Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Archive for the ‘Calendars’ Category

The Epiphany again

Posted by universalis on 8 January 2020

Some people get into a terrible flap after the Epiphany, and six years out of seven they write to us to say that we have got the readings wrong. So this post really ought to appear every year.

In religious parts of the world the Epiphany is celebrated when it always has been: on the 6th of January, when good children get presents from the Kings. In more commercial parts of the world the Epiphany is moved to the Sunday after New Year’s Day, so that the Twelve Days of Christmas become the Eight Days or the Fourteen Days.

The reason for all the panic is that a day such as Wednesday 8 January 2020 has different readings depending on where you are. In religious countries it is 8 January, the second day after the Epiphany. In commercial countries it is Wednesday after Epiphany Sunday, the third day after the Epiphany.

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The date of the Epiphany

Posted by universalis on 1 January 2020

At about this time of year we tend to get a few emails from people who say that we have got the calendar wrong. This is because the solemnity of the Epiphany is celebrated on different dates in different parts of the world. There are two choices:

  • It can be celebrated on January the 6th, the thirteenth day of Christmas. That is why the eve of the Epiphany is called Twelfth Night.
  • It can be celebrated on the Sunday between the 2nd and 8th of January.

Universalis does both. If you set Universalis to use your local calendar, you will see the Epiphany on the right day for you.

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St George in England

Posted by universalis on 23 April 2019

Today is St George’s Day, and some people in England are wondering why it does not appear in Universalis today. The reason is that this year there is a collision with Easter Tuesday.

The Church’s calendar has to deal with collisions. Suppose, for instance, that the Annunciation, on the 25th of March, falls on Good Friday (as it did in 2016). Should we omit Good Friday that year, or omit the Annunciation? Or try to celebrate both at once?

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How Google Calendar works

Posted by universalis on 22 March 2019

Someone emailed us complaining that we were sending him notifications of events a year in the future, and asking us to stop. Since we do not send email notifications of that kind, this sounded strange, and worrying in that we cannot stop doing something that we weren’t doing in the first place!

The result of the investigation may be useful to someone else, which is why we are posting it here.

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St Patrick in Ireland 2019

Posted by universalis on 13 March 2019

The rules say that when a Solemnity (such as that of St Patrick in Ireland) falls on an important Sunday, such as one of the Sundays in Lent, it is celebrated on the Monday instead.

The Irish bishops have asked the Vatican if they can not apply the rule this year, and the Vatican has agreed. Accordingly the Solemnity of St Patrick will be celebrated in Ireland on Sunday the 17th of March, in place of the 2nd Sunday in Lent.

Universalis has just been updated to include this change. If you are in Ireland and haven’t received an update by Friday, you may want to update yourself “by hand”. Here are the instructions.

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Feasts of the Lord

Posted by universalis on 10 November 2018

The shape of the liturgy on Feasts of the Lord is not as explicitly specified as it might be, so here is a summary of the rules for the readings at Mass.

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The date of the Epiphany

Posted by universalis on 5 January 2018

Starting in 2018, the bishops of England and Wales have switched from the commercial to the religious calendar for the feasts of the Epiphany and the Ascension. For the Epiphany, this has the following effect:

2018: moved from 7 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 7 January (Saturday the 6th, transferred to the Sunday).

2019: moved from 6 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 6 January.

2020: moved from 5 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 5 January (Monday the 6th, transferred to the Sunday).

2021: moved from 3 January (the first Sunday after 1 January) to 6 January.

To summarize: the first time you see any difference will be in 2021. But the change is already there in Universalis, and if you are bored or curious, you can use Universalis to look at the calendar for 2021 and see it in action.

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The Gospels in Week 18

Posted by universalis on 1 August 2017

Next week is the 18th week in Ordinary Time. On the Monday, the Gospel is the Feeding of the Five Thousand. However, the Gospel for Sunday of the 18th week in Ordinary Time in Year A is also the Feeding of the Five Thousand. This means that the same Gospel could be read on consecutive days, which is a bad thing. It is avoided by reading Tuesday’s Gospel on the Monday  (Jesus walking on the water) and by having a different Gospel on the Tuesday.

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The date of the Ascension

Posted by universalis on 26 May 2017

In some parts of the world the Ascension of the Lord is celebrated on the feast of the Ascension. In others it is celebrated on a nearby Sunday so as not to interfere with the pursuit of profit.

Universalis has a long list of local calendars, and those calendars put the Ascension on the Thursday or the Sunday, according to the local rules. So if you saw the Ascension yesterday when you expected it the day after tomorrow – or the other way round – then please adjust your calendar.

In particular, if you live in the diocese of Boston, or in one of the other American dioceses that celebrate the Ascension on its proper day, don’t use the “USA” calendar, use the “Boston” one (or Hartford or wherever). In the list of calendars in Universalis, you will find Boston within the USA.

In the Android app, the calendar is in the settings menu. In the iOS app it is at the top of the calendar listing. In the Mac program it is in the preferences. In the Windows program it is in the menu. In the web pages you will see a “Settings” link at the end of the list of hours.

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New release: new calendars

Posted by universalis on 7 July 2015

The latest release of Universalis adds some new local calendars. Each diocese in Scotland is now included, and so are Plymouth and Singapore. As usual, various misprints are also corrected.

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