In September and October 2018 I published two posts on the Biennial Office of Readings. These can be found here and here. In these posts I gave an introduction to this optional two-year Lectionary for the Office of Readings and the state of play with different publications that use it, particularly in English.
This post is to comment on a positive development in the use of this Lectionary. The long-term hope for most who use this Lectionary in English is that the Congregation for Divine Worship will eventually publish a ritual edition of the readings, along with a definitive selection of Second (mainly Patristic) Readings to accompany it. Once this is published and translated, then the different unofficial editions (A Word in Seasons, Christian Readings, Pluscarden series, etc.) would be replaced by a uniform system common throughout the world.
While we will still have to wait for the publication of the editio typica as part of a Volume 5 of the Liturgy of the Hours or as part of a third typical edition. There was a positive step forward in this regard. The 2020 volume of Notitiae has recently been published by the CDW (Vol. 56 (2020)) and is available on their website. Aside from the various liturgical documents published during the pandemic, this volume contains “the list of biblical readings for the biennial cycle of the Officium lectionis Liturgiae Horarum is published, followed by an explanatory Commentary.”
This definitive listing replaces the various partial lists that were published in Notitiae over the years. These earlier lists were overlapping and did contain the reference for all the Biblical readings for both years of the biennial cycle. However, some sections that overlapped actually proposed slightly different readings, for example the readings for Holy Week are different in the 1976, 1992 and 1993 versions published in Notitiae. Taking advantage of the publication of the Nova Vulgata in 1983 a new definitive list of the readings has now been published. This Lectiones Biblicae pro Officio Lectionis Liturgiae Horarum secundum editionem anno 1983 Novae Vulgatae exaratam in Notitiae 56 (2020): 130-179 is now the definitive list of biblical readings for the Biennial Lectionary of the Office of Readings. This new list replaces all earlier lists and the titles of the readings have also been revised in places. A commentary in Italian on the Biblical Readings of the Biennial Office of Readings by Mario Lessi Ariosto, SJ is also published on pages 180-222 of the same issue of Notitiae. This gives a helpful history of this biennial cycle and how it has developed from Vatican II until today.
Hopefully this new movement shows that a published version of the complete two-year Lectionary for the Office of Readings, but in the meantime it should help those who pray using this biblical series to have a standard improved edition officially published.