Breviary Update & A Survey

I’ve been working in fits and starts now for almost a year on new back-end code for the St. Bede’s Breviary. I do believe we’ve turned a corner and are in the final stretch. In fact, I’m hoping to be able to unveil something in time for its patronal feast on May 25th…

In addition to the new code, I’ve been considering some new approaches as well, some suggested readers in the past.

The whole reason I programmed the breviary was because I wanted something that was thoroughly faithful to the prayer book, but also allowed a host of configurations, options, and traditional add-ins. Rite I, Rite II; 8-week psalm cycle, monthly psalm cycle—it could all be accommodated with code manipulation.

I like praying from my Kindle, that’s how I do it every day. However, I know that’s not the standard; many people much prefer to pray from an actual physical book. And, I’ve had any number of people suggest that I do a physical form of the breviary.

The idea of producing a physical form of the breviary is growing on me…

However, that means making choices that I’ve been able to leave up to individuals. What I’m considering is a book where the experience of praying the Office would be just like it is in the computer form: straight text, no clicking, no flipping. The Office in an easy-to-pray format. I would include all the bells and whistles—Marian stuff, hymns, 2 readings at Evening Prayer, etc.—with reminders that people feel free to skip whatever they like.

If I were to do this, it would probably be a book for the year: I.e., “The St. Bede’s Breviary: 2017” and would contain everything for the four offices for each day of the year.

But there are three things that determine the shape of the Offices in such a way that they cannot be left optional or variable: the language of the Rite (Rite I vs. Rite II), the distribution of the Psalter (8-week vs. monthly), the kalendar (Lesser Feasts & Fasts 2006 [the official Calendar of the Episcopal Church] vs. A Great Cloud of Witnesses [an unofficial supplement available for use] vs. the House Kalendar [my own crazy concoction which is LFF+other stuff])

I simply can’t foresee creating physical formats for all of these choices. That’s simply too much work to do the formatting and editing and all for each of these. So in order to get a general sense of what thoughts are out there, here’s a brief survey on the matter…

Would you consider purchasing a physical book form of the St. Bede's Breviary?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Which rite would you prefer the physical book to contain?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Which psalter scheme would you prefer the book to contain?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Which kalendar would you prefer it to use?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Let me know what you think and we’ll see where it goes from there…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Breviary Update & A Survey

  1. Rebecca Deulen says:

    I loved using my Holy Cross Monastery Monastic Breviary. Sadly the print is now too small for me to read. The capability you built into your mobile version is perfect for me. The options surely meet the needs of various traditions. Should you publish, may it be as great a success.

  2. James C. says:

    If there seems to be a tie or near tie between Rite I and Rite II language, perhaps it might be beneficial then to put both Rite I and Rite II language?

    Overall, this sounds like a good idea.

    Could it be possible to put it in electronic format to test it out?

    Thanks!

  3. Royce, ObJN says:

    Like many people, I love the feel of a book. But electronic options like the Kindle really add a lot. It’s so great not to have to flip pages (although lately I’ve been using the St. Helena Psalter, so I do have to flip between files!). Another great thing for me is that electronic devices provide their own backlighting, which is less disturbing to spouses or children trying to sleep in the same room.

    I am an Oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich, though, and there are quite a few of us. There may be some interest in the Order for a book that we purchase annually which used the OJN Kalendar and readings, etc. But honestly, we’d probably want to put the psalter in its own section in the back, so as not to print it twelve times … and then it would make sense just to print the canticles once, at the front … and then then you’re basically where we are now!

  4. Dalva says:

    Simple, for the reader, is better.

  5. George says:

    I use many old books myself, as pre-Vatican I ones (which are automatically “Old-Catholic”); I am working for the Breviary in French, and I hope that this one will be useful to some Christians within 50-60 years, who will discover it and use it.

    This could not be possible with Kindle versions.

    Keep on; your idea is great! You are in the tide of the holy Tradition.

  6. If this project should come to pass, I’d enjoy providing typographic design for it: as a typographer who is also a liturgical musician working in the Episcopal Church, I’d like to see more books like this made, and made well, and I’ve done a good bit of design thinking (aesthetics and structure) about a BCP1979-related Antiphoner/ Noted Breviary that would be relevant to a text-only book as well. Please drop me a line if you’d be interested in talking about such assistance or collaboration. And regardless (realizing that you may well already have a production path clearly in mind), I wish you all the best on this work and any future such endeavors.

    Regards,

    Eric Mellenbruch
    ericmellenbruch.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *