Chapter VI: Adaptations, Translations and Format of the Order of Readings
1. Adaptations and Translations
111. In the liturgical assembly the word of God must always be read either
from the Latin texts prepared by the Holy See or from vernacular translations
approved for liturgical use by the Conferences of Bishops, according to existing
112. The Lectionary for Mass must be translated integrally in all its parts,
including the Introduction. If the Conference of Bishops has judged it necessary
and useful to add certain adaptations, these are to be incorporated after their
confirmation by the Holy See. 
113. The size of the Lectionary will necessitate editions in more than one
volume; no particular division of the volumes is prescribed. But each volume is
to contain the explanatory texts on the structure and purpose of the section it
The ancient custom is recommended of having separate books, one for the
Gospels and a second for the other readings for the Old and New Testament.
It may also be useful to publish separately a Sunday lectionary (which could
also contain selected excerpts from the sanctoral cycle), and a weekday
lectionary. A practical basis for dividing the Sunday lectionary is the
three-year cycle, so that all the readings for each year are presented in
But there is freedom to adopt other arrangements that may be devised and seem
to have pastoral advantages.
114. The texts for the chants are always to be adjoined to the readings, but
separate books containing the chants alone are permitted. It is recommended that
the texts be printed with divisions into stanzas.
115. Whenever a text consists of different parts, the typography must make
this structure of the text clear. It is likewise recommended that even
non-poetic texts be printed with division into sense lines to assist the
proclamation of the readings.
116. Where there are longer and shorter forms of a text, they are to be
printed separately, so that each can be read with ease. But if such a separation
does not seem feasible, a way is to be found to ensure that each text can be
proclaimed without mistakes.
117. In vernacular editions the texts are not to be printed without headings
prefixed. If it seems advisable, an introductory note on the general meaning of
the passage may be added to the heading. This note is to carry some distinctive
symbol or is to be set in different type to show clearly that it is an optional
118. It would be useful for every volume to have an index of the passages of
the Bible, modeled on the biblical index of the present volume.
 This will provide ready access to texts
of the lectionaries for Mass that may be needed or helpful for specific
2. The Format of Individual Readings
For each reading the present volume carries the textual reference, the
headings, and the incipit.
a) THE BIBLICAL REFERENCES
119. The text reference (that is, to chapter and verses) is always given
according to the Neo-Vulgate edition for the psalms.
 But a second reference according to the
original text (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek) has been added wherever there is a
discrepancy. Depending on the decrees of the competent Authorities for the
individual languages, vernacular versions may retain the enumeration
corresponding to the version of the Bible approved for liturgical use by the
same Authorities. Exact references to chapter and verses, however, must always
appear and may be given in the text or in the margin.
120. These references provide liturgical books with the basis of the
"announcement" of the text that must be read in the celebration, but
which is not printed in this volume. This "announcement" of the text
will observe the following norms, but they may be altered by decree of the
competent authorities on the basis of what is customary and useful for different
places and languages.
121. The formula to be used is always: "A reading from the Book of. . .
" "A reading from the Letter of . . . " or "A reading from
the holy Gospel according to . . . " and not: "The beginning of. . .
" (unless this seems advisable in particular instances) nor: "The
continuation of. . . ."
122. The traditionally accepted titles for books are to be retained with the
1. Where there are two books with the same name, the title is to be:
The first Book, The second Book (for example, of Kings, of Maccabees) or The
first Letter, The second Letter.
2. The title more common in current usage is to be accepted for the following
-I and 11 Samuel instead of I and 11 Kings;
3. The distinguishing titles for the wisdom books are: Book of Job, Book of
Proverbs, Book of Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Book of Wisdom, and Book of
-I and 11 Kings instead of III and IV Kings;
-1 and 11 Chronicles instead of I and 11 Paralipomenon;
-The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah instead of I and 11 Ezra.
4. For all the books that are included among the prophets in the Neo-Vulgate,
the formula is to be: "A reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, or of
the prophet Jeremiah or of the prophet Baruch" and: "A reading from
the Book of the prophet Ezekiel, of the prophet Daniel, of the prophet Hosea, of
the prophet Malachi," even in the case of books not regarded by some as
being in actual fact prophetic.
5. The title is to be Book of Lamentations and Letter to the Hebrews, with no
mention of Jeremiah or Paul.
b) THE HEADING
123. There is a heading prefixed to each text, chosen carefully (usually from
the words of the text itself) in order to point out the main theme of the
reading and, when necessary, to make the connection between the readings of the
same Mass clear.
c) THE "INCIPIT"
124. In this Order of Readings the first element of the incipit is the
customary introductory phrase: "At that time," "In those
days," "Brothers and Sisters," "Beloved," "Dearly
Beloved," "Dearest Brothers and Sisters," or "Thus says the
Lord," "Thus says the Lord God." These words are not given when
the text itself provides sufficient indication of the time or the persons
involved or where such phrases would not fit in with the very nature of the
text. For the individual languages, such phrases may be changed or omitted by
decree of the competent Authorities.
After the first words of the incipit the Order of Readings gives the proper
beginning of the reading, with some words deleted or supplied for
intelligibility, inasmuch as the text is separated from its context. When the
text for a reading is made up of non?consecutive verses and this has required
changes in wording, these are appropriately indicated.
d) THE FINAL ACCLAMATION
125. In order to facilitate the congregation's acclamation, the words for the
reader The word of the Lord, or similar words suited to local custom, are to be
printed at the end of the reading for use by the reader.