On Palm Sunday, 17 April 2011, St. John’s Anglican Church Kawawachikamach conducted a dedication service for their new lectionary books.
A lectionary is a collection of Bible readings to be read to the faithful during the worship of God. Lectionaries have been used since the fourth century, where major churches arranged the Scripture readings according to a schedule which follows the calendar of the year. This practice of assigning particular readings to each Sunday and Holy day has continued through the history of the Christian Church.
Since the 1990s, the Naskapi Development Corporation (NDC) has assisted St. John’s Church, Kawawachikamach with the selection, translation and production of these lectionary readings in the form of a Sunday church bulletin of readings. They were guided by the Revised Common Lectionary, which is the pattern used by the Anglican Church of Canada and many other denominations around the world.
The lectionary provides a three-year pattern for the Sunday readings. Each year is centered on one of the synoptic gospels. Year A is the year of Matthew, Year B is the year of Mark, and Year C is the year of Luke. John is read each year, especially in the times around Christmas, Lent, and Easter, and also in the year of Mark, whose gospel is shorter than the others.
While the Naskapi New Testament has been in use in the community since it was dedicated in 2007, this event is significant because it represents the the first significant portions of the Old Testament available in the Naskapi language.
Also, this lectionary book provides the Bible readings for each Sunday in both Naskapi and English together on the same page. Not only will this help Naskapi people engage with God’s Word each week, but will also be an aid to those who are still learning to read in their own language. We are grateful to God for the privilege of having a part in bringing this new book to the community, and thankful to all of you who helped this come about.