The Catholic Lectionary for Mass
(1981 Latin & 1998 USA Editions)
compiled by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

An Overview of the First Readings for Weekday Masses

The First Readings prescribed for Weekday Masses in the special liturgical seasons are the same each year:

The First Readings prescribed for Weekday Masses in Ordinary Time follow a two-year cycle, with all odd-numbered years using the selections for "Year 1" and all even-numbered years using "Year 2." Semi-continuous readings are taken from various books of the Old and New Testaments. The following chart lists the biblical books and chapters from which the readings are taken for the weeks indicated. Note that most readings include only a small number of verses, not the entire chapters listed; verse numbers are not specified in this chart to provide a simpler overview of the overall patterns.

Ordinary Time, Years I & Year II

Week in OT First Readings - Year I (odd) First Readings - Year II (even)
Week 1 Heb 1, 2, 3, 4 1 Sam 1, 3, 4, 8, 9
Week 2 Heb 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 1 Sam 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24;  2 Sam 1
Week 3 Heb 9, 10, 11 2 Sam 5, 6, 7, 11, 12
Week 4 Heb 11, 12, 13 2 Sam 15, 16, 18, 19, 24;  1 Kgs 2, 3;  Sir 47
Week 5 Gen 1, 2, 3 1 Kgs 8, 10, 11, 12, 13
Week 6 Gen 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11;  Heb 11 Jas 1, 2, 3
Week 7 Sir 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 17 Jas 3, 4, 5
Week 8 Sir 17, 35, 36, 42, 44, 51 1 Pet 1, 2, 4;  Jude
Week 9 Tob 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 2 Pet 1, 3;  2 Tim 1, 2, 3, 4
Week 10 2 Cor 1, 3, 4, 5 1 Kgs 17, 18, 19
Week 11 2 Cor 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 1 Kgs 21;  2 Kgs 2, 11;  Sir 48;  2 Chr 24
Week 12 Gen 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 2 Kgs 17, 19, 22, 24, 25;  Lam 2
Week 13 Gen 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27 Amos 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9
Week 14 Gen 28, 32, 41, 42, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50 Hos 2, 8, 10, 11, 14;  Isa 6
Week 15 Exod 1, 2, 3, 11, 12 Isa 1, 7, 10, 26, 38;  Mic 2
Week 16 Exod 14, 16, 19, 20, 24 Mic 6, 7;  Jer 1, 2, 3, 7
Week 17 Exod 32, 33, 34, 40;  Lev 23, 25 Jer 13, 14, 15, 18, 26
Week 18 Num 11, 12, 13, 14, 20;  Deut 4, 6 Jer 28, 30, 31;  Nah 2, 3;  Hab 1, 2
Week 19 Deut 10, 31, 34;  Josh 3, 24 Ezek 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 16, 18
Week 20 Judg 2, 6, 9, 11;  Ruth 1, 2, 4 Ezek 24, 28, 34, 36, 37, 43
Week 21 1 Thess 1, 2, 3, 4 2 Thess 1, 2, 3;  1 Cor 1
Week 22 1 Thess 4, 5;  Col 1 1 Cor 2, 3, 4
Week 23 Col 1, 2, 3;  1 Tim 1 1 Cor 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Week 24 1 Tim 2, 3, 4, 6 1 Cor 11, 12, 13, 15
Week 25 Ezra 1, 6, 9;  Hag 1, 2;  Zech 2 Prov 3, 21, 30;  Eccl 1, 3, 11, 12
Week 26 Zech 8;  Neh 2, 8;  Bar 1, 4 Job 1, 3, 9, 19, 38, 40, 42
Week 27 Jonah 1, 2, 3, 4;  Mal 3;  Joel 1, 2, 4 Gal 1, 2, 3
Week 28 Rom 1, 2, 3, 4 Gal 4, 5;  Eph 1
Week 29 Rom 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Eph 2, 3, 4
Week 30 Rom 8, 9, 11 Eph 4, 5, 6;  Phil 1
Week 31 Rom 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 Phil 2, 3, 4
Week 32 Wis 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 18, 19 Titus 1, 2, 3;  Phlm;  2 John;  3 John
Week 33 1 Macc 1, 2, 4, 6;  2 Macc 6, 7 Rev 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11
Week 34 Dan 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 Rev 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

Notes:

1) The chart above provides additional information through some special features:

2) Remember that this chart summarizes the readings prescribed for each week, rather than listing the six weekday Masses separately (in some weeks, fewer chapter numbers are listed since several Masses that week may have short selections from the same biblical chapter; in other weeks, more than six chapters may be listed because the readings for one or more Masses that week may include selected verses from two or more biblical chapters).

3) The introductory sections of all published Weekday Lectionaries include a similar table showing the "Order of the First Reading for Weekdays in Ordinary Time." That table can give the false impression, however, that the weekday readings include the entire biblical books listed for the two-year cycle. In contrast, the chart above more clearly shows how many chapters are not included in the prescribed readings for weekday Masses. (For example, selections from only 14 of the 40 chapters of Exodus, from only 7 of the 25 chapters of 2 Kings, and from only 2 of the 15 chapters of 2 Maccabees are included; in contrast, almost the entire Letter to the Ephesians and the entire Epistle of James are included).

Return to the Main Lectionary Page


Return to the Homepage of Felix Just, S.J.
This page was last updated on November 27, 2009.
Copyright 1998--2009