What is A Lectionary Storybook?


The most powerful stories in the written Bible are selected for each Sunday of the Year in books called “Lectionaries”.  These Scriptural images set the tone for the c0ming week in a prayerful way. 

The written Bible is arranged according to the various books, beginning with the Book of Genesis, and ending with the Book of Revelation (The Apocalypse).  It is the basic written reference book of the Church, and it is particularly suited for private reading, and theological scholarship.

In contrast, a Lectionary is arranged for public prayer, tying together themes found in specific Biblical texts from the Old and New Testaments. Each of the readings — usually one from a Hebrew Scripture, one from a New Testament Epistle, and one from a Gospel — illuminate and explain each other.  They have a common theme that helps guide us in our daily life for the coming week.

Each of the Eastern Rite Churches (Catholic and Orthodox) have their own lectionaries… Greek Byzantine, Egyptian Coptic, Armenian, Syriac, etc. They follow a one year cycle.  That is, the same texts are used every year.

In the Western Church, the Reformation divided the Church into Protestant and Catholic Communities.  But the liturgical renewal during the past century has given rise to a new emphasis on the lectionary.

One major change was expanding the one-year cycle into a three-year cycle.  Now, each 0f the Synoptic Gospels — Matthew, Mark, and Luke — is used for an entire liturgical year, with the Gospel of John used on special Sunday feasts each and every year.

There are only small differences between the lectionaries of the Western Churches:  The Roman Lectionary used by Catholics, and the Revised Common Lectionary used by mainline Protestant churches. However (practically speaking) they are one and the same lectionary and the basis of my online Lectionary Storybook series.

These are the eBooks containing for the three-year cycle of both the Roman and the Revised Common Lectionaries:

Cycle A In the City of Spice and Gold (2020)

Cycle B The Innkeeper’s Gift (2018) We Are Now in Cycle B

Cycle C Secret of the Heart (2019)


© Robert Bela Wilhelm 2017