A church year with the Church of South India

One of my favorite liturgies — dignified, flexible, not stuffy — is the old Church of South India liturgy. The CSI is a union church, consolidating Anglican, Methodist and Reformed denominations; it has 3.8 million members today and there are churches worldwide.

The old liturgy has the fingerprints of a newly post-colonial church; heck, it’s in English and was printed by Oxford University Press! So it seems very Western. (There’s a new liturgy; I don’t like it as much.)

But what really makes the work sing are its direction on how to modify the service to accommodate the then-unmelded denominational traditions and its church calendar.

The CSI used a one-year calendar that was both lectionary-based and thematically-driven. That should be interesting to Free Churchfolk with a taste for historic liturgy, even if only as an index or a “checklist” for possible preaching topics.

While the old and new liturgies have appeared online (at the website for a parish in Michigan) the lectionary never has. And while I’m guessing it’s in copyright, I think its use as a research tool — especially since it’s out of print and hard to find — might maybe justify my publishing a version here.

This is a spreadsheet, with my own way to describe the liturgical year. The ODS version — which you may open with OpenOffice or Google Docs — it the original. The Excel version is generated and its dates for Easter may not work.

  1. Church of South India church year (ODS version)
  2. Church of South India church year (XLS version)

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

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