Scripture readings are an essential part of the daily prayer practice set forth in Forward Day by Day. A set of Scripture readings- Psalms plus Old and New Testament verses- is listed for every day, and from these readings the Forward Day by Day authors select a passage and write a meditation that reflects upon it.
Readers often call or write with questions about the Scripture readings and other components of Forward Day by Day. We hope this page will answer the questions we are most frequently asked and support your daily prayer.
How do you choose the Scripture readings for each day?
The Scripture readings for Sundays, Holy Days, Holy Week, and Easter Week are appointed by the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), a three-year cycle of Scripture readings used by The Episcopal Church and most mainline Protestant denominations. This lectionary follows the seasons of the church year and includes the major feast days. The weekday Scripture readings are from the Daily Office, a service of daily prayers guided by The Book of Common Prayer. Both the RCL and the Daily Office lectionary can be found in editions of
How do you choose the Scripture or Psalm passage printed at the top of the page?
The authors who write the meditations for Forward Day by Day select a passage from the readings for the day to highlight and reflect upon. Occasionally the author chooses to use a Daily Office passage on a Sunday or Holy Day instead of a reading from the RCL. We note this at the end of their meditation.
What are the sources for the Scripture readings?
The Psalms listed are from the Psalter in The Book of Common Prayer, because that is the source cited by both the Episcopal RCL and the Daily Office lectionary. The numbering of the Psalm verses in the Psalter sometimes differs from the numbering used in the Bible (regardless of which translation of the Bible you are using). The wording of the Psalms in The Book of Common Prayer will also be somewhat different from the wording of the Psalms in the Bible, just as wording for all Scripture varies in different versions of the Bible. The important thing is that regardless of numbering and wording, the meaning is the same.
Occasionally a canticle is listed as one of the Scripture readings. The canticles are found in The Book of Common Prayer, pages 47-53 and 85-96, and are numbered 1 through 21. Most of the canticles are drawn from Scripture; if space allows, in the Scripture listing at the bottom of the page in Forward Day by Day we cite the biblical reference as well as the canticle number from The Book of Common Prayer.
The Old and New Testament passages in Forward Day by Day are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. If an author wants to use the particular wording from another translation, the abbreviation for that version is indicated in parentheses after the passage. Some commonly used translations: (KJV) means King James Version; (RSV) means Revised Standard Version; (NIV) means New International Version.
What do the asterisks, brackets, and parentheses in the Scripture listings mean?
The weekday readings from the Daily Office lectionary include Psalms for both morning and evening prayer; an asterisk is used to separate these.
Brackets indicate Psalms that may be omitted.
Parentheses indicate verses that may be omitted from a Psalm or Bible reading.
For the Sundays between Pentecost and Advent, the RCL offers two tracks of Old Testament readings; both tracks are listed are listed, separated by "-OR-."
For more information, please see p. 888 and p. 934 in The Book of Common Prayer.
Where did all the saints go?
In addition to major feast days (sometimes called red letter days), Forward Day by Day used to list all the lesser feast days. When the General Convention in 2009 proposed the addition of several hundred saints to the Calendar of the Church Year, including multiple listings on some days, the editors of Forward Movement realized that this was more information than could fit on a page in the pocket-sized Forward Day by Day without reducing the length of the Scripture passage or meditation, so we dropped all lesser feast listings. You can still find these listings on our website in The Liturgical Calendar.
How do you decide who to pray for each day?
We follow the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, created by the Anglican Communion Office in England to pray for every diocese and province in the Anglican Communion over a two-year period.