As promised in my post “Daily Office in Your Pocket,” here is a rather long list of smartphone and tablet applications focused on the Daily Office. As an Apple user for over thirty years, I have naturally used iOS devices. I am therefore more familiar with apps for iPhone and iPad that can be found in the U.S. App Store. However, most of the following can also be found in the Google Play Store for Android. Many of them are available as well for Windows Phone, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, and generic mobile browsers. I have probably missed some, so I hope readers will add them in the comments.
American Book of Common Prayer. Several apps allow following the Daily Office as set out in the 1979 Prayer Book of The Episcopal Church, which is often used by other Christian groups. (1) There are various apps and electronic publications that just include the text of the Prayer Book as it appears in print. That requires a lot of flipping from place to place, which is awkward on a phone or computer. The better apps are much more interactive. That follows the directive of Archbishop Cranmer that Morning and Evening Prayer should be so simple that it takes significantly less time to figure out how to say them than it takes to say them once they are figured out.
(2) To my taste, the best in the App Store is Mission St. Clare by Sound Marketing, LLC. This provides complete services of Morning and Evening Prayer (Rite II) in both English and Spanish for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There are few decisions to make. All that is needed is to click on one of the four main buttons and the chosen service appears ready to be prayed from top to bottom, with all the propers in their proper places. Spanish Morning Prayer also includes the Midday Office, and Spanish Evening Prayer also includes Compline. Within the English services, there is the option of using the Coverdale Psalter in preference to BCP 1979. The readings from the 1979 Daily Office Lectionary are in the New Revised Standard Version. Other enrichments include optional music — several hymns and sometimes a chanted psalm — and a commemoration of a feast or holy person when appointed. Several prayers are suggested for each service in the intercessions sections; the user can skip these, of course. The presentation is very clean and simple. This would be my favorite 1979 Daily Office app, if not for the St. Bede’s Breviary (see below).
(3) Electronic Common Prayer from Church Publishing is the official TEC Prayer Book app, so I will spend far more time describing it than any other. It is pricy for a smartphone app, visually appealing, and it works … with some work on the user’s part. eCP provides all the services of the church, but using the Daily Office section requires almost as much flipping from place to place as using the printed book. Some of the choices seem inconsistent to me.
For example, Morning Prayer II begins with a rubric stating that the Officiant can begin with an opening sentence, with the Confession, or “with the versicle ‘Lord, open our lips’ on page 80.” Using the opening sentences requires tapping a link, scrolling through all the seasonal sentences (regardless of the present season) to reach the general sentences, making a choice, reading the sentence, and then tapping the Back arrow. The Confession is printed in place, so skipping it requires manually scrolling past it. Scrolling from the top is the only option if the user wishes to “begin with the versicle … on page 80,” since there is no link to jump there and no page numbers. The user must then scroll past all the seasonal antiphons (regardless of season), then past Psalm 95 (represented only by a link), the Jubilate (printed in full), and “Christ our Passover” (printed in full, even on the 314 out of 365 days it won’t be used) to the rubric for the Psalm Appointed.
Yes, I know eCP is trying to reproduce the printed book, but the designers didn’t have a problem providing the Opening Sentences with a link rather than printing them in place, so why not do the same for the Venite and/or its alternatives? The Church of England Common Worship apps (see below) provide a complete service with the most popular option printed in place and the alternatives available through links and pop-up windows. The eCP could allow making choices in advance and then display the text of only the options that will be used. Why not present — at least optionally — only the choices that are currently relevant? The program knows what day and season it is, because it links correctly to the lectionary index page for the current date in the calendar, although it apparently does not know that a feast falling on Sunday (like Confession of Peter and Conversion of Paul in 2015) is generally transferred.
