Letter to the Hebrews

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I am from mainland China. Recently, I have been reading through your book entiltled Words Without Alloy  which benefits me greatly. I was wondering who assigned the Letter to the Hebrews on the first four weeks in Ordinary time. I notice that  scholars suggested it in the schemata 127,Nov.2,1965(p.7), but later it says: “the Letter to the Hebrews occupies the first four weeks of the first year”(p.260). I ‘d appreciate it highly If  you’d share with me more about it.

I am looking forward to your reply.


A: Schemata 127 recommends Hebrews as part of the period between Epiphany and Lent because it well joins the time of Christmas and the time of redemption.

According to Schemata 148, the Germans and the French experimented with daily Mass readings, and the French plan from 1966 can be viewed on p. 170 of this issue of Notitiae:  https://www.cultodivino.va/content/dam/cultodivino/rivista-notitiae/1960/notitiae-02-(1966)/Notitiae-018-1966.pdf. You’ll see Hebrews there.

Schemata 199 show that Hebrews had been assigned to the beginning of the second year. When it was published, it was in Year I.

I don’t have access to any reports to explain why the final changes happened to the Lectionary or who made them. All we can do is guess. It may be that the revisers decided to begin the first year of Ordinary Time with Old Testament readings and the second year with New Testament readings.

May God bless your ministry.