Know where You Are on the Liturgical Calendar

It can be confusing keeping track of saints and feast days, particularly in regard to the General Calendar, Local Calendars, and if you are at all involved with an Order.  I’ve been asked from time to time to provide guidance for people trying to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, and I’m always looking for convenient “One stop Shop” options for my own prayer life.

Well, I’ve spent most of the past day and night working on a Spreadsheet that gets that process started.  It is ready for beta-testing.  Right now, all it does is calculate what day of what Season it is, and what the celebrations are, if any.

If you want to try it out, download the following attachment: Collects.

Here’s how it works (I’ve only uploaded it in Excel 2007+ format):

1.  The first page of the Spreadsheet, currently simply “Sheet1”, announces the date, the day of the liturgical week, and what if any special feasts or memorials are designated for today according to your preferences (see below).  If you are following along with the Office, then you’ll know to turn to the Proper of Saints and the appropriate Common for the kind of Saint.  Eventually, I hope to add features where it will automatically provide the pages, and maybe even the collects, antiphons and reading references.  Right now, though, it just tells you what’s going on in the most general sense.

2.  Here’s the fun part.  The second tab is called “Preferences.”  I give you a list of religious orders (Carmelite, Dominican, Franciscan, Benedictine and even Anglican Ordinariate).  If you wish to use the calendar of one of those Orders, enter its number at the top of the list (as I am a Carmelite, the default option is 1).

Next, it asks for Nationality.  I’ve done the major English-speaking countries: US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malta and Ireland.  Again, each has a number.  Enter the number that corresponds to your homeland.

4.  The Third tab on the Spreadsheet is called “Saints” and is the calendar of saints.  I have a special column there for “Patrons.”  If you want to highlight a patron saint of you or your family, or else you want to add a special patron saint or celebration that’s not already listed, enter it in that column.   You could put in anniversaries, birthdays or parish dedication days if you want to include those in your Office.

5.  The next tab is called “Liturgical Seasons.”  Don’t mess with this, as it’s carefully programmed, and some columns are hidden, but based upon the dates of Easter and Christmas for the year, it calculates the entire liturgical year, from last Advent through next Christmas.

The calendar year’s Christmas will always be under “next,” and the Calendar year’s Christmas season and epiphany will always be under “Last.”

But I put a lot of work into looking up the algorithms for calculating Easter and Ordinary Time.

The last sheet is called Calculations–don’t even go there; a lot of the background formulae are there.

Hope this helps a bit.  As I add features, I’ll repost it.

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2 responses to “Know where You Are on the Liturgical Calendar

  1. You can hide tab 5 entirely, you know, and lock it as well. Someone could still unlock and unhide it, but that’s far less likely than if you leave it open like that.

    You can also create custom dropdown lists that will automatically fill in the numbers from tab2 in a hidden cell, so the user doesn’t have to deal with the number at all.

    • Ooh, good to know. Thanks, Joy. I know how I can set it up to be a very handy guide to LOTH–There are a couple issues I’m still trying to figure out (i.e., Sundays and moveable feasts like St. Joseph the Worker US observation), but most of the heavy stuff is done. The big issue is going to be that, if I want it to display collects, or antiphons, or say which Propers and Commons to use, etc., then that is going to take typing all that information in first.

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