Bible Readings for 23 October

Ecclesiasticus 35:12-17

Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
and as generously as you can afford.
For the Lord is the one who repays,
and he will repay you sevenfold.
Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it;
and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice;
for the Lord is the judge,
and with him there is no partiality.
He will not show partiality to the poor;
but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged.
He will not ignore the supplication of the orphan,
or the widow when she pours out her complaint.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and are used by permission. All rights reserved

Luke 18:9-14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, and are used by permission. All rights reserved

Collect Prayer

Blessed Lord,
who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
help us so to hear them,
to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them
that, through patience, and the comfort of your holy word,
we may embrace and for ever hold fast
   the hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer

God of all grace,
your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry
with the bread of his life
and the word of his kingdom:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your true and living bread;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.


      1. Indeed, I went to check out the lectionary at the C of E website immediately after posting, and it would seem the Apocrypha is (occasionally) there as a choice .

        I must admit, I never knew that having grown up in the C of E. I guess all the C of E Churches I attended never elected to read those scriptures when they were an option, as I have never once heard them read in an Anglican Church.

        Although I note it is always given as a choice where the Apocrypha is given as an option in the lectionary. For instance for the week in question, the lectionary states:

        Ecclesiasticus 35.12-17
        or Jeremiah 14.7-10, 19-22

        As the old adage goes, “you learn something new every day” I guess!

        Out of interest, what is your take on the Apocrypha? I know the Roman Catholic Church includes part of it in their canon, 7 books I think along with extended writings for Esther and Daniel. And now thanks to coming across your website, I have learned that the C of E lectionary also includes it – though I notice strictly as an option each time, always providing a non-Apocryphal alternative if the minister so chooses.

        I haven’t studied it to a great extent myself. The last time I studied this area, my take-away was that at best the Apocrypha carries much less weight than the established 66-book Protestant canon. Chiefly because it isn’t quoted or referred to in the rest of scripture. For instance, Christ quotes regularly from the Pentateuch, the Books of Wisdom, the Prophets and so forth – but never from the Apocrypha. The same goes for the writings of Paul.

        The only exception of quoting any scripture specifically outside of the 66-book canon that I know of is that St Jude refers to the Book of Enoch in one place, which interestingly I happened to read only the other week in my daily devotionals. Jude that is, rather than the book of Enoch!

        Although, the book of Enoch isn’t in the Apocrypha either (that is to say it is not part of the established 15 book canon which includes Ecclesiasticus) – I think it was listed once in addition to the “List of Sixty”, along with other obscure writings such as the Book of Adam, and the Apocalypse of Peter.

        Forgive the lengthy follow up here. For more background so you know where I am coming from, I’m a Christian currently studying Theology, and I particularly find the Biblical canon and the history of how it was decided upon fascinating. I understand we only just about kept the epistle of James in the Protestant canon by the skin of our teeth, as Martin Luther was not at all a fan…

        I chanced upon your website, searching for what readings were in the C of E lectionary for 23 October. Yours was the first site in the list search. When I saw Ecclesiasticus, I was intrigued!

        1. If you are searching for the Lectionary, may I suggest Oremus? This link: and click on “View” for the diary pages. Everything you need is there. There is also a downloadable file to add the Lectionary to your calendar.

          Reverend Joanna Baxter Fielding and I share the roles of president and preacher each Sunday, leading worship together. We prepare a rota and look two months ahead at the Lectionary, consider who will be preaching and then, from the Lectionary, choose a second text to compliment the gospel. We simply choose a text we feel will add to the diversity and depth of our teaching and preaching. This is why you’ll find OT, psalms, epistles and occasionally apocrypha alongside the gospel for the day.

          We share the Bible reading choices for next Sunday on the website, so that our church has a chance to read in advance. In this way they are able to get more from the sermon: the readings don’t come as a surprise on Sunday morning. I hope this is helpful to know.

          Every blessing,

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