1530s, "a reading," from Old French lection, from Latin lectionem (nominative lectio) "a reading," noun of action from past participle stem of legere "to read," from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')." Meaning "a sacred writing to be read in a church" is from c. 1600; sense of "a particular reading of a text from a certain copy or edition" is from 1650s. Related: Lectionary (adj.).
updated on April 19, 2017