Here are instructions on continuing after the Venite in eCP:
Tap the ‘Index by day’ link, jump to the lectionary page, find and tap the appropriate psalm choice, pray the psalm, tap the Back arrow to find the appropriate first lesson, tap that to read the NRSV pericope, tap the Back arrow twice to Morning Prayer II, tap the Table of Canticles link, scroll past the inapplicable seasonal choices, then tap the chosen item (eCP is the only web or iOS application that provides the canticles from Enriching our Worship I, through an in-app purchase). After you sing or say the first canticle, tap Back twice, scroll up to the Index link, tap that, tap on the appropriate second lesson, read it, tap Back twice, tap the Canticles link again, scroll to the correct link, tap it, say the second canticle, and tap Back twice to continue with the Creed (unless you want to scroll up and tap four more times for a third lesson).
And so it goes. Again, all of this works easier than it sounds, and the presentation is beautiful, but it seems to violate Cranmer’s advice to keep it simple.
(4) Perhaps the most awkward part of the printed Prayer Book & Bible method of saying the BCP Office is looking up and paging to the lections. There are at least two apps that simply provide the readings from the American BCP’s Daily Office Lectionary. These can easily be plugged into the framework of the invariable parts of Morning and Evening Prayer. My preference is Daily Office Lectionary by Jim Coates Computer Programming. This launches to a page with the lectionary psalm for the morning already showing, with the evening psalm below it when one scrolls down. Swiping across brings up additional pages with the three daily lessons on them. The user can choose between the New King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version (Anglicised Edition). On an iPad in landscape orientation, facing pages are displayed. Note: not only the readings but also the psalms come from the chosen Bible version; there is no option to display the 1979 BCP or Coverdale Psalters. The same is true of Coates’ program Sunday Lectionary, which provides either the BCP or RCL readings for the current week in NKJV or NRSV (he also sells Prayers and Thanksgivings, which contains the section of that name in the BCP, plus the Prayers of the People).
(5) Another Daily Office Lectionary app is Book of Common Prayer: Daily Office Readings by Logos Creative LLC. On launch, this just presents a stark page with links to the psalms and readings for the current day, all of which are from the English Standard Version. Since the BCP has been placed in the public domain, I can’t explain why these apps don’t use the authorized Psalters, but it doesn’t matter much for personal prayer.
(6) Although it is technically not a native app, the mobile edition of the St. Bede’s Breviary web app looks just like a native when it is installed on the user’s home screen. (In iOS, that process is the same as saving a bookmark; I assume there is a similar method for installing web apps on other devices.) St. Bede’s adopts an amazingly flexible approach to the 1979 version of the offices, including both contemporary and traditional language and a wide choice of calendars and lectionaries. Each service can be customized (within the rubrics) to the user’s specifications and preferences can be saved for future services. However, there are no specific intercessions supplied as in the Mission St. Clare version. St. Bede does provide optional enhancements like hymns, antiphons, and Marian devotions for an experience reminiscent of The Prayer Book Office (original editions by Paul Hartzell, later edited by Howard Galley). Of course, like any other Web application, St. Bede’s Breviary requires internet access, but this is my favorite 1979 Daily Office app anyway.
(7) Forward Movement Publications has a Daily Prayer site (prayer.forwardmovement.org) that provides the day’s installment of Forward Day by Day and a plain-vanilla version of the current office (Morning or Evening Prayer, depending on the user’s time zone) from the 1979 Prayer Book.
(8) Another option is dailyoffice.org from the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. This is actually the blog of an online community that provides the text of Morning and Evening Prayer each day and often a video of the celebration. It also provides other prayer resources such as Midday and Night Prayers.
(9) Episcopal Calendar by Timothy Jones is just what it says, a visually attractive 1979 BCP calendar without the prayers or readings (or the holy women and men added to the calendar since 2006). It is pretty, but you might prefer to spend your $1.99 on an app with more functions.
(10) For audio-only, there are several BCP Daily Office podcasts on iTunes or online, though most are not really daily, but include just Sunday Evensong or Compline. The Episcopal Church in Garrett County, Maryland, has daily Morning Prayer; The Rev. Dr. Chip Lee is a former broadcaster, and it shows. There may other daily Episcopal services available (the comments await your input).
