Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Scripture in the Church

I remember growing up in the Presbyterian Church we had two or three moderate length readings from the Bible at each service. We had hymns, the doxology, and we said the Apostles Creed. The pastor would preach from anywhere between 25 - 60 minutes. We also had Bible studies, Sunday School, and for a time I was in the Youth Group (until everything pretty much fell apart).

The amount of Scripture we read in one week in the Presbyterian Church (as a congregation, so to speak) equals the amount of Scripture that Catholics will read in a single day. The difference is how we view Scripture and how it is used.

I generally don't like getting into how much Scripture is read at Mass or in the Office because that just descends into an argument between the Novus Ordo and TLM lectionaries. Here I am trying to put another nail in the coffin of an age old argument: Catholics don't read the Bible. Practicing Catholics do. Barely practicing Catholics don't. Which is why they are such an easy pick-off for different sect groups.

If you are a serious practicing Catholic and pray the Office (we'll say the new one for now) and attend daily Mass, you will read the following parts of the Bible just today.

Psalm 95
Psalm 89:2-38
Exodus 33:7-11, 18-23 and 34:5-9, 29-35
2 Corinthians 3:13, 18, 15 (Responsory)
2 Corinthians 6:2, 4, 5, 7 (Responsory)
Psalm 86
Isaiah 33:13-16
Psalm 98
Deuteronomy 7:6, 8-9
Luke 1:68-79
Psalm 119:105-112
Psalm 70
Psalm 75
Ezekiel 18:30b-32 or Zechariah 1:3b-4b or Daniel 4:24b
Psalm 126
Psalm 127
Colossians 1:12-20
Philippians 2:12b-15a
Luke 1:46-55
Psalm 31:1-6
Psalm 130
Ephesians 4:26-27
Luke 2:29-32
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147: 12-13, 15-16, 19-20 (Responsory)
Matthew 5:17-19

That's just the prescribed readings in the liturgy today - without anything extra. I didn't count the incidental verses contained before each Psalm in the Divine Office, nor did I scour the liturgy for direct or indirect quotes from the Bible.

We can argue whether or not it all sinks in. Sometimes less is more and sometimes if you throw enough out there something is bound to stick. I like to think of the Church's use of Scripture as an immersion into the Word of God rather than stand alone readings.


Moonshadow said...

That's a lot of Scripture.

put another nail in the coffin of an age old argument: Catholics don't read the Bible.

I've come to suspect that Protestants don't think we can read the Bible without being offended at it. They think Catholicism is so at odds with the teaching of Scripture that "a good Catholic" can't even really tolle lege.

This is my own opinion based on the reaction (*chuckles&snickers*) I get from Protestants when they discover that I study the Bible. Either that, or they must think I have my blinders on pretty tight while reading.

Latin_Mass_Mommy said...

Yay Bible-reading! And wow..that's a lot lol!

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton