Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lectionary for Febuary 14th, 2010: Transfiguration, Year B

Ex 34:29-35(1),* Ps 99 (1/2),** 2 Cor 3:12-4:2 (1),* Lk 9:28-36, (37-43) (1)*

* (x) indicates the text in question occurs ‘x’ number of times in the 3 year lectionary cycle
** (x/y) indicates the text in question occurs 'x' number '' '' '' with 'y' number of optional occurrences additionally

General Comments:
  • Much like the role it plays in Mark, the Transfiguration of Jesus marks a turn in our liturgical calendar as we enter the Paschal cycle of Lent and Easter.
  • However, this was not always so. In the general Medieval calendar, Epiphany 6 was the day set aside to celebrate the Transfiguration, rather than the Transfiguration being reserved for the last Sunday in Epiphany.
  • Interestingly, the Roman Catholic calendar diverges from this according to my lectionary lists of their Medieval, Vatican II, and present. They set aside August 6th seems to be the formal day set aside for the commemoration of Jesus' Transfiguration. For them, it would seem that the Transfiguration does not function as it does for
  • Matthew 17 seemes to have been the consensus account of Jesus' transfiguration in the one year lectioanries. Other synoptic stories have only been used since the use of the 3 Year Lectionary. The readings associated with the Transfiguration are as follows (In no particular order or pairing)
  • OT Readings: Exodus 34:29-35 Dan 3:47-51, 52-56 Dan 7:9-10, 13-14
  • NT: Readings: 1 Thess 4:1-8 1 Thess 5:14-23 2 Peter 1:16-21
Ex 34

  • This is the accound of Moses' appearance being made radiant because of the time he spent before the Lord.
  • Very little lectionary material draws from this part of Exodus, especially if one never draws from Year A's semi-continuous readings. It falls quickly on the heels of the idolatry of the golden calf, God's declaration that He would not go with the Israel into the land, and the making of the second set of the stone tablets. It is also surrounded by rules and regulations.
  • It would be good to give people a sense of context here, since this is a story not often dealt with.

Ps 99

  • One optional occasion for this psalm is Transfiguration A, making this potentially the psalm assigned to the Transfiguration two years out of three. It is a psalm which exalts God's majesty, and speaks of Moses, Aaron, and Samuel's speaking with God.

2 Cor 3

  • While there is a run of Corinthian readings this time of year (primarily from the first letter, but some from the second), this one is not a part of it in the sense of being a series. It is preceeded by 1 Cor 15 texts in general (having to do with the resurrection), but itself has such an emphasis upon transformation that it could only have been selected to inform the Transfiguration of Christ.
  • 2 Cor 4 is used in Year B on Transfiguration as well (Text prior to 'Jars of Clay'), making this section of Paul's argument in 2nd Corinthians a strong part of our articulation of the Transfiguration. Incidentally, 2 Pt 1:16-21 is the other text used for the 2nd Reading on Transfiguration in Year A.

Luke 9

  • Luke's account of Peter's confession of Christ is not told in the lectionary, but it forms an important part of the Transfiguration. These two events are tied to one another, and should be treated as such. One matter as an aside Luke's account of Jesus' subsequent prediction of His death does not include Peter's rebuke of and by Jesus.
  • Verses 37 to 43 are listed as an optional addition to the reading of the Transfiguration by the RCL. They include an account of the exorcism of a boy, a declaration of Jesus' impending death, etc.

Role of the Transfiguration in past lectionaries:

Medieval Lectionary (General):

  • Epiphany 6, Matthew 17:1-9, 2 Pet 1:16-21

Roman Catholic Medieval - pre-Vatican II Lectionary:

  • Second Sunday in Lent: Matthew 17:1-9 1 Thess 4:1-8
  • Ember Saturday in Lent: Matt 17:1-9 2 Macc 1:23-26, 27; Wis 36:1-10; Dan 3:47-51, 52-56; 1 Thess 5:14-23

Service Book and Hymnal (Lutheran, one Year):

  • August 6th, but also Epiphany 6. Exodus 34:29-35, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matt 17

Roman Catholic Lectionary from 1992 to Present:

  • Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6), Dan 7:9-10, 13-14, Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 9+12 ++
    2 Peter 1:16-19, Year A: Matt 17:1-9, Year B: Mark 9:2-10, Year C: Luke 9:28b-36

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