Older Prayer Books. It is possible to arrange options in most of the 1979 BCP apps to closely resemble the 1928 and earlier American Prayer Books, but at least one iPhone app focuses directly on that task:
(1) iPray BCP caters to those who prefer traditional language, including the Coverdale Bible for the Psalms and the King James Version for the readings. The major offices of Morning and Evening Prayer are drawn from the 1662 English BCP, with Midday Prayer and Compline from the 1962 Canadian BCP. The calendar is essentially the American 1928, the course of psalms follows Cranmer’s one-month cycle, and the readings come from the 1922 English Lectionary. This app provides Morning and Evening Prayer in almost exactly the same form as most Anglicans have followed since the mid-sixteenth century. It is excellent for praying along with recordings of the psalms and canticles from an English Cathedral-style choir.
(2) www.CommonPrayer.org is a website (which can be installed on an iOS home page) that provides daily Morning and Evening Prayer in accordance with the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer, with the psalms, readings, and collects appointed for each day in the 1943 Lectionary (the one printed in prayer books after that date). The site also provides invariable forms of the pre-Reformation Breviary offices (Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline, but not Matins/Vigils) in Elizabethan English, with the psalms appointed for an ordinary Sunday in the Sarum breviary.
The Church of England. While iPray provides a version of the 1662 BCP (which remains the liturgical and theological standard for the CofE), most English congregations today use the alternative or supplementary services and materials in Common Worship (CW). The core of the CW project is printed on just two pages facing one another, outlines for “A Service of the Word,” and “A Service of the Word with Holy Communion.” The outlines are completed with materials authorized in accordance with CW guidelines. The full forms of the Daily Office printed in the Prayer Book, the main CW volume (850 pages), and in Common Worship: Daily Prayer (816 pages) are really just fleshed-out examples of A Service of the Word. In addition to the CofE web app presenting traditional and contemporary services at daily.commonworship.com, I have found three native iOS apps available in America that allow users to pray the CW Daily Office:
(1) The publishers of CW at Church House have contracted with Aimer Media for their own app, Daily Prayer: The Official Common Worship App from the Church of England. This presents the same material as at daily.commonworship.com with a beautiful presentation, and it is free for daily online use. The contemporary form uses the standard CW services, the CW Psalter derived from TEC 1979, and NRSV (Anglicized Edition) readings; the traditional form is 1662 BCP with Coverdale Psalter (30-day cycle) and Authorized Version (KJV) readings. Again, this is perfect for praying with English Cathedral music. Since the two versions use different lectionaries, users should probably stick with one or the other. According to the app, it won’t work offline without an ongoing paid-up subscription (first 30 days free, then 12 months for $2.99). With a subscription — and unlike Aminetic’s app (discussed below)—Daily Prayer users can access texts offline well into the future. Aimer Media has released related apps that also require subscriptions after a free trial: the interactive editions include the complete Lectionary (including the collects and post communion prayers), just the Sunday material, and a series of Reflections for Daily Prayer.
(2) You may prefer the unofficial and perpetually free app Common Prayer: A browser for the Church of England Daily Prayer Feed by Amimetic. It is simpler than the official app, but the presentation is not as pretty. As the name suggests, this app requires internet access; the feed only includes the Morning, Evening, and Night services for yesterday, today, and tomorrow (in both traditional and contemporary forms). However, once a particular service has been downloaded, the CP app can save it on the device for offline access, allowing use on overnight trips away from wireless civilization.
(3) Just released is Daily: Daily Offices from the Church of England, a new Common Worship app from Charles Yang. This one offers a simpler interface, an optional white-on-black theme for use at night, and offices linked to the date and time at the user’s location. Only the contemporary-language services are provided, and there is no facility for offline use. This app looks particularly attractive on an iPhone; on an iPad, it uses very large type that would be helpful for the visually impaired.
(4) Celebrating Common Prayer (a variant of The Daily Office SSF) can be installed as a shortcut on the iPhone user’s home page (the same process in Safari as saving a bookmark). This is a full form of the office as celebrated by the Society of St. Francis, with texts and enrichments (antiphons, hymns, etc.) in contemporary English. It been revised to comply with CW. The link is to the full book online, not an interactive application. If you like it, buy the hardcopy — this is a good version of the Office that I used for several years.
