Lectionary Art and Music

For the last three-plus years I’ve been publishing a weekly blog series called Artful Devotion, choosing one of four scripture texts from the Revised Common Lectionary for the coming week and then selecting one visual artwork and one musical work that resonate with that scripture in some way—sometimes directly, sometimes more obliquely. I’m interested in the meaning that can open up in one’s Bible reading when the arts are engaged alongside that discipline.

After having covered all three lectionary cycles and then some, I’ve decided to end the series so that I can direct my energies toward developing other blog content. I still plan to use the lectionary as a guide throughout the year and to continue including “bite-size” posts at regular intervals, but by not committing myself to a formula and a particular text and a weekly deadline, I will have freedom to experiment with other modes of presentation and time to pursue more in-depth lines of research and other curatorial projects.

For a quick reference, I’ve compiled links to all the Artful Devotions below. Or, if you prefer, you can scroll through them from newest to oldest by following this tag: https://artandtheology.org/tag/artful-devotion/. If you want more context for the series, read the introduction.

In this archive you’ll find a mixture of art from different countries and eras: early Christian mosaics, late medieval Italian frescoes, a Chinese scroll painting, a Japanese woodcut, a Dutch still life, a Tongan stone carving, an Indian batik, African American folk art, contemporary Ukrainian icons, an installation in a vacant chapel in London, a hand-embroidered photograph from the Ivory Coast, biblical door carvings from Zimbabwe, a Jewish illuminated manuscript, an eighteenth-century Moravian devotional card, a Victorian “spirit drawing,” a modernist painting from New Zealand, a Quechua illustration of Christ’s Presentation in the Temple, a bronze fountain in Poland, and so much more.

In addition to shape-note hymns, spirituals, Black gospel, jazz, bluegrass, and indie folk from America and choral and classical music from Europe, there are also songs from Polynesia, Argentina, Congo, Israel, Georgia, China, Jamaica, and more. There’s an Armenian funeral tagh, an Indian bhajan, a Hollywood musical number, an English ballad about Mary Magdalene, a reggae setting of Psalm 137, and lots of other treasures!

Thank you for journeying with me through the church calendar here at Art & Theology. If you have found joy and inspiration from the Artful Devotion series, please consider making a small donation toward the further development of this website.

Donate here

Year A

First Sunday of Advent: Romans 13:11–12
Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 11:1–5, 10
Third Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 35:5–6a, 10
Fourth Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 7:14

Nativity of the Lord: Luke 2:7; Psalm 96:10; John 1:1, 14
First Sunday after Christmas Day: Matthew 2:13–18
Second Sunday after Christmas Day: John 1:3b–4, 9

Epiphany of the Lord: Isaiah 60:1; Psalm 72:10–11; Matthew 2:1–12
Baptism of the Lord: Isaiah 42:1–9; Matthew 3:13–17; Acts 10:37–38, 42–43
Second Sunday after Epiphany: Psalm 40:1–3
Third Sunday after Epiphany: Isaiah 9:1–5; Matthew 4:12–17
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: 1 Corinthians 1:18–25
Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas): Luke 2:25–32
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Matthew 5:14–16
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany: Matthew 5:21–24
Transfiguration Sunday: Matthew 17:1–9

Ash Wednesday: Joel 2:1, 12–13; Psalm 51:8, 17
First Sunday of Lent: Genesis 3:6–7
Second Sunday of Lent: Psalm 121
Third Sunday of Lent: John 4:7–14
Fourth Sunday of Lent: Ephesians 5:14
Annunciation of the Lord: Luke 1:26–38
Fifth Sunday of Lent: John 11:1–45

Palm Sunday: Matthew 21:8–11
Holy Monday: John 12:1–11
Holy Tuesday: John 12:23–36
Holy Wednesday: John 13:18b–19, 21–30
Holy Thursday: John 13:1–17, 31b–35
Good Friday: Isaiah 53:1–12
Holy Saturday: John 19:38–42

Resurrection of the Lord: Matthew 28:1–6; John 20:1–8; Acts 10:39–41
Second Sunday of Easter: Acts 2:22–32
Third Sunday of Easter: 1 Peter 1:18–22
Fourth Sunday of Easter: Psalm 23
Fifth Sunday of Easter: John 14:1–3
Sixth Sunday of Easter: John 14:15–21
Ascension of the Lord: Acts 1:1–9
Seventh Sunday of Easter: Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7
Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth: Luke 1:39–55

