The Armchair Liturgist: Cycle A Gospels

Most liturgists know the scrutiny gospels of cycle A can be used on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent in non-A years. They can also be utilized for a weekday Mass. Did you know that?

Sit in the purple chair and render judgment. Are these gospels important enough for the Lenten journey that you would utilize this option for a daily Mass? Is it worth an encounter with the Samaritan woman, the man born blind and Lazarus, even for a fraction of the faith community? Is there any benefit to doing this for an intentional community, especially a monastery or convent? Or are they just too much of a bother?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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3 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: Cycle A Gospels

  1. Liam says:

    It’s an interesting echo of the Tridentine missal pattern of Sunday readings during feria that follow.

  2. Adam Wood says:

    In addition to my parish, I’m a part of a small inter-faith house church. We take turns planning and running worship, and I’ve been “in charge” during Lent this year. (Keep in mind- most of our small community are not familiar with Lent, having come from non-liturgical traditions.)
    For the last two Lents with this group we did meditative prayer services with a Lenten focus- things like the Stations of the Cross and the Seven Last Words.
    This year, for these last three Sundays, we’ve been simply spending a great deal of time at each gathering with the scrutiny reading for the week.
    These readings have been a wonderful part of my Lenten journey this year, and I think my Protestant house-church friends have come to understand more of what Lent is all about from these Gospels than from all the transposed ritualism I’ve done in the past.

  3. Mike K says:

    This is one of those cases where I would actually not mind seeing the Cycle A readings be used in each of the three years on their respective Sundays. (The fact that there are specific Eucharistic prefaces connected to the cycle A readings reinforce that approach, IMHO.)

    Some of the readings used in cycles B and C are also used on weekdays (for example, the gospel of the Prodigal Son is read annually on the second Saturday of Lent and repeated in Year C on the fourth Sunday of Lent). In cases like this, I’d favor the cycle A reading because I’m not big on repeating the same readings twice in the same season, especially so close together. (For example, I can live with the first chapter of Matthew’s gospel read during on December 17/18 because, while it occurs only a week later, its’ encore appearance ushers in a new liturgical season.)

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