Our Lady of Loreto – 10 December

Pope Francis has decreed, by his own authority, that the optional memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Loreto should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on 10 December, the day on which the feast falls in Loreto, and celebrated every year.

Details of the liturgical texts and readings can be found on the Liturgy Office website

Our Lady of Loreto – 10 December

Sunday of the Word of God

On the feast of St Jerome Pope Francis issued a ‘Motu Proprio” instituting the Sunday of the Word of God. It will be marked each year on the 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time.

The Holy Father had proposed the idea at the conclusion of the Year of Mercy when he wrote: a Sunday given over entirely to the word of God, so as to appreciate the inexhaustible riches contained in that constant dialogue between the Lord and his people.

The document provides a summary of the Church’s teaching on Scripture and the place of Scripture within the Liturgy. It suggests a number of ways that the day might be marked:

  • in the Eucharistic celebration the sacred text be enthroned, in order to focus the attention of the assembly on the normative value of God’s word.
  • it would be particularly appropriate to highlight the proclamation of the word of the Lord and to emphasize in the homily the honour that it is due
  • Bishops could celebrate the Rite of Installation of Lectors or a similar commissioning of readers, in order to bring out the importance of the proclamation of God’s word in the liturgy
  • renewed efforts should be made to provide members of the faithful with the training needed to be genuine proclaimers of the word.
  • Pastors can also find ways of giving a Bible, or one of its books, to the entire assembly as a way of showing the importance of learning how to read, appreciate and pray daily with sacred Scripture, especially through the practice of lectio divina. 

The timing of the day will mean that it will often coincide with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and is at the same time as commemorations for Holocaust Memorial Day. Pope Francis notes this:

This Sunday of the Word of God will thus be a fitting part of that time of the year when we are encouraged to strengthen our bonds with the Jewish people and to pray for Christian unity. This is more than a temporal coincidence: the celebration of the Sunday of the Word of God has ecumenical value, since the Scriptures point out, for those who listen, the path to authentic and firm unity. [3]

He also addresses the concern that individual days of prayer can seem to highlight something which should be part of the normal life of the Church.

A day devoted to the Bible should not be seen as a yearly event but rather a year-long event, for we urgently need to grow in our knowledge and love of the Scriptures and of the risen Lord, who continues to speak his word and to break bread in the community of believers. [8]

The text of the document together with other resources on Scripture and Liturgy are available.

The God who Speaks

The Pope’s Motu Proprio happily coincides with the Bishops of England and Wales announcing a Year of the Word — The God who Speaks to be celebrated from the First Sunday of Advent 2019.

3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sunday between 21 January – 27 January

Lectionary Readings for 3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Year A

Reading 1Isa 8:23b–9:3In Galilee of the nations the people have seen a great light.
PsalmPs 26:1. 4. 13-14 r. 1The Lord is my light and my help.
Reading 21 Cor 1:10-13, 17Make up the differences between you instead of disagreeing among yourselves.
Gospel AcclamationMatt 4:23Jesus proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom, and cured all kinds of sickness among the people.
Matt 4:12-23He went and settled in Capernaum: in this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled.
GospelMatt 4:12-17He went and settled in Capernaum: in this way the prophecy of Isaiah was to be fulfilled.

Year B

Reading 1Jon 3:1-5, 10The people of Nineveh renounce their evil behaviour.
PsalmPs 24:4-9 r. 4Lord, make me know your ways.
Reading 21 Cor 7:29-31The world as we know it is passing away.
Gospel AcclamationMark 1:15The kingdom of God is close at hand; believe the Good News.
GospelMark 1:14-20Repent and believe the Good News.

Year C

Reading 1Neh 8:2-6, 8-10Ezra read from the law of God and the people understood what was read.
PsalmPs 18:8-10, 15 r. John 6:63Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life.
Reading 21 Cor 12:12-30You together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.
shorter1 Cor 12:12-14, 27You together are Christ’s body; but each of you is a different part of it.
Gospel AcclamationLuke 4:18The Lord has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.
GospelLuke 1:1-4; 4:14-21This text is being fulfilled today.