Other Anglican Daily Offices. I haven’t found any apps in Apple’s U.S. App Store that provide any forms of the Anglican Daily Office in use outside the TEC and CofE (there are some complete Prayer Books). Perhaps readers know of a few that are available in the App or Google Play Stores in their country. If so, please share that in the comments. For those willing to use a web app or install a link on their home page, there are additional options:
(1) For example, the Scottish Episcopal Church posts their version of Morning, Evening, and Night Prayer for each day at scotland.anglican.org/category/daily-prayer. Other Anglican provinces may do the same, but I haven’t checked them all.
(2) Australian Daily Prayer (dailyprayer.ampers.x10.mx) has complete morning and evening services each day from the 1995 Prayer Book for Australia, with ESV readings; an app is available on Google Play. The web app looks particularly good on an iPhone. Remember that the date Down Under is often a day ahead.
(3) A couple of Anglicans run the site Oremus.org that provides a single short office each day suitable for morning or evening use. This would be a good choice for someone who thinks that the fuller forms of the Office take up too much time. There are daily prayers following the Anglican Cycle of Prayer.
(4) The Northumbria Community posts their Celtic-inspired Daily Office each day at www.northumbriacommunity.org/offices/how-to-use-daily-office.
(5) The Roman Catholic Anglican Use site bookofhours.org provides daily Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline from The Book of Divine Worship, the Vatican-authorized variant of the 1979 American Book of Common Prayer. In this case, imagine Rite I with the Coverdale Psalter and KJV readings. The regular version of the site is visually hideous, but usable on a computer or iPad; it is far too small to read on an iPhone. There is a mobile version aimed at Blackberries, but using it for Morning Prayer on an iOS device will leave 16 open tabs behind. If you are obligated to say the Office in that Use with this app, you have my sympathy.
(6) There was a native iOS app called just “Daily Office” by Keith Olding that also provided simple forms of Morning and Evening Prayer based on the American 1979 Rite II, but not exactly corresponding to any authorized rite. It is apparently no longer available, but still works if you have it.
Protestant Daily Office Apps. (1) The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod sets an exceptionally high standard with the app PrayNow, which provides a range of prayers and services adapted from The Lutheran Service Book (2006). The German reform of the Daily Office began even before the English, and this app provides both shorter and fuller daily versions of Matins, Vespers, and the other offices. Scripture, including the Psalms, is drawn mostly from the English Standard Version, with the other material in a compatible style. The Psalter is pointed for chanting and music (more Gelineau or Taizé than Gregorian) is provided. There is even provision for making personal notes on the daily scriptural and patristic readings. This is what the Daily Office in eCP should be.
(2) Another useful resource for the Daily Office from a less likely source is the Presbyterian app Daily Prayer PC(USA). This draws from The Book of Common Worship (1993). Scripture, including the Psalter, is from the NRSV. The Morning and Evening Prayer services resemble their BCP 1979 counterparts, except that the canticles (as in PrayNow) come after the readings and sermon/meditation, rather than between them. An optional in-app purchase, “Company of Pastors,” adds a longer Psalm selection and a daily reading from the Book of Confessions for those who desire them.
(3) Countless other apps provide daily prayers and/or daily Bible readings, but do not fit the Divine Office model focused on praying the Psalter.
The Traditional Catholic Breviary. Cranmer boiled down the eight services of the pre-Reformation Western Daily Office (the Breviary) into two: Morning and Evening Prayer. An English version of the Breviary is over 1850 pages long; with same-sized type, Cranmer’s 1549 Daily Office would fit in 10 (though, to be fair, it also required a 12-page lectionary, a Bible, and almost 70 collects). High Church Anglicans have always been fascinated by the old office and have published several editions, both with the medieval psalm distribution and with the very different arrangement promulgated by Pope Pius X in 1911. There is an Anglican Breviary still in print that is essentially a translation into Cranmerian English of the Roman Breviary as it existed in 1955, but with the CofE Collects; some Anglicans, Romans, and Western Rite Syrian Orthodox use it today. That exact version hasn’t yet been translated into a smartphone app (though Derek Olsen is at work on an online version), but the old office is nonetheless available:
(1) Brevarium Meum (iPhone) and Brevarium Meum HD (iPad) are front ends for the Divinum Officium web archive (divinumofficium.com). The only significant differences from the Anglican Breviary are that Scripture (including the Psalms) is quoted from Douay-Reims rather than King James or Coverdale, there are prayers for the Pope, and some collects differ. The user-friendly 1962 General Rubrics have been substituted for the Anglican Breviary’s rendition of the complex 1911 rubrics (which replaced an even more complicated set). The English text here is displayed in parallel with the currently-authorized Latin text; a Magyar (Hungarian) version is also available. News Flash: the same Latin/English text is now found more conveniently in Laudate (see below).
