Category Archives: Breviary

Offices of the Dead for All Souls

After more delay than I intended, I finally have some votive offices for the dead up at the breviary in time for All Souls. Following the discussion here on kinds of votive offices, these are replacement offices—offices intended to be said in place of (rather than supplemental to) the regular morning and evening offices.

The cookies that hold preferences for the regular offices are still in effect here particularly in regard to antiphons; elements for the BVM are not included in these offices.

So, here they are:

The Office for the Dead: Morning Prayer

The Office for the Dead: Evening Prayer

Breviary Back Up

I’d taken down the breviary for a few days to put in some fixes and patches. It’s back up now. It’s also got a new blog. Something about the old blog didn’t feel right and I didn’t use it much.

So—there’s a new one which is located here.

Look for more of my office related material to be going up over there, particularly items of a practical nature. Some of the heavier research stuff like the current Office lectionary series will probably remain here.

Holy Week Offices

After a year and a half, I still consider the breviary to be in beta because of issues like this morning—a missing collect and, in some cases, missing lessons. They’re fixed now and part of today’s events include a check through the rest of Holy Week to make sure everything’s functioning properly.

Exactly how the Holy Week and Triduum Offices are to be celebrated is a favorite topic among Anglican armchair liturgists; the various Books of Common Prayer give no indication of changes during