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April 16th, 2014

Why Are There No Old Testament Readings During the Easter Season?

 
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The Old Testament has (almost) never been read at the Eucharist during Easter season. St. Augustine of Hippo in the 4th Century started this based on earlier practices by Cyril of Jerusalem.

While there are no readings from the Hebrew Scriptures during the Easter season, there are several readings from here at the Easter Vigil. Here we draw out the history of our salvation in one night…from creation, through Abraham, through Moses, etc.

During the Easter season, the Hebrew Scriptures are replaced by the Acts of the Apostles. The logic draws upon the practice of looking forward from the resurrection to balance the Easter Vigil’s looking back on our salvation history.

On weekdays in the Easter season in fact, the Acts of the Apostles are read in pretty much a continuous way, with the whole book completed by the end of the season. The Second Readings on Sundays come from I Peter, I John, and the unusual Book of Revelation, during Years A, B, and C, respectively. The Gospel readings are almost exclusively from John.

All of this is to center us on the celebration of the resurrection and to keep us looking forward from that event into today’s time.

 
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The Author : Mike Hayes
Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
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