Lectionary-Based Faith Formation

September 21st, 2012

What is the Lectionary?

The lectionary is a set of readings we hear week by week in Sunday worship. The lectionary has a three-year cycle that focuses each year on a different gospel.

The lectionary is not a chronological approach to reading the Bible, nor is it a book-by-book approach. Instead, each week the scripture readings are closely linked to the seasons of the Church's life cycle, its liturgical calendar. In the first half of the Church year, we follow the major events of the life of Jesus, including his birth, death, resurrection and the birth of the Church. In the second half of the Church year, we study Jesus' actions and teachings. Seasonal traditions offer a special joy to a curriculum based on experiential learning.

How Does Learning by Doing Work?

Proverbial wisdom tells us:

I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand

All of us learn best when we make our own discoveries and draw on more than our sense of hearing. In a session where this kind of experiential learning is taking place, there is minimal "teacher talk." Instead, the leader creates opportunities for participants to make and communicate their own discoveries. The leaders role then is to listen, ask questions, respond and value the participants' own responses.

Reflect on your own experience. Recall a learning experience that excited you.

  • What first interested you in learning that skill or information?
  • By what method did you learn?
  • How have you used your new skill or informa-tion?
  • How did learning it change your life?

At all age levels, experiencing scripture has the power to transform.

Lectionary Structure

When we follow the lectionary, we read large sections of the Bible over a three-year span. The three years, designated A, B and C, always begin on the First Sunday of Advent. Each Sunday four scripture passages are appointed to be read: the first reading from the Old Testament, a psalm relating to the first reading or to the liturgical season, the second reading from the epistles or other New Testament writings and the gospel reading (from Matthew in Year A, Mark in Year B and Luke in Year C). Parts of the of Gospel of John are used throughout the three-year cycle, especially during Lent, Holy Week and Easter.

Lectionary at All Age-Levels

Curriculum that uses the lectionary provides a unified approach—all age levels exploring at least one common Bible reading each week—so that family members are able to discuss their discoveries together at home.

Used with permission of the publisher of Living the Good News curriculum for all ages.

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