How to Embed the Revised Common Lectionary on Your Church’s Website

Want to post a good schedule of Bible readings for your congregation? Then you might want to know how to embed the Revised Common Lectionary on your church’s website. Follow the steps below and/or watch the video. It’s easy!

Note:  The Revised Common Lectionary is an ecumenically selected three-year schedule of Bible readings recommended for worship and teaching on Sundays and high holy days.

What you will need:

  • A Gmail account.  (It’s free!  You can open one here if you don’t have one already.)
  • Access to the source (html) code of pages on your church’s website. If your church uses WordPress this access is provided by the editing window off the Dashboard of WordPress.

The RCL display will look like this on your web page, (or narrower, according to the space available).  It contains live links which reveal the chapters and verses, and by secondary links, the entire readings themselves.

RCL_display

Steps to embed the Revised Common Lectionary on your website:

 

  1. Go to this page at Vanderbilt’s RCL website:
    http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/calendar.php
  2. Copy to your clipboard the URL of the Lectionary’s calendar feed.  This is in blue in the fourth paragraph, and it begins, webcal://
  3. Go to your Gmail inbox and click on “Calendar” in the black bar at the top of the inbox.  If not found in that black bar it can be located by clicking on the “More” drop-down menu in that black bar.
  4. In the left hand margin of the Calendar page click on the black triangle next to “Other calendars”, and then click on “add by url”.
  5. Your cursor should be blinking inside the window that says URL.  If not, place your cursor there and press the Control and V keys together.  This pastes the contents of yourr clipboard into that window.  You probably will not want to share this calendar, so leave that box unchecked.  Click on add calendar.
  6. You should see the RCL calendar show up in your left hand margin, if not immediately, then after a while.  You may need to substitute http:// for webcal:// in the URL if the calendar fails to show up in the margin.
  7. In the upper right corner of the Calendar page click on the gear symbol and select “Settings”.
  8. At the top left corner of the page that opens select “Calendars,” then at the bottom of the next page click on “Revised Common Lectionary”.
  9. You are now on the page that contains the embed code for your RCL calendar.  It is to the right of the words, “Embed This Calendar”.  The embed code appears in a small window that says “Paste this code into your website”.  With your cursor, highlight all the code in that window and press the Control and C keys, copying it to your clipboard.
  10. Go to the page on your website where you want the Revised Common Lectionary to appear, and access the html code of that page and paste the embed code where you want it on that page.  If you don’t know where to paste the embed code, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and paste it at the end of all the rest of the code on that page.
  11. Save the change you just made to the html code and view the page in your web browser.  If the RCL display is too wide, displacing other elements on the page, you may need to change the width and length values in the embed code.  The embed code sets the width as 800 and the height as 600.  Try halving those values.  Replace 800 with 400 and 600 with 300.  Save the change and now view the page.  It should no longer displace other elements on the page.
  12. If your website uses WordPress you might want to show the RCL display in a sidebar.  If so, in the left margin of the Dashboard select “Appearance” and then “Widgets”.
  13. From the left hand side of the widgets page, find a Text widget and drag and drop it into your sidebar widget area on the right side of that page.
  14. Type a title for the display area, like Revised Common Lectionary, or perhaps Bible Readings.
  15. Insert your cursor in the text area and paste the embed code there from your clipboard by pressing the Control and V keys.
    Then save your work by clicking on the save button.
  16. Finally, check to see whether the RCL display works properly by clicking on the “view page” button in the black bar at the top of the editing window.

You might try printing out these instructions, and/or watching the video below if you have difficulty following the steps.

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