Pentecost: Acts 2:1–21
Trinity Sunday: 2 Corinthians 13:14

Proper 6: Romans 5:5b
Proper 7: Psalm 69:1–3, 13–17
Proper 8: Genesis 22:1–14
Proper 9: Matthew 11:28
Proper 10: Psalm 65:5–13; Romans 8:6
Proper 11: Psalm 86:12–13, 15; Matthew 13:43
Proper 12: Romans 8:31b, 35, 37; Matthew 13:31–32
Proper 13: Genesis 32:22–31; Isaiah 55:1–2
Proper 14: Psalm 85; Matthew 14:29b–33
Proper 15: Psalm 133
Proper 16: Isaiah 51:3; Romans 12:1–2
Proper 17: Exodus 3:1–15; Romans 12:9–18; Romans 12:21
Proper 18: Exodus 12:1–14; Psalm 119:37
Holy Cross: Numbers 21:4–9; John 3:14–15
Proper 19: Exodus 14:19–31 (also)
Proper 20: Psalm 105:4; Jonah 3:10–4:11
Proper 21: Psalm 25:4–5; Ezekiel 18:26–32
Proper 22: Psalm 19:7–10; Philippians 3:13b–14
Proper 23: Psalm 106:4; Isaiah 25:6–9
Proper 24: Exodus 33:18–23; Psalm 96:1
Proper 25: Psalm 90:14; Matthew 22:37–38
Proper 26: Psalm 43:3
All Saints’ Day: Matthew 5:3–11; Revelation 7:9–12
Proper 27: Joshua 24:14–15; Amos 5:21–24
Proper 28: Psalm 90:1–6, 10, 12; 1 Thessalonians 5:2b–10
Reign of Christ: Ephesians 1:17–23

Year B

First Sunday of Advent: Psalm 80:1–3
Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:3–5; Mark 1:1–8
Third Sunday of Advent: Luke 1:39–55 (Visitation)
Fourth Sunday of Advent: Romans 16:25–26

Nativity of the Lord: Luke 2:10–12, 14, 16
First Sunday after Christmas Day: Isaiah 61:10–11
Second Sunday after Christmas Day

Epiphany of the Lord: Isaiah 60:3, 5–6; Ephesians 3:4–5
Second Sunday after Epiphany: 1 Samuel 3:9
Third Sunday after Epiphany: Mark 1:17
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: Mark 1:23–28
Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas): Luke 2:28–32
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Psalm 147:3
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany: 2 Corinthians 4:3–6
Transfiguration Sunday

Ash Wednesday
First Sunday of Lent: Genesis 9:8–17
Second Sunday of Lent: Romans 4:13–25
Third Sunday of Lent: John 2:13–17
Fourth Sunday of Lent: Ephesians 2:1–10
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Psalm 51:1–2, 8

Palm Sunday: John 12:12–15
Good Friday: John 19:18

Resurrection of the Lord: Isaiah 25:7, 9b
Second Sunday of Easter: John 20:27–28
Third Sunday of Easter: Psalm 4:7
Fourth Sunday of Easter: 1 John 3:17–18
Fifth Sunday of Easter: John 15:5–8
Sixth Sunday of Easter: 1 John 5:3–4a
Ascension of the Lord: Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9
Seventh Sunday of Easter: Psalm 1:1–3 (cf. Jeremiah 17:7–8)

Pentecost: Ezekiel 37:14
Trinity Sunday: Romans 8:14–17

Proper 4: Psalm 81:10b
Proper 5: 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:1
Proper 6: 2 Corinthians 5:10
Proper 7: Psalm 107:23–31; Mark 5:35–41
Proper 8: Lamentations 3:22–23
Proper 9: 2 Corinthians 12:7b–10
Proper 10: Ephesians 1:7–8a
Proper 11: Psalm 23:1–3a, 4
Proper 12: Ephesians 3:18–19
Proper 13: Exodus 16:9–10
Proper 14: Psalm 130:5
Proper 15: Proverbs 9:1–6
Proper 16: Ephesians 6:10–17
Proper 17: James 1:21
Proper 18: Mark 7:31–37
Proper 19: Psalm 19:1–6
Proper 20: James 4:7
Proper 21: Psalm 124
Proper 22: Mark 10:13–16
Proper 23: Mark 10:17–22
Proper 24: Psalm 104
Proper 25: Mark 10:46–52 
All Saints’ Day: Wisdom of Solomon 3:2–4
Proper 26: Psalm 119:1
Proper 27: Hebrews 9:27–28
Proper 28: Hebrews 10:19–22
Reign of Christ: Daniel 7:9, 14

