Scripture in the Liturgy


Sacred Scripture is of the greatest important in the celebration of the liturgy. (SC a. 24)

The Church has always venerated the divine scriptures as it has venerated the Body of the Lord, in that it never ceases, above all, in the sacred liturgy, to partake of the bread of life and to offer it to the faithful from the one table of the word of God and the body of Christ.  It has always regarded and continues to regard the scriptures, taken together with the sacred tradition, as the supreme rule of its faith.  (Dei Verbum a. 21)

Approved Translations

The current Australian Lectionary uses the Jerusalem Bible translation of the scripture.  Several other translations are approved for liturgical use in Australia. These are:

  • The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB)
  • The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
  • The New American Bible (with revised New Testament) (NAB)
  • The Good News Bible.

The Lectionary for Masses with Children (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co 1993) based on the Contemporary English Version (CEV) translation is also approved for use in Australia.

Revision of the Australian Lectionary

The Australian Lectionary is in the process of being revised.  This may take another 3-5 years. Meanwhile please consider this advice (link) on purchasing a new lectionary or Book of the Gospels.

Praying with the Sunday readings

We gather on Sunday to hear God speak to us in the readings. This ‘Word of God’ is our food for the coming week. There are many resources that help us continue to reflect on and pray with the readings after we have heard them proclaimed.

LiturgyHelp has an excellent weekly prayer resource to help parish groups pray with the Sunday readings throughout the following week.

This Pastoral Centre provides some useful free resources to assist communities to reflect on and pray with the Sunday readings.

The practice of Lectio Divina is encouraged, both for individuals and groups. Groups looking for support to explore this style of prayer can contact the diocesan Liturgy Co-ordinator.