Brief Outline and Explanation of Amendments to Common Worship Calendar and Lectionary etc

Numbers in square brackets [] refer to amended pages in the Common Worship main volume.

1 What happens on 1 January, and to the Festival of the Naming and Circumcision of Jesus when Christmas Day falls on a Sunday [381, 382, 454, 455, 544, 545]

If Christmas Day is a Sunday, then so is the following 1 January. The Naming and Circumcision can then, by local decision, be transferred to Monday 2 January. If this is done the new rule makes clear that Sunday 1 January is then the Second Sunday of Christmas, but that the liturgical provision (readings, collect etc) for the First Sunday of Christmas should be used.

2 What happens to Epiphany when it does not fall on a Sunday
[527, 529]

The original rule (after allowing for the effect of the above change) permits the Epiphany to be transferred to the preceding Sunday if 6 January is a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, but not otherwise. Now, in any year when the Epiphany does not fall on a Sunday, the new rule allows the Epiphany to be celebrated for pastoral reasons on the Sunday between 2 and 8 January inclusive.

If the Epiphany is celebrated on Sunday 7 or 8 January, The Baptism of Christ is transferred to Monday 8 or 9 January [and not to the following Sunday].

3 What happens to the Baptism of Christ when Epiphany falls on a Sunday
[2, 383, 384, 456, 457, 528, 529, 546]

Common Worship refers to Sundays of Epiphany (and other seasons). As a result, if 6 January is a Sunday it is both the Epiphany and the First Sunday of Epiphany (ie the Baptism of Christ). By the rules the Baptism of Christ should in this case be transferred to Monday 7 January. Other churches use Sundays after Epiphany and so in this they treat Sunday 13 January as the First Sunday after Epiphany and celebrate the Baptism of Christ on this day. The amended rules now do the same, and require the Baptism of Christ to be celebrated on Sunday 13 January, ie the liturgical provision for the First Sunday of Epiphany is used even though it is actually the Second Sunday.

4 What happens to subsequent Sundays when Epiphany falls on a Sunday [546, 547]

A similar problem to the one at 3 exists on all the Sundays of Epiphany. If 6 January is a Sunday then, for example, 20 January is the Third Sunday of Epiphany. The Common Worship lectionary readings for this day are the same as the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) readings for the Third Sunday after Epiphany. But Sunday 20 January is the Second Sunday after Epiphany, so CW is a week out of step with the RCL. The Common Worship rules have been amended so that the readings are used on the same Sundays as in the RCL.

The problem also affects, when they occur, the fifth, fourth and third Sundays before Lent, and the amendments apply to these Sundays as well.

5 Changes to the lectionary in Holy Week [554-556]

It is apparent that the Second and Third Service lectionaries for the weekdays of Holy Week were designed with a view to the Second Service lectionary being used in the morning and the Third Service lectionary in the evening. (Otherwise, it is probably most common for the Second Service lectionary to be used in the evening.) The amendments provide for the readings concerned to be used in the morning and evening as intended. Some further re-arrangements of the readings for Good Friday were made at revision stage.

6 Rules about using readings from the Acts of the Apostles during the Easter Season [558-562]

For Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost the Principal Service Lectionary provides four readings, one each from the Old Testament, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles and the Gospels. A rubric makes the reading from Acts compulsory. If the principal service is a eucharist then there are three possible patterns of readings:


Similar sets of readings are provided for Easter Day and the Sundays of Easter (although arranged differently) but there is no corresponding rubric for Easter Day, and the rubric for the other Sundays does not make the reading from Acts compulsory in all circumstances. The rubric corrects this anomaly by making the reading from Acts mandatory in all cases.

7 Changes to the Rule about Lesser Festivals falling on a Sunday [530]

The rule has been changed so that lesser festivals should normally lapse if they fall on a Principal Feast or Holy Day, on a Festival, on a Sunday, or on weekdays between Palm Sunday and the Second Sunday of Easter. This differs from the previous rule by the addition of Sundays and the weekdays near Easter Day.

8 What happens when All Souls Day (2 November) falls on a Sunday [530]

In addition to the amendment at 7, a rule has been added to make it explicit that when 2 November is a Sunday, All Souls' Day may be celebrated on 3 November instead of the Lesser Festival of Richard Hooker.

9 Change to the dates for the Ugandan Martyrs [10]

In the Common Worship calendar, 3 June is the Commemoration of The Martyrs of Uganda, 1886 and 1978. However these dates have been questioned. Although most of the martyrs died in 1886, four (three Anglicans and one Roman Catholic) died in 1885 (in addition to Bishop James Hannington, who is commemorated on 29 October) and one (a Roman Catholic) in 1887. Also, Archbishop Luwum (who is commemorated on 17 February) and Bishop John Waiskye died in 1977, not 1978. The dates have been corrected to 1885-7 and 1977.

10 Change to a reading on All Saints' Day

The Old Testament reading at the Third Service has been changed from Isaiah 35.1-9 to Isaiah 35 following the suggestion from a parish that the longer reading would be more appropriate.

Peter Owen
9 January 2006