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Optional: Zephaniah 1:1–3:20
The selections from Holy Scripture from one day to the next follow a semi-continuous course through entire books of the Bible. This is consistent with the ancient Christian precedent and practice of lectio continua (“continuous reading”). This approach allows Scripture to interpret itself in its own literary context. Thereby it also informs and shapes Christian prayer and devotion over the course of time. The semicontinuous reading of Holy Scripture does not mean that one must begin with Genesis and read straight through the Old Testament in order, nor with the Gospel of Matthew and read straight through the New Testament, though Christians in the history of the Church have done precisely that. The semicontinuous reading pattern developed by the Daily Lectionary assigns the various books of the Bible according to the liturgical seasons of the Church Year. By way of example, the prophet Isaiah and his many prophecies of the coming Christ is read during the Season of Advent, while the Acts of the Apostles is read during the post-Pentecost Time of the Church. Thus the readings relate to the Church Year in a broad, general fashion, not in the more focused and specific way that one expects for the lessons and Holy Gospel appointed for particular Sundays and festivals of the Church Year.
—Kinnaman, Scot A., and Henry V. Gerike. Treasury of Daily Prayer. Concordia Pub. House, 2008.