Reading Luke in Lent

For Lent this year the Bishops’ Conference is reading the Gospel of Luke. Each day there will be a podcast available to download. Starting on Ash Wednesday with Chapter 1 the series will conclude in Easter week with Chapter 24 and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. There will be a compilation of the week’s readings available on each Sunday. Along side the audio it will be possible download the text each day with some questions for reflection and a prayer.

For downloads and further information.

Liturgical Calendar 2017

The monthly Liturgical Calendar for 2017 has now been published. As with each iteration of the calendar the year has its uncommon features. As the Epiphany of the Lord falls on Sunday 8 January, the Baptism of the Lord is celebrated on Monday 9 January. The current Lectionary does not make clear that when a Feast of the Lord is celebrated on a weekday there is only one reading before the Gospel, in line with other Feasts — either first or second reading may be chosen. Therefore, this year, when the Transfiguration of the Lord does fall on a Sunday it has 2 readings before the Gospel.  Two Solemnities are transferred: St Joseph to Monday 20 March, St George to Monday 24 April.

Draft Calendar Notes for 2018 (pdf) are available.

The Congregation for Divine Worship recently published a list of additions to the Lectionary, mainly those Saints which have been added to the Universal Calendar. An English version of the list is available with references to the current Lectionary.

Bishops’ Conference – November 2015

At the plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in November 2015 the following decisions were made relating to the liturgy of the Church:

Revised Grail Psalter

The Bishops’ Conference supports the work of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in preparing a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours. This will include the use of the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in future editions of the Liturgy of the Hours in England and Wales.

National Calendar for England: Proper texts for the Divine Office

The Bishops’ Conference asks that further work be done on the Proper Texts in the Liturgy of the Hours for the National Calendar of England.

Lectionary

The Bishops’ Conference agrees to seek the approval of the Holy See for the use of the Revised Standard Version (2nd Catholic edition 2010) and the Revised Grail Psalter (2010) in the preparation of a Lectionary for use in England and Wales.

For a complete list of resolutions.

Homiletic Directory

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a Homiletic Directory. Archbishop Roche’s introduction can be found on The Bishops’ Conference News site. There is an interview with him on Vatican Radio.

This fulfils a request for such a directory made at the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in 2008.

The Contents are as follows:

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Introduction

PART ONE: THE HOMILY AND ITS LITURGICAL SETTING

  1. THE HOMILY
  2. INTERPRETING THE WORD OF GOD IN THE LITURGY

III. PREPARATION

PART TWO: ARS PRAEDICANDI

  1. THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM AND THE FIFTY DAYS
  2. The Old Testament Reading on Holy Thursday
  3. The Old Testament Reading on Good Friday
  4. The Old Testament Readings of the Easter Vigil
  5. The Easter Lectionary
  6. THE SUNDAYS OF LENT
  7. The Gospel of the First Sunday of Lent
  8. The Gospel of the Second Sunday of Lent
  9. The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent
  10. Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

III. THE SUNDAYS OF ADVENT

  1. The First Sunday of Advent
  2. The Second and Third Sundays of Advent
  3. The Fourth Sunday of Advent
  4. THE CHRISTMAS SEASON
  5. The Liturgies of Christmas
  6. The Feast of the Holy Family
  7. The Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God
  8. The Solemnity of the Epiphany
  9. The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
  10. THE SUNDAYS IN ORDINARY TIME
  11. OTHER OCCASIONS
  12. Weekday Mass
  13. Weddings
  14. Funerals

APPENDIX I: THE HOMILY AND THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Cycle A

Cycle B

Cycle C

Other Holy Days

APPENDIX II: POST-CONCILIAR ECCLESIAL SOURCES RELEVANT TO PREACHING

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The Directory will be available from the website of the Congregation and will be published by the Catholic Truth Society.

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