When I was preparing to create art for churches, I knew that it would be based on the 3-year cycle of readings used by many churches throughout the world. I also knew that the art would predominantly be based on the gospel reading for each service. But since I did not want to serve congregations of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) exclusively (of which I am a member), I looked at the lectionaries of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Roman Catholic Church.

Even though many of the readings change between the lectionaries, I was pleased to find that the gospel readings stayed relatively the same. It was also interesting to see the variations in lectionaries, i.e. what is included/excluded, psalm antiphons, changes made to the original Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), and the WELS' new supplemental texts that barely resemble the previous lectionary texts of the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship (ILCW).

I use this large database of lectionaries every week in preparation for my art. Doing the hard work of compiling all this data has paid off in the end and has saved me hours upon hours of time that is best served actually creating the art.

Since some of you may find this beneficial, and because I'm such a nice guy, I'd like to share this research with you.  I'll have to admit that the formatting is not the greatest (I quickly exported it tonight), but I think it's still fairly easy to follow. I might figure out a way to eventually make a more intuitive way of looking at these via a website, but here it is in all its 7-point-font-76-page-glory:


 Update: The PDF contains data from my personal study and the texts for the WELS in the comparison charts use the supplemental lectionary. This can be misleading since the lectionary of the Christian Worship hymnal is still used by the synod. The lectionary texts of the Christian Worship: Supplement hymnal are to be viewed as alternates and do not replace the Christian Worship lectionary.

Ian Welch