On The Lessons In The Day Hours
The Preface to the Prayer Book Concerning the Service of the Church
states that, prior to 1549, the old order, for reading the greatest
part of the Bible through every year, had been "so altered, broken, and
neglected, that commonly when any book of the Bible was begun, after
three or four chapters were read out, all the rest were unread."
There was a First Lesson from the Old Testament, a Second Lesson from a
Commentary, and a Third Lesson from the New Testament.
On certain days, each Lesson consisted of three parts; and the second
and third parts of the Third Lesson were from a Commentary.
The occurrence of Saints' Days was so frequent as to disturb many of
these: for the special Lessons of a Saint's Day were read, instead of
those of the regular course.
The theory of reading the whole books had been maintained; but it broke
down in practice.
It is worthy of notice that these various Lessons, from the Bible, from
Commentaries, and from the acts and martyrdoms of Saints, were all
"set" with Verses, Responds etc. so as to be Acts of Worship, as well
as a means of Instruction.