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In the synagogue service the books of the Law and the Prophets are divided into sections and read over a cycle of one year and three years. In 1970 the new Lectionary of the Catholic Church adopted a similar pattern.
For Sundays there are three readings. The Gospel is the most important. St Johnís Gospel is read every year especially in Lent and Eastertime. Matthew, Mark and Luke are given a year each creating a three year cycle in which most of the four Gospels are read.
To prepare us to listen to the Gospel passage, a first reading is chosen from the Old Testament with a theme that always connects to the Gospel for the day. The middle reading on the other hand is not intended to link to the other two. Rather it provides a fairly continuous reading of the letters of St Paul.
The idea is that over the three years we will listen to the greater part of the whole of the New Testament, and many important parts of the Old Testament.
Published Sun 25th Jun 2006 11:19:30