Category Archives: Breviary

Electronic Anglican Breviary Project on Kickstarter

Today I have officially launched a Kickstarter project to convert the Anglican Breviary to digital form and to make it available as a completely free web application.

For those not familiar with it, the Anglican Breviary is one of the great liturgical works that has come out of the Catholic movement in Anglicanism. 30 years in the making, it was produced in the year 1955 by the Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation. Like all breviaries, it contains the traditional hours of prayers of the Western Church: the long early morning Matins office with its readings from the Church Fathers interspersed with psalms; the main offices for the hinges of the day, Lauds and Vespers; the daytime offices of Prime, Terce, Sext, None; the bedtime office of Compline; and the brief Capitular office that includes the martyrology recounting the saints to be remembered. Built on the structure of the Roman Catholic Divine Office according to the usage established by Pius X, it utilizes the Scriptures of the King James Bible and the Coverdale Psalms of the Book of Common Prayer to place these prayer hours within an Anglican idiom.

For more information on the Anglican Breviary itself, visit its home site at, owned and operated by Mr. Daniel Lula, the man responsible for keeping it in print. We have corresponded regarding this initiative, and I have his blessing to proceed.

Transcribing and coding this roughly 2,000 page volume will take a lot of time and energy, so I have split it into three manageable parts.

  • The first will see the transcription of the Commons, and the bulk of the behind-the-scenes programming that makes everything work. Additionally, I will be creating a wiki where the transcriptions will be housed in a plain-text form.
  • The second portion will include all of the material in the Proper of Seasons.
  • The third portion will include all of the material in the Proper of Saints.

Completing this work will accomplish some goals very near and dear to my heart. Obviously, it will preserve the Anglican Breviary for future generations and will introduce it to a far wider audience than it has had in the past. Beyond this clear win, it will accomplish these additional goals:

  • The transcription will provide a web-based source of material from the Church Fathers relating to both seasons and saints that can be incorporated into a host of possible future platforms. I plan on pulling it into the St. Bede’s Breviary myself.
  • The transcription will give us the opportunity to study lectionary inter-relations in a way not possible before.
  • Should we seek to create an updated Anglican Breviary that meshes with the current liturgical calendar used by Anglican churches worldwide (as well as the Roman Catholic Church), a hefty chunk of the necessary material will already be available in a clean, machine-readable form.

My experience with the St. Bede’s Breviary (SBB) has shown me the downside of trying to accomplish such an effort on a voluntary basis; for the sake of my family, my efforts have to be focused on those projects that contribute to our income. As a result, the SBB has often received the last and least of my energy, stolen away in bits of time on weekend mornings before the girls get up. As a Kickstarter funded project, I would be able to engage the Anglican Breviary wholeheartedly, knowing that it was helping me provide for them in a much more direct fashion than the SBB!

I’m hoping to receive pledges to meet my goal by February 5th. That’s not a lot of time, but is—I think—sufficient time provided there is enough energy and will to get this carried out. Please check out the link and consider what you can do to support this project and ensure the future and flourishing of this gem of catholic Anglicanism!

Preferences Issues

It appears that some people are having issues with the new preferences at the breviary—others aren’t…

Obviously, this is my least favorite kind of error as it’s difficult to diagnose and replicate! I have put in some fixes this morning that may take care of the problem(s), but as I’m not experiencing them it’s hard to say if they’re fully fixed or not.

First, having javascript enabled for the site will remove a whole possible class of issues.

Second, if you are having an issue, telling me that there’s an issue is helpful, but even more helpful is including the url that’s breaking and what browser you’re using. Without this data, there’s nothing I can do to troubleshoot the problem.

New Preferences at the Breviary

The new preferences page and underlying code has been rolled out at the breviary.

There have been a few additions and some cosmetic changes, but most of the changes have occurred under the hood.

As always, I’ve tested it as well as I can, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some errors still slipped through. If you find any, I’m sure you’ll let me know…

The other substantive change is a new option in Morning Prayer that will allow you to substitute the Great Litany in for the ending of the Office with a click (or restore the usual with a click if you decide against it).

iDevice Preferences Solution

Finally, I think I’ve figured out the problem with the iDevice preferences problem with the breviary!

The issue seems to be the way in which the Safari/Webkit browsers implement the Javascript I was working with; I’ve tightened that up and things should work now.

So—if those using iPhones/iPads could check the functionality of this page: and let me know whether the preferences stick and work when you click the “Pray with your new settings” link, I’d appreciate it!

iOS Users: Breviary Update 2.0

Page proofs for the Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book are finally done and off to the publisher. SCLM work is taking up some time as well, but I stole the morning to work on the breviary preference problem and I *believe* I have it solved. So—users of iOS devices (and other devices), give this a try:

Once you save your preferences (and a pop-up should show you a long string of numbers), a “Pray with your new preferences” link will show up under the button and should take you to a functional breviary experience. So far, it works in my desktop Chrome browser, on the Kindle Fire, but my Android phone’s browser doesn’t like it and inserts a string of “undefined”s where they shouldn’t be. (That’ll be the next hurdle.)

