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(B) THE LESSONS PROPER FOR HOLY DAYS.

The principle of selection is clearly SPECIALITY, the endeavour being to select lessons appropriate for each Holy day in particular, without reference to those which precede and follow it.

(a) Of the Holy days those, which we may call "Dominical," as associated with the various acts of the manifestation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, form a series, in which, for the sake of completeness, Easter Day, PalmSunday, and Whitsunday have to be included. For these (Christmas-Day, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, Annunciation, Ash-Wednesday, HolyWeek, Good-Friday, Easter-Eve, the Monday and Tuesday in Easter Week and WhitsunWeek, and Ascension - Day) it is easy to find Second Lessons appropriate to the occasion, and not difficult to select First Lessons, especially from the Prophetic books, bearing more or less clearly upon it.

(b) For the other class of Holy days, the Saints' Days properly so called, selection is more difficult and less successful. When Second Lessons are appointed it is, indeed, comparatively easy in some cases to select chapters in which the Saint is mentioned,

or in which he speaks to us, and in others to fall back on those of more general reference to the call and character of the Saints. But for the First Lessons there is often great difficulty in finding chapters which are in any way appropriate. This difficulty,however, is not felt on such days as St. Michael and All Angels, All Saints' Day, St. John Baptist's Day, or the Conversion of St. Paul.

In the Prayer Books of 1549 and 1552, the number of Proper Lessons was comparatively small.

From 1561 the selection remained unchanged till 1871, when the New Lectionary introduced changes amounting almost to a reconstruction of the whole. In the "Dominical Festivals, indeed, most of the old Lessons remain; but in the other class of Festivals the change is almost complete, the new Lessons from the Old Testament being more carefully selected, taken exclusively from the Canonical books, and several Lessons from the New Testament being added. Proper Lessons were, for the first time, appointed for Ash-Wednesday and Monday and Tuesday before Easter.

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NOTE.-That the Lessons appointed in the above Table for the Twenty-seventh Sunday after Trinity shall always be read on the Sunday next before Advent.

36 Nehem.-1 & 2 to v. 9, Nehem.

8

5 Jerem.

22

Jerem.

-35

-36 Ezekiel

2 Ezekiel

13 to v. 17

18

24 v. 15

3 Daniel

5

12

-14 Joel

3 v. 9

3 Amos

5. Amos

9

Micah

7

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(C) THE COMMON LESSONS.

The Series of Daily Lessons from the Old Testament is now so arranged that, in the course of the year, the main substance of the whole is read through, with the omission of the Psalter and the Song of Solomon, and (except as regards one chapter) the 1st Chronicles, which runs nearly parallel with 2 Samuel. The principle of selection is, however, freely applied, and portions omitted, which for any reason are thought not likely to tend to edification. This is done sparingly in the purely historical books, more frequently in the books of Leviticus and Numbers, and in some of the Prophetic books; and the books of Chronicles are only read so far as seems needful to supplement the narrative of the books of Kings. Under the Old Lectionary the principle of selection was admitted, but far less freely used. The books of Chronicles and the Song of Solomon were omitted altogether, the books of Leviticus and Ezekiel almost entirely, and much of the book of Numbers. Otherwise the

reading was almost continuous, and the lessons generally coincided with the chapters.

To these are now added a few chapters from the "Apocryphal" or Ecclesiastical books of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch. The books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and Baruch, with the Story of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon, were read under the Old Lectionary.

The New Testament is read through twice in the year, except the book of Revelation, which (with a few omissions) is read once, at the close of the year, falling in with the Advent and Christmas seasons. It is arranged that in the former half of the year, the Gospels are read in the morning and the Acts and Epistles in the evening, and in the latter half this order is reversed. Under the old system the New Testament was read thrice- the Gospels and Acts always in the morning, the Epistles in the evening; but the Book of Revelation was altogether omitted.

(D) For the EPISTLES and GOSPELS, see p. 58.

14

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THE PROPER PSALMS FOR CERTAIN DAYS.

These mark the four great Festivals, and the two chief Fasts of the year. Those for Ash-Wednesday and Good Friday were inserted only at the last Revision in 1662.

It is provided (see above, The Order how the Psalter is appointed to be read) that on occasions appointed by the Ordinary, and with his consent, selections of Proper Psalms may be used.

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