Year C

First Sunday of Advent: Luke 21:28
Second Sunday of Advent: Luke 1:68–79
Third Sunday of Advent: Zephaniah 3:14–20 (cf. Zechariah 9:9a)
Fourth Sunday of Advent: Micah 5:2–5

Nativity of the Lord: Isaiah 52:10; Titus 2:11; Luke 2:11
First Sunday after Christmas Day: Colossians 3:12–14
Second Sunday after Christmas Day

Epiphany of the Lord: Matthew 2:1–2, 9–11
Baptism of the Lord: Luke 3:15–17, 21–22
Second Sunday after Epiphany: Isaiah 62:1–5
Third Sunday after Epiphany: Luke 4:16–21
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany: 1 Corinthians 13:1–3
Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas): Luke 2:29–32
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany: Luke 5:1–11
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany: Luke 6:20b–23
Seventh Sunday after Epiphany: Psalm 37:4
Transfiguration Sunday: Luke 9:28–36

Ash Wednesday: Matthew 6:19–21
First Sunday of Lent: Psalm 91:9–10, 13–14
Second Sunday of Lent: Philippians 3:20
Third Sunday of Lent: Psalm 63:1
Fourth Sunday of Lent: Luke 15:11–32
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Psalm 126

Palm Sunday / Holy Week: Luke 19:28

Resurrection of the Lord: Psalm 118:14–17; Luke 24:6a
Second Sunday of Easter: John 20:24–29
Third Sunday of Easter: Revelation 5:11–14
Fourth Sunday of Easter: John 10:28–29
Fifth Sunday of Easter: Psalm 148
Sixth Sunday of Easter: John 14:23–29
Ascension of the Lord: Luke 24:44–53
Seventh Sunday of Easter: Revelation 22:13

Pentecost: Acts 2:3–4
Trinity Sunday: Romans 5:1, 5

Proper 7: Psalm 42:1–2, 5
Proper 8: 2 Kings 2:11–12a
Proper 9: 2 Kings 5:1–14
Proper 10: Psalm 82:1–4, 8
Proper 11: Colossians 1:15–20
Proper 12: Colossians 2:13–14
Proper 13: Psalm 107
Proper 14: Luke 12:32
Proper 15: Hebrews 12:1–2
Proper 16: Isaiah 58:11
Proper 17: Hebrews 13:1
Proper 18: Jeremiah 18:1–6
Proper 19: Luke 15:4–6
Proper 20: Jeremiah 8:18–22
Proper 21: Luke 16:19–31
Proper 22: Psalm 137
Proper 23: Psalm 66:12 (cf. Psalm 31:7–8)
Proper 24: Genesis 32:22–31
Proper 25: Psalm 84:5
All Saints’ Day: Luke 7:20–23
Proper 26: Habakkuk 1:2–4
Proper 27: Psalm 145:3–5
Proper 28: Isaiah 12:1–6
Reign of Christ: Jeremiah 23:5–6

7 thoughts on “Lectionary Art and Music

  1. Thank you for doing this week by week, which I have found very helpful during this last year, both personally and for my work. Thank you also for providing the links to the whole series over the three years – I’ll certainly be making use of that. I look forward to what comes next.

    Best wishes,

    Trevor

    Like

  2. Thank you for your extensive work. I just found you a couple of weeks ago. I will donate more as I have funds. This is such a wonderful resource.

    Janet James, pastor The Gayton Kirk

    >

    Like

  3. A huge thank you and every blessing from

    Margaret Fauchelle
    Apartment 3
    22 North Avenue
    Devonport
    Auckland 0642
    New Zealand
    Phone +64 9 4451120
    Cell phone +64 212585505
    Cell Phone NZ 0212585505

    Like

  4. Thank you so very much for your Art and Theology reflections. And thank you for sending the archived set. These have been such a blessing to me since I first discovered them a year or so ago. I look forward to continuing to be blessed by them as time passes. I will send you a donation. Blessings to you in your further endeavors.

    Like

  5. Thank you for all you have done, all you continue to do, and for just being you!

    *Cynthia Hindes* PO Box 1045 Kimberton, PA 19442 747-252-8305 cynthiahindes.blogspot.com

    Like

  6. You have created an absolute treasury, Victoria. Thank you so much for compiling this and sharing it with all of us who subscribe (or visit!) in this form. Wonderful. Thank you! Blessed Advent! Gratefully, Ardath+

    Ardath L. Smith Hineni House and NOVO SentWell

    Address: 121 North Street McDonald, PA 15057 Cell Phone: 626/201-8621 Skype: ardathsmith

    >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s