(2) iMass HD is slightly more complex. It also draws on Divinum Officium, but provides a wider collection of texts. iMass not only has the current version of the Traditional Breviary services for each day (which remain authorized by Rome for some purposes), but also several previous versions — notably the pre-Tridentine Monastic Breviary, the Roman Breviary as standardized in 1570 (a close cousin to the Sarum Breviary that Cranmer used before 1549), and various twentieth-century reformed versions. In addition to the office of the day, the user can also pray one of four votive offices. The text is Latin, of course, but each version has a parallel column in Douay-Reims English or in Magyar, Italian, or German. This app also provides, as its main mission, the text of the Traditional Latin Mass and videos of daily celebrations using the old rite.
(3) If you are willing to live by Central European Time, the iOS app Barroux (French; go to barroux.org for English) allows you to pray along with an audio-live-stream of the Benedictine monks of Le Barroux Abbey near Avignon singing the traditional Monastic Office (minus the Night Office) in Latin Gregorian Chant. The services are available for download at more convenient times on barrouxchant.com.
The Current Roman Catholic Daily Office. In the early 1970s, shortly after Vatican II, a radically reshaped Daily Office displaced the Traditional Breviary. The Liturgy of the Hours fills four fat volumes (about 2000 pages each) in Latin or the three official English-language versions (which slightly differ between America, Eurasia, and Africa). It is enormously easier to pray the Office with an app, and several are available:
(1) First, the free ones. Laudate bills itself as the “#1 Catholic App” because it includes a massive body of valuable resources for free (although iPieta has even more, not including the Office, for less than a dollar). Laudate provides this mostly by tying into various internet sites. The Liturgy of the Hours is served from Universalis.org (Roman Catholic Buddy also provides the Universalis offices, but the app is otherwise undistinguished). For copyright reasons, Universalis cannot post the 1963 Grail Psalter (used in America and Eurasia) or the more literal 2008 Revised Grail Psalter (used in Africa) online, so it uses its own translation. Other than that, Laudete provides a complete set of all the offices for the current day. It has also just added the Traditional Breviary in Latin and English from Divinum Officium.
(2) Catholic Calendar from Universalis itself has a narrower focus. It draws all the resources for each day (Mass, Office, life of the saint, etc.) into one place, making it easier to use than Laudate. Since it uses the website, this free app also has the unofficial Psalter, but an in-app purchase allows upgrading to the full Universalis app described below. Without the upgrade, you can only view the web pages for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The app loads the three days of material on launch and retains it even if the app is quit and restarted in Airplane Mode, so constant web access is unnecessary.
(3) iBreviary from Fr. Paulo Padrini is the app I prefer and have used most often. It has a clear user interface, uses the Grail Psalms and other authorized texts, and allows downloading up to a week at a time for offline use. In addition to the current Roman Rite Liturgy of the Hours in English, Latin, Arabic, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Turkish, the app includes the pre-Vatican II Ordo Vetus in Latin and the current Ambrosian Rite in Italian (for use in Milan); it accommodates the proper variations for seven religious orders. Besides the Office, the app also has an extensive collection of prayers and liturgical materials, including all of the Mass texts, and is reportedly the most popular choice for priests who use an iPad to celebrate. The recent changes in connection with the revision of the Roman Missal have been incorporated into the Daily Office as well. All this comes at the cost of a storage footprint of 166 MB vs. 35 for Catholic Calendar. Note: the App Store has two versions of the app: “iBreviary TS Plus” and “iBreviary Pro Terra Sancta HD.” Unless you have an old device, download “Plus,” which is the current version (5.0.1 vs. 3.2) and suitable for both iPhone and iPad.
