The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) provides a three-year plan for Sunday readings starting with the season of Advent, four weeks before Christmas day. For each Sunday and festival, four readings are suggested and include: a Gospel reading, an Old Testament reading, a reading from the Psalms, and a New Testament reading. The RCL is a work of The Consultation on Common Texts, an ecumenical consultation of liturgical scholars and denominational representatives from the United States and Canada who produce liturgical texts for use in common by North American Christian Churches.
Each year of the RCL centers on one of the synoptic Gospels (Year A – Matthew, Year B – Mark, Year C – Luke). John is read in each year in the major seasons of Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
For much of the year, the Old Testament lesson is closely related to the Gospel reading. However, from the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday to the end of the church year, two provisions have been made: a continuation of the complimentary readings or a semicontinuous pattern of Old Testament readings.
The public reading of the Holy Scriptures is an indispensable part of worship, constituting the basis for the public proclamation of the Gospel