Give it a shot—let me know what happens in the comments!

Breviary Update 1.5

Thanks to those of you who tried your iOS devices (and Windows 8 devices) against my attempted solution. Needless to say, it failed the test… Interestingly, while the solution worked on my Kindle Fire, I likewise failed to get a satisfactory result on my Android phone.

I’m looking into some of the newer browser capabilities/technologies that came along with the HTML5 standard and, after reading and playing a little with the cache capability, I’ve discovered that what I’m looking for is actually the local storage function. Again, it’s a fairly new technology and I don’t know how widely it’s implemented. However, I think there’s a good chance that most mobile devices should be able to handle it.

I was trying to figure out how to make it work with my code and came to the realization that I’m using a lot of server-side code to create client-side implementations. Not the best way to go… As a result, I need to retool several functions and transform them from (server-side) PHP into (client-side) JavaScript. Luckily, the syntax between the two is similar enough that this shouldn’t be too difficult.

So—I’ll have another test for you modern mobile users in a little bit, that (hopefully) will be more successful than the last!

[Update: Actually, before I recode everything, let’s see if this will do what I hope it will… iOS/mobile users, please try the “Save your Preferences” button at the bottom of this page:

There should be a pop-up mentioning local storage and perhaps a string with gibberish in it. I’ll fix the gibberish if this is actually going to work… Thanks again!]

Breviary Update

Ok—so I’ve been working all this past week to get the preferences re-coded for the breviary, and I think I’ve finally accomplished most of what I’ve set out to do. There are a few other things I’d like to add, but this is what we have for the moment…

There have been a variety of preference issues; most notable, iDevices have had real problems setting cookies. I’m testing a solution that uses JavaScript rather than PHP to set the cookies that I believe should be much more effective.

I’ve tested it on my laptop and on my Kindle and it works fine. However, lacking an iDevice, I can’t check it on them… If someone who does have an iDevice would like to help, I’ll provide the basic steps. I’ll warn you, though, doing this will alter the cookie and will change your settings over to the new settings in ways that won’t play well with the old ones. On the flip side, if this works, everything will shift over to the new settings and that won’t be an issue…

The steps are simple:

  1.  Go to this url (it’s my test space):
  2. Arrange your preferences however you like them. The sections slide for ease of use.
  3. At the bottom of the page is the “Save your Preferences” button. Click it when you’re done.
  4. When you click it, it should give you a long string of numbers, then tell you your preferences have been saved. Click “ok.”
  5. Then, in the footer under the button is a link entitled “pray the breviary.” Click the link.
  6. When the regular opening page loads, click the “Pray the Office” button under the “Use your default settings…” section.
  7. See if it worked like it ought to.
  8. Leave me a comment as to how it went.

That’s it—thanks in advance!

Breviary Improvements

Ok—I’ve been letting this one linger for far too long… It’s time to do some serious changes around the breviary, in particular with the way that it handles preferences. Every since I shifted from a Windows server to a Linux server the preferences have been buggy or, perhaps more likely, the shift revealed some underlying flaws. Either way, the time has come to get this fixed once and for all.

One of the reasons this has lingered, of course, is that work that pays takes precedence over breviary tinkering which, though fun and instructive and useful, doesn’t pay the bills. If you use the breviary and feel moved to help, a <a href=”“>modest donation</a> will help defray the functional cost.

So—expect to see some changes! I wouldn’t be surprised if a few bugs don’t pop up as well in the process, and for those I ask your indulgence in advance…

Big Breviary Announcement!

I’m happy to announce a collaboration between the St Bede’s Breviary and Forward Movement! Fr. Scott Gunn, the new Executive Director of Forward Movement, has a vision to bring Forward Movement further into the digital age; using a cut-down version of the breviary’s code base, we’re working on both a new web site and a mobile app that will incorporate both the Daily Office and Forward Day-by-Day among other things.

I’ve consistently received two questions since the launch of the breviary—1) when will there be an iPhone/iPad app and 2) when will there be a printed version. I can now answer the first! There are a number of moving parts here, so we’re currently projecting a ship date in the 1st quarter of 2012.

Needless to say—I’ll keep you updated!

For those of you with mobile devices who enjoy the breviary, you might like to try this out as an intermediary step as development continues: a mobile-optimized version of the breviary. (Due to spotty implementation of the xhtml+mp, I don’t recommend trying to use it with a desktop browser…)