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Reading the 4 Gospels before Pascha

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  • Fr. John R. Shaw
    In the Russian Church, there is a rubric in the Typicon calling for the 4 Gospels to be read at the Hours on the first 3 days of Holy Week. In practice, this
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2003
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      In the Russian Church, there is a rubric in the Typicon calling for the
      4 Gospels to be read at the Hours on the first 3 days of Holy Week.

      In practice, this is rarely observed in full, due to the sheer length
      that these readings would have (going on for hours).

      However, there is also a custom of beginning to read the Gospels
      earlier, and even of spreading them over all of Great Lent.

      It is quite possible to do this reading privately, at home. Such,
      indeed, was the instruction that Archbishop Seraphim of Chicago and
      Detroit used to give us.

      I have made out a table, shown below, indicating how one might read the
      4 Gospels, both according to the liturgical "zachala" (if you have
      the "Holoviak Gospel", these pericopes or sections have the same
      numbers as in the Slavonic Gospel book, and each of them is
      designated "begin": "Begin 1, Begin 2" &c.) -- But, since many readers
      have only a standard Bible divided into chapters instead of pericopes,
      I have also given alternative divisions, according to chapters.

      FIRST WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: Begin the Gospel according to St. Matthew, “zachala” 1-8
      (Alternately: Chapters 1-4)
      TUESDAY: Matthew, Zachala 9-20 (or: Chapters 5-8)
      WEDNESDAY: Matthew, Zachala 21-34 (or: Chaps. 9-10)
      THURSDAY: Matthew, Zachala 35-46 (or: Chaps. 11-12)
      FRIDAY: Matthew, Zachala 47-57 (or: Chaps. 13-14)
      SATURDAY: Matthew, Zachala 58-70 (or: Chaps. 15-17)

      2nd WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: Matthew, zachala 71-80 (or : Chaps. 18-20)
      TUESDAY: Matthew, zachala 81-90 (or : Chaps.21-22)
      WEDNESDAY: Matthew, zachala 91-103 (or : Chaps. 23-24)
      THURSDAY: Matthew, zachala 104-108 (or : Chaps. 25-26)
      FRIDAY: Matthew, zachala 109-116 (or : Chaps. 27-28)
      SATURDAY: Mark, zachala 1-12 (or : Chaps. 1-2)

      3rd WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: Mark, zachala 13-22 (or : Chaps. 3-4)
      TUESDAY: Mark, zachala 23-32 (or : Chaps.5-6)
      WEDNESDAY: Mark, zachala 33-44 (or : Chaps. 7-8)
      THURSDAY: Mark, zachala 45-55 (or : Chaps. 9-10)
      FRIDAY: Mark, zachala 56-64 (or : Chaps.11-13)
      SATURDAY: Mark, zachala 65-71 (or : Chaps. 14-16)

      4th WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: Luke, zachala 1-5 (or : Chaps. 1-2)
      TUESDAY: Luke, zachala 6-15 (or : Chaps. 3-4)
      WEDNESDAY: Luke, zachala 16-28 (or : Chaps. 5-6)
      THURSDAY: Luke, zachala 29-38 (or : Chaps. 7-8)
      FRIDAY: Luke, zachala 39-50 (or : Chaps. 9-10)
      SATURDAY: Luke, zachala 51-62 (or : Chaps. 11-12)

      5th WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: Luke, zachala 63-73 (or : Chaps. 13-14)
      TUESDAY: Luke, zachala 74-83 (or : Chaps. 15-16)
      WEDNESDAY: Luke, zachala 84-95 (or : Chaps. 17-18)
      THURSDAY: Luke, zachala 96-107 (or : Chaps. 19-20)
      FRIDAY: Luke, zachala 108-109 (or : Chaps. 21-22)
      SATURDAY: Luke, zachala 110-114 (or : Chaps. 23-24)

      6th WEEK IN LENT:

      MONDAY: John, zachala 1-7 (or : Chapter 1)
      TUESDAY: John, zachala 8-12 (or : Chaps. 2-3)
      WEDNESDAY: John, zachala 13-18 (or : Chap. 4)
      THURSDAY: John, zachala 19-25 (or : Chap. 5)
      FRIDAY: John, zachala 26-30 (or : Chap. 6)
      SATURDAY: John, zachala 31-34 (or : Chaps. 7-8)

      HOLY WEEK:

      MONDAY: John, zachala 35-38 (or : Chaps. 9-10)
      TUESDAY: John, zachala 39-41 (or : Chaps. 11-12)
      WEDNESDAY: John, zachala 42-46 (or : Chap. 13)

      This is as far as the Typicon calls for the reading of the Gospel of
      St. John. From here, the readings continue at the 12 Gospels of Good
      Friday Matins.

      In Christ
      Fr. John R. Shaw
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