THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY
Most of the products in Feasting on the Word follow the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) as developed by the Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada. The RCL lists a collection of readings from Scripture to be used during worship in a schedule that follows the seasons of the church year. In addition, it provides for a uniform set of readings to be used across denominations or other church bodies.
The RCL includes a reading from the Old Testament, a Psalm response to that reading, a Gospel, and an Epistle for each preaching occasion of the year. It is presented in a three-year cycle, with each year centered around one of the Synoptic Gospels. Year A is the year of Matthew, Year B is the year of Mark, and Year C is the year of Luke. John is read each year, especially during Advent, Lent, and Easter.
The RCL offers two tracks of Old Testament texts for the Season after Pentecost or Ordinary Time: a semi-continuous track, which moves through stories and characters in the Old Testament, and a complementary track, which ties the Old Testament texts to the theme of the Gospel texts for that day. Some denominational traditions favor one track over the other. For instance, Presbyterians and Methodists generally follow the semi-continuous track, while Lutherans and Episcopalians typically follow the complementary track. (For more information about the Revised Common Lectionary, visit the official RCL Web site at http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/ or see The Revised Common Lectionary: The Consultation on Common Texts [Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1992].)
The print volumes of Feasting on the Word follow the complementary track for Year A, are split between the complementary and semi-continuous track for Year B, and cover the semicontinuous stream for Year C. Essays on the Old Testament lections for Pentecost and the Season after Pentecost that are not covered in the print volumes are available as additional web essays.