(4) Universalis allows full access to the Mass texts and Divine Office for a one-time fee (about $14) or for $0.99/month (first month free). In addition to the features available through Catholic Calendar, the paid app uses the Grail Psalter (so it can be used canonically for public worship in most places). The one big advantage to this app over the others is that it downloads all 5000 pages of the Liturgy of the Hours at once, so it does not need further web access (but a lot of storage). A priest or religious under obligation to say the Office can be offline for as long as necessary.
(5) Divine Office 2 from Surgeworks is the most expensive of all these apps, at almost $20. It is one of the best produced, and has a unique feature: the text for every service is optionally accompanied by a soundtrack — a small group celebrating that Office together. The hymns are sung, but the psalms are (oddly) just recited. You can join in for the sense of participating in a communal celebration, or just listen in your car or in bed. Up to 21 days can be downloaded in advance, so users do not need constant internet access to use the app. Note: all this content — using the Grail Psalter and other texts approved for public use in the United States — is available for free on the divineoffice.org website. Podcasts of the audios can also be downloaded from iTunes. The app just makes all this much more convenient and less net-access dependent.
(6) Prior versions of the Surgeworks Divine Office (with text and audio, but fewer features) are available (for less money) as separate iOS apps for Morning, Evening, and Night Prayers. For the Office of Readings and midday offices, only Divine Office 2, the website, and the podcasts are available; there is an upgrade path for the older apps.
(7) The iOS App Store also carries several versions of the official Liturgy of the Hours in other languages. I know of Liturgia Horarum (in Latin and Spanish), Breviár (Slovak), Breviář (Czech), and Zsolozsma (Magyar); there may be others.
(8) The Roman Catholic app Magnificat (for the U.S. calendar; also available in British, Spanish, and French versions) has morning, evening, and night prayers that are modeled on the official Liturgy of the Hours, but significantly shorter for use by busy laypeople. At $1.99 a month (after a free trial), the app supplies many other readings, prayers, and meditations for each day.
(9) Despite their names, neither the $2.99 Breviary: Book of Catholic Prayers nor iBrevarium present the old Breviary or new Liturgy of the Hours. They provide other prayers and readings, the latter only in Chinese.
The Eastern Rites. Cranmer’s Daily Office radically simplified the Breviary, but that was itself a short (“brevis”) synopsis of still older liturgical books. To this day, the Eastern Rites (whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Non-Chalcedonian) observe daily and annual prayer cycles of literally Byzantine complexity. In some rites, it is impossible to put more than a fraction of the available material into one volume … or a small set of volumes. Not surprisingly, apps that attempt any Eastern-Rite daily office are rare but invaluable.
(1) Unfortunately, some of the best programs on the App Store are not in English. I am told that Litourgia, developed by the Schools of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut, does a remarkable job with the Melkite (Byzantine) Office, but the services are in Arabic. Similarly, SyroMalabar YaamaPraarthanakal by Tedy Kanjirathinkal provides the appropriate Evening and Morning Offices for the season, week, and day in Malayalam. This app follows the use of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, the third-largest of the 24 churches in full communion with the Pope (after the Latins and Ukrainians).
(2) I was surprised to discover an excellent app devoted to the Chaldean Rite, Emmanuel Chaldean Prayer from Sister Tabitha Mariam of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy (Diocese) of St. Peter the Apostle based near San Diego. The Chaldeans, like the Syro-Malabar, are Catholics who have preserved many of the East Syrian liturgical traditions of the ancient (“Nestorian”) Church of the East. This app provides a short version of their Daily Office in English, with proper seasonal and daily variations, along with a considerable amount of additional prayer material. More, including the recently reformed Liturgy of SS. Addai and Mari (in English and Chaldean, also called Assyrian or neo-Aramaic), can be found on the Eparchy’s web site, kaldu.org.
