I have just received this question about the Sarum missal lectionary.
I know that the lectionary for the Sarum rite’s mass is very similar to the readings used in the traditional Roman mass. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see the lectionaries to be off set by an equal amount (ex. one or two extra Sundays thrown in), but this is not the case. It seems, especially after trinity, that the Gospels are off set by one week and the Epistles by two weeks. Do you know of any reasons why this off-setting has occurred (whether Sarum added a reading or Rome removed readings)? Or do you know of any resources where I might study this? Thank you for your assistance.
Without going to my books for complete study of this question I do know that the Roman Rite in its various Uses evolved in a very different way between the Use of the Roman Curia with its Franciscan influences on one hand and the French Uses which spread to England via the Conquest on the other. The uses of Paris and Rouen diverge from the standard Roman rite in the same way as Sarum and the other pre-Reformation English uses.
The Roman and French / English lectionary essentially comes from the Comes of Murbach from the end of the eighth century. In my university work on the Roman liturgy, I cited A. Wilmart, Le Comes de Murbach, in: Revue Benedictine (1913), pp 25-29. At the same time, we find ferial readings for Wednesdays and Fridays outside Lent that are not present in the 1570 Roman missal, but are in the French uses.
I find this in the Catholic Encyclopaedia on the Use of Sarum:
The order of Collects, Epistles, and Gospels differs from that of our Missals in that the summer Sundays being called First, Second, etc., after Trinity, instead of being counted from Pentecost, there is some slight inversion of order. The Second Sunday of Lent had its proper Gospel (Matthew 15:21) in lieu of that of the Transfiguration now repeated from the preceding Saturday. For the Sunday next before Advent, Gospel assigned was not that of the Last Judgement, but the entering of our Lord into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Matthew 21:1), our Gospels of the First, Second, and Third Advent Sundays becoming those of the Second, Third, and Fourth, respectively. It is evident, therefore, that the selection of Sunday Gospels in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer merely perpetuates a Catholic tradition.
The differences are striking. I also find a link at The Rationale of the Trinity Season Lectionary in the Book of Common Prayer by David G. Phillips. One of the finest standard works on the Book of Common Prayer and its Sarum roots is Procter and Frere, A New History of the Book of Common Prayer with a Rationale of its Offices, London 1920. You can find it online here.
Any input would be welcome.