Having the lectionary to hand

Liturgical yearThe lectionary is not a perfect way to read the Bible. Passages are sometimes edited in an odd way; the choice of coverage is at times frustrating; the way the gospels are presented is not always convincing. But it is a good deal better than not reading the Bible at all, and if you are involved in ministry in a church that uses the lectionary, it offers a shared pattern of reading and reflection.

But have you ever fumbled for your copy of the lectionary? Or wondered which liturgical colour should be used this Sunday? Worry no more! Simon Kershaw has continued to offer his wonderful service of providing the lectionary in a format for all the main electronic calendars. (If you don’t use an electronic calendar yet, you really should consider it, since there are so many time-saving and efficient things you can do with it. You can set up repeat events, and your calendar will even send you an email or a message to alert you to think that are coming up.)

If you have signed up for email updates, you will have received the text below; if not, here it is. Pay particular attention to Simon’s advice about importing into a new or empty ‘calendar’ (this is the name for a group of events, not the whole calendar itself) since if anything goes wrong, you can delete it and try again—which I have had to do in the past a couple of times.

It is worth thinking carefully about which options you tick before importing. I download the Sunday Eucharistic lectionary, but for weekdays only the Weekday Office lectionary. If you have all the options, then the calendar entry becomes too unwieldy. I also find it is worth including the CW Collects and the Alternative Collects.

And note that, if your electronic calendar is synchronised with your phone or other mobile device, you can check the lectionary on the move. It’s always a good one to impress your next clergy chapter.

Oh, and do think about making a donation to Simon (you could include the cost on your expenses).

Oh, and this is my 400th blog post.

Common Worship Almanac and Lectionary for 2015–16

I am pleased to announce that my Common Worship almanac and lectionary for the year beginning Advent Sunday 2015 is now available.

You can download the lectionary file from
and follow the link to the 2016 files.

Please do read the relevant download instructions at the bottom of that page; these contain advice and workarounds for some common problems. I very strongly recommend that you create a new empty calendar before importing data; this will enable you to easily remove the data if there are any problems with the import.

This almanac is available in a number of formats for Microsoft Outlook, Apple Calendar, iPhone or iPad, Google Calendar and other calendar applications. It can also be synced from a desktop calendar to an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or other smartphones (including Android phones and tablets) and PDAs such as RIM’s Blackberry. I have no experience with Windows Phone or Windows Surface tablets but I have received reports that the Almanac works fine with these devices. This year there is improved support for Outlook with properly-formatted text and links to the text of all the bible readings.

Naturally I hope that this year’s Almanac is free of errors, but as usual I must disclaim responsibility for the effects of any errors. My liability is limited to providing a corrected file for import, at my own convenience. Please help by notifying me of possible errors.


This Almanac and Lectionary is offered free of any charge, and without warranty. As you can imagine it takes some effort to compile. If you would like to make a contribution to my costs then donations of Amazon gift vouchers are a convenient method. These can be purchased online at Amazon (amazon.co.uk) and delivered by email to [email protected] . As an alternative, donations may be made via PayPal to [email protected], though Amazon is easier for me to manage.

I have made the Almanac available every year since 2002-3 and I want to reiterate that I am continuing to make no charge for downloading and using it — this is just an opportunity to make a donation, if you so wish. Many thanks to those of you who have donated in the past or will do so this year, particularly those who regularly make a donation: your help makes this Almanac possible.

You might also be interested in the Church of England Daily Prayer app, which I find very useful both morning and evening, and you might want to like my Facebook Lectionary page, which will remind you of the readings for Morning Prayer as you browse Facebook to avoid doing the things you need to get done each morning.

Much of my work is done on a freelance basis. If you have valued this post, would you consider donating £1.20 a month to support the production of this blog?

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