The Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity
The following rubric appears at the end of
the Season of Trinity lections in the Book of Common Prayer right after the
lections for the Sunday Next before Advent:
If there be twenty-six Sundays
after Trinity, the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel appointed for the Sixth
Sunday after Epiphany shall be used on the twenty-fifth Sunday.
If there be twenty-seven Sundays,
the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel appointed for the Fifth
Sunday after Epiphany shall be used on the twenty-fifth Sunday; and
the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel appointed for the
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
shall be used on the twenty-sixth Sunday.
And if there be fewer than
twenty-five Sundays, the overplus shall be omitted: Provided that this
last Collect Epistle, and Gospel shall always be used upon the
next before Advent.
John Henry Blunt explains in his Commentary
on the Book of Common Prayer as follows:
In St. Jerome's Lectionary twenty-five
Sundays after Pentecost are provided with Epistles and Gospels. In
the Sacramentary of St. Gregory there are Collects for twenty-seven Sundays.
In the Salisbury Missal twenty-four Sundays were reckoned as after Trinity,
and one as the next before Advent: and there was a Rubric directing that
if there were more than twenty-five Sundays between Trinity Sunday and
Advent Sunday, the Office for the Twenty-fourth Sunday was to be repeated
on each Sunday until the last, when that for the Sunday before Advent was
to be said. In the Prayer Book of 1549 no Rubric of this kind was
provided, but the old usage would, doubtless, be adopted. In 1552,
however, a Rubric was inserted to this effect: "If there be any more Sundays
before Advent Sunday, to supply the same shall be taken the Service of
some of those Sundays that were omitted between the Epiphany and Septuagesima."
This Rubric was altered into its present form (see above) in the Durham
book of Bishop Cosin, having already appeared in a similar but more cumbrous
form in 1637.This same pattern is followed in the more simply
worded rubric found just before the lections for the Sunday Next Before Advent
in the Canadian Book of Common Prayer 1962:
If there be an additional
Sunday preceding the Sunday before Advent, the Service of the Sixth
Sunday after the Epiphany shall be used; if there be two additional
Sundays, the Services of the Fifth
Some lectionaries in non-Anglican circles may
have particular lections for the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Sixth Sundays
presumably because they are based upon the Sacramentary of St. Gregory.