(3) For the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, MOSC Lectionary provides the RSV readings (no psalms) for the Daily Office and Eucharist on Sundays, major feasts, and weekdays from Lent through Easter week. The MOSC, centered in Kerala, India, is another descendant of the Church of the East, but now uses a West Syrian Rite (Liturgy of St. James rather than Addai and Mari). It is close kin to the Mar Thoma Church, which is in partial communion with the Anglican churches. An e-book, Lenten Prayers, with the MOSC Lenten Matins and Vespers services (in English) is available on iBooks. Mar Thoma churches in Philadelphia and Dallas have podcasts on iTunes.
(4) From the Caucasus comes Daily Worship: Liturgical Calendar of Armenian Apostolic Church. This provides the full Daily Office of the world’s oldest national church in essentially its late medieval form, together with the calendar and readings for each day in English, modern Armenian, or Russian. The chosen language is also reflected in the user interface and supplemental material, but the Office text itself is in Old Armenian. Translations and commentary are promised for future versions.
(5) There are surprisingly few English-language apps on worship in the largest (and most complex) Eastern Rite, the Byzantine. Daily Readings from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America provides a liturgical calendar with biographies of the major saints on their day, information on fasting, and daily bible readings. There is a glossary of Orthodox terms and a small collection of services, including some from the Daily Office. This is a good app; it attractively does what it set out to do.
(5) OCF Connect from the Orthodox Christian Fellowship Student Ministry is focused on news about the organization, but there are daily readings for both the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and very full forms of the private Morning and Evening prayers, among other devotions and teachings.
(6) Pray Always (Negnet Solutions) contains considerable Byzantine Rite prayer material (mostly from the Russians), including orders for individual daily devotions.
(7) Melkites of NYC live-streams video (and provides on-demand replays) of services at the Church of the Virgin Mary in Brooklyn. This is a congregation of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, another of the Eastern groups in communion with Rome. The services are basically in the Byzantine Rite (mostly in English with a little Arabic and less Greek), but there are some obvious influences from the Roman Rite. The altar is at the head of the nave, not behind the Holy Doors of a solid iconostasis, and some language reflects the recent revision of the Roman Missal. Worth watching if you have never seen an Eastern service; they have a great choir and clergy in fine voice.
(8) The description on the App Store for Economikon (Marshall T. Rose) looks very promising, but users of iOS 8 will get an error message when they try to access the Melkite liturgical material. I wrote the developer, who told me that Apple’s upgrade cycle is too fast for him to justify keeping the free app current.
The Copts. There is a rich supply of Coptic Church materials available in the App Store, probably because so many Egyptian Christians have immigrated to America. Many of these apps include the Coptic Daily Office, the Agpeya. Unlike the original Prayer Book (and Liturgy of the Hours) tradition of distributing the entire Psalter across a month, and the Traditional Breviary use of a once-a-week cycle, the Agpeya distributes all 150 psalms across the offices in a single day. I have used two of these apps:
(1) iAgapeya (IAAK Technologies) is probably the smoother choice. It has more options for the type used for the display and includes a choice between the King James Version, NKJV, French, and Arabic. It also has slightly more supplementary material.
(2) Agpeya (Johnny Morris) covers all the basics (without the NKJV or French options), plus it also allows listening to the chanted offices—though only in Arabic—if you have about three hours available.
In conclusion: These applications provide a variety of approaches to daily prayer for your use or study. More Daily Office apps appear every week, so use the comments to let us know your favorites. As I find new ones, I’ll add a comment, too.
The featured image is “Reality Distortion Field” (2007) by Pawel Marciniak. It is licensed under Creative Commons.
Against weighty tradition, I commend another approach to the Divine Office that makes its origin, and hence its eschatological purpose, quite clear:
The Eucharistic Form.
It is explained here.
Dale, wow! Thank you for your thoroughness. This is a great, ecumenical gift.
