thursday
Old Testament: Exodus 12:1-4(5-10)11-14
Psalm 116:1,10-17 (omit Hallelujah in verse 17)
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: John 13:1-17,31b-35

p. 276: Good Friday
Old Testament: Isaiah 52:13–53:12
Psalm: 22
Epistle: Hebrews 10:16-25, or 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel: John 18:1–19:42

p. 283: Holy Saturday
Old Testament: Job 14:1-14, or Lamentations 3:1-9,19-24
Psalm: 31:1-4,15-16
Epistle: I Peter 4:1-8
Gospel: Matthew 27:57-66, or John 19:38-42

pp. 288-295: The Great Vigil of Easter:

p. 288: The story of Creation – Genesis 1:1–2:4a
Psalm 136:1-9,23-26

p. 288: The Flood – Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13
Psalm 46

p. 289: Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac – Genesis 22:1-18
Psalm 16

p. 289: Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea – Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21
Canticle 8, The Song of Moses

p. 290: Salvation offered freely to all  – Isaiah 55:1-11
Canticle 9, The First Song of Isaiah

p. 290: God’s Wisdom calls a renewed Israel – Baruch 3:9-15,32–4:4,
or Proverbs 8:1-8,19-21;9:4b-6
Psalm 19

p. 290: A new heart and a new spirit – Ezekiel 36:24-28
Psalms 42 and 43

p. 291: The valley of dry bones  – Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 143

p. 291: The gathering of God’s people – Zephaniah 3:14-20
Psalm 98

p. 295: At the Eucharist
Mark 16:1-8