Skip to content.

The Lectionary.app

Daily Bible Readings

What is the Lectionary?

Introduction

A lectionary is a list of scripture readings for specific days of the year. Some lectionaries are designed for public church services. Others are more suited for private devotions. The Daily Office Lectionary works for both.

Brief History

Lectionaries have been used for centuries. The Daily Office Lectionary dates back to 1549 CE, when the Church of England published the first edition of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP). The current form of the Lectionary comes from the 1789 BCP by the Episcopal Church.

Millions of people worldwide have followed this simple, yet profound system for generations. Whenever you read from it, you can rest assured you’re in good company.

Form

The Daily Office Lectionary forms a two-year cycle that follows the church calendar. Year One begins the First Sunday of Advent (four weeks before Christmas) before odd-numbered years. Year Two begins the First Sunday of Advent before even-numbered years. So, on the First Sunday of Advent, 2021, the Lectionary for Year Two starts.

Readings

Each day features three readings. The first reading usually comes from the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) or the deuterocanonical works (or Apocrypha). The second reading usually comes from a New Testament letter. The third reading comes from one of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). Over the two years, you would read most of the Bible.

Traditionally, two readings are for the morning and one for the evening. Some prefer to read them all at once. If you divide the readings, the BCP suggests the gospel for evening during Year One and for morning during Year Two.

Psalms

Each day also features morning and evenings psalms. Most of the time, the order of the psalms follows a seven-week pattern. Some psalms are specially selected for the Christmas, Lent, and Easter seasons.

Punctuation

Brackets and parentheses indicate when psalms and verses of Psalms may be omitted (brackets for whole psalms, parentheses for verses). Sometimes alternative psalms appear. If you want to read the book of Psalms in its entirety, then you should use the bracketed psalms rather than the alternatives.

Any reading may be lengthened. Suggested lengthenings appear in parentheses.

Find more information about scripture references on the Abbreviations page.

Feasts

Throughout the year, some major feasts will replace the ordinary readings for a given day. These feasts commemorate significant events in the life of Jesus as well as some saints.

Lectionary.app

The Lectionary.app is designed to help you follow the Lectionary. You don’t have to know what day it is or remember all these patterns. The app automatically updates everyday at midnight UTC.

Discover more features and request new ones from the About page.