I knew I missed some. For the Maronite Catholic Church (a largely Lebanese body in communion with the Holy See) the app for the diocese covering most of the United States, the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon in St. Louis, provides information about the eparchy, a liturgical calendar, and (under the “More” tab at the bottom) a “Prayer of the Day” section that includes a week’s worth of the Daily Office from MaroniteFaith.com (which has its own Android app). Note that the offices for today and yesterday are from the current week and the others from the upcoming week.… Read more »
An all-English email “Byzantine Daily Office” service is available from Eastern Christian Publications here: http://ecpubs.com/daily-office.html. It’s not an app (yet!) but you receive an email with three “levels” of prayer texts as interactive PDF files. The cost is only 25 cents per day. Complete, Lite and Propers-only versions allow the user to select what they have time for day-by-day. The changeable parts for the Hours (not including Matins or Vespers) are included according to the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Typicon, and therefore you have everything needed to pray the Hours privately. Jack Figel, Editor and Publisher
I have checked out the site suggested above by Jack Figel (founder of Eastern Christian Publications and the Orientale Lumen Conferences, an annual ecumenical meeting in Washington, DC of laity, clergy, and theologians). This list was always intended to be a work-in-progress. If there is a future version, it will include the following: (6) There are few English-language apps on worship in the largest (and most complex) Eastern Rite, the Byzantine. Among the other available alternatives, check out the electronic publication service Byzantine Daily Office (BDO) from Eastern Christian Publications. For $7.50/month or $90.00/year, this provides a daily email in… Read more »
I’ll round out the week since the list was published with another two new discoveries. There are more Coptic Orthodox applications on the App Store than for any other non-Western Rite. I haven’t had time to try them all, but I did find a real gem a few days ago: Coptic Reader from the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States provides the Agpeya (monastic office) in English, Arabic, Coptic, or in parallel columns if desired. (The user interface features two-finger swiping rather than back arrows, which takes getting used to. Multiple columns work much better on an iPad… Read more »
I will take advantage of the end of Lent to add a couple of items to my list. Both of these are “short offices” that might be particularly appropriate for those who have just joined the church through baptism, or those who have been inspired by the Pascal Mysteries to take up some form of the Daily Office as a discipline. Stop and Pray by Jay Anderson was commissioned by the Stevenson School for Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania. This is a version for the iPhone (usable on an iPad) of the Daily Devotions for Individuals and… Read more »
Here is an important addition to my list of Daily Office applications for mobile use: An app with the unpromising name of Digital Chant Stand (DCS, by AGES Initiatives) is actually a treasury of Byzantine liturgical material. The app requires online access and costs $9.99 for a six-month subscription after a 14-day trial. However, the AGES web site offers the same Daily Office content for free, if somewhat less conveniently. DCS does not provide the full cycle of the Office, just Vespers, Matins, and the Divine Liturgy, and it does not include every day of the year, just Sundays plus… Read more »
New Apps since my last posting: 1. Sh’himo from Jeesmon Jacob provides an English version of the ordinary or common office used by the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC). This is appointed for non-festal weekdays — Monday through Saturday — outside Lent; the other days have proper offices. This Sh’himo app provides the seven traditional hours of prayer for each of the six weekdays. As noted above, the MOSC is one of six South Indian churches using the (West Syrian) Malankara Rite; others include the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in communion with Rome and the Mar Thoma Church in communion with… Read more »
Hi, just to be correct, there is no 1960 Canadian BCP. The revised BCP was presented to General Synod in 1959 and received final approval in 1962. So it’s sometimes called ‘the 1959 BCP’ and sometimes the ‘1962 BCP’, but never 1960.
Thanks, Tim! It’s been corrected: probably just a typo.
Not so much an app, but on the SoundCloud website, I post my morning and evening prayers just miuntes after recording them. My profile can be accessed at https://soundcloud.com/david-p-kendrick. There is a SoundCloud app, from which you can follow me.
Check out a fully functional web app of The Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer Daily Office (Rite II) provides by one of the Church’s religious communities, The Brotherhood of St. Gregory: gregorians.org/office/
This is so helpful!! I’ve downloaded the Mission St. Clare app. I love that it has audio recordings of the songs right there!
The Forward Movement of the Episcopal church also has the Daily Office, both morning and night, in podcast form, for people who prefer to listen to the whole thing. I haven’t tried listening while reading along yet (I’m not sure they use the exact same format) but I’m going to try later today.