I’m so glad you found it interesting. And sorry that you’re now enduring the BDW lessons. They are taken straight from the 1979 Episcopal Church BCP (identical with the lectionary in the 1985 Canadian Book of Alternative Services). They follow a 2-year cycle and are therefore short. Only 3 lessons are provided for each day (OT, NT, Gospel), but there is the option of adding the OT lesson from the “off year” at Evensong if four lessons are desired. You will notice that some controversial bits are left out (e.g. 1 Cor. 11:2-16 is omitted from the readings “in course” in Year 1 Proper 22, and Year 2 Lent 4).
The lectionary in Fr. Hunwicke’s Ordo is basically one approved for permissive use in the C of E in 1961. It was a revision of an earlier lectionary approved in 1922 (and still legal for use in the C of E, though official permission for the 1961 has now lapsed), which was the first C of E lectionary to provide lessons for the ecclesiastical, not the civil, calendar. The lectionary in the 1959 Canadian BCP is taken from a slightly earlier trial revision that was proposed in 1955. It is virtually identical in substance to the 1961 revision (though with some displacements). It would be very easy to adapt the St. Peter’s Commentaries, for instance, to the 1961 Office lectionary. The main differences between 1922 (which I actually use myself daily, simply because they were conveniently printed in a breviary-style volume, removing the need to look up passages in a Bible) and 1961 are that certain traditional readings are restored to their proper places (e.g. Lamentations on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, instead of Monday and Tuesday in Holy Week), and a summer scheme of reading selections from all the Gospels “chronologically” to create a “life of Christ” (very interesting to follow, but academically dubious) is abandoned in favour of continuing to read each Gospel straight through (as during the rest of the year).
I should have included in my little essay that I really admire the Walsingham Customary. The non-scriptural lessons are, of course, splendid, as are the various paraliturgical provisions (how wonderful to have, for instance, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols proposed for adoption as a Catholic devotion!). And I’m delighted by the provision of Office hymns, with their ancient plainsong melodies (though for some I will probably stick to the translations in the English Hymnal, just because they are what is “in my ear”). For someone who loves the BCP Office, it is reassuring to discover that not only are all the traditional Sunday collects retained, but also that the various rubrical options allow for a “straight” celebration of Mattins and Evensong directly from the 1662 BCP. But I am also pleased that the BCP Office is here given many welcome opportunities for enrichment, as with the simple Lucernarium suggested for the start of Evensong, with the option of Keble’s classic translation of the ancient Christian hymn Phos hilaron, “Hail, gladdening light.” The excellence of the book makes me regret all the more that Mgr. Burnham has expended so much labour on an Office lectionary whose principles of organization are, at least in my opinion, flawed. That happens to be the opinion of a professional liturgical historian who prays the Office daily. And seeing that I have followed, at various times, medieval monastic, modern Roman, modern C of E, modern Canadian, and traditional BCP forms, I trust that I am immune to accusations of either ignorance or prejudice!
And in further correspondence he adds:
You might want to mention, too, that Fr. Hunwicke has “enriched” the 1961 Office lectionary to include feasts like the Assumption, which were not provided with lessons in earlier Anglican lectionaries (though let us not forget that the Assumption was never removed from the official calendar of the University of Oxford!). His Ordo acknowledges an indebtedness to Fr. Wilkinson’s provisions for some of these occasions, which are said to be drawn from ancient (especially Eastern) uses.
I might also put my oar in to suggest that for lesser feast days the Ordinariate Office ought to retain the ferial scriptural lessons, as is also the case in the Liturgia horarum. I have long thought that the best place to commemorate lesser feasts is in the place reserved for the “Anthem” in the BCP Offices: a non-scriptural lesson introducing the feast would be read, followed by proper antiphon, a versicle and response, and a prayer (as with commemorations in the pre-Conciliar breviary). In the early Roman Office, the custom for major feast days was to “double” the office of Nocturns: one for the feria, one for the feast.
This approach to commemorations would also allow us to retain the traditional Prayer Book practice (shared with the Eastern Orthodox liturgy) of never transferring feast days when a feast coincides with another feast or a Sunday. The two sets of propers for the day are instead to be appropriately combined. For example, in the East there is a very special arrangement of material when the Annunciation falls on Good Friday — since March 25 is the traditional date of the Crucifixion — or on Easter Sunday, when the day is called Kyriopascha. This was also the practice in the West, at least before AD 1000 (as attested in, for example, the ninth-century commentary on the Regula S. Benedicti by Hildemar of Corbie).
Perhaps that would be a bridge too far for the Ordinariates (though we’d be in synch with Ukrainian Catholics). But it would let us avoid circumstances like what will happen this year, when the the Annunciation will be transferred all the way to April 8! Our reformers were far from infallible; but they recognized the value of combining the historical and cosmic significances of the festivals of the calendar (see Card. Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy). We can’t stop March 25 from being the Annunciation, no matter how intently we plug our ears and hum chants from Holy Week.