I had intended to get this site launched over the Christmas and New Year break but… well, something about having toddler twin boys and a pregnant wife changed those plans.
What it’s all about
The CSV files allow you to import or subscribe to details of the Scottish Episcopal Church saints’ days, festivals and readings in your Outlook or Google calendar.
I also recently started adding an iCalendar feed, which enables you to subscribe to the calendar. The idea there is that if any of the details change then they get updated automatically.
I created the first file in 2005, for my own use both in Outlook and on my Psion PDA, I mentioned it to a few folks who were interested in it and have made it available on my blog ever since. But I felt that it deserved more than just a blog page, so I created this new website for it.
The homepage of the new website (www.garethjmsaunders.co.uk/secoutlook) updates every day to show you what today is in the liturgical calendar. It changes colour too to reflect the current feast day: gold, green, red or violet.
View the calendar shows an embedded Google calendar. It’s available to view in Week, Month or Agenda layouts. Click on any feast day information to show the readings for that day. (I’ve found this useful already.)
There are three pages showing instructions on how to import or subscribe to the files:
Readings for Sundays, weekdays, festivals (saints’ days) and special occasions (both Eucharists and daily prayer).
Each year the Church produces a guide to the calendar and lectionary which keeps mortals like you and me correct. The Sunday readings are on a 3 year cycle (next year is Year A), while the daily prayer readings and daily Eucharists are on a 2 year cycle (next year is Year 1).
Once you add in saints’ days, and start translating saints days to adjacent days because they clash with feast days of a higher order, it all begins to get a bit complicated.
Since 2005 I’ve provided these dates and readings (in various degrees of completeness) in a digital format that allows users to import them directly into Microsoft Outlook. Outlook requires a simple Comma Separated Values (CSV) file which can be prepared in Microsoft Excel (other spreadsheet applications are available) with the appropriate information in them:
Subject (The name of the day)
Start and end date
Start and end time
Whether it’s an all day event or not
Show time as
For the last few weeks I’ve been preparing the files, sitting for hours in front of my computer typing in line after line of readings.
Most years I do it in a bit of a last-minute panic and end up creating a bespoke file specifically for that year, but this year I wanted to be organised and produce something that can be used year after year.
So this year I’m creating a master Excel file that contains all the readings for each combination of three year and two year cycles:
A1 and A2
B1 and B2
C1 and C2
plus a comprehensive master list of saints’ days, which should in future enable me to compile the files in just a few days rather than 4-8 weeks as it does at the moment.
I’ve just finished entering all the readings for the entire church year—from the first Sunday of Advent to the Week of Proper 34 (Christ the King)—and tomorrow morning will start on the readings for festivals, common saints’ days and special occasions.
Then I’ll be ready to compile everything for this year. For once I may even be done by the start of the church year (which is this coming Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent).
I do wish that the Libronix Digital Library System (Libronix DLS) which is the engine behind my Bible software package (Nelson’s Ultimate Bible Reference) had a built-in module for displaying the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).
It looks like there is a Lectionary Viewer Addin, but it’s not part of this package.
I’ve emailed Logos technical support to see if this is available for my product.