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Religion Library: Methodist

Sacred Time

Written by: Ted Vial

Worship services for Methodists almost always have scripture readings, and sermons based on scripture readings.Many Methodist Churches use a lectionary to determine which passages of scripture will be read each service.This lectionary is not exclusively Methodist, but is a "common" one, shared by many Christian traditions.It is organized into a three-year cycle, so that over the course of three years, if you attend church regularly, you will hear almost the entire Bible.The use of the lectionary has been controversial at certain times in Protestant history, since it is selective and causes excerpts of the Bible to be read out of the context of the book in which it appears.So, for example, rather than reading and preaching on one of the gospels straight through, a minister using the lectionary will preach on excerpts from the passion story of each of the four gospels during Easter Season.


Study Questions:
     1.    How is sacred time navigated on the large and small scale?
     2.    Describe the Methodist liturgical year's major events.
     3.    How does the liturgical year differ from the West's traditional understanding of calendars?
     4.    What is the lectionary? How is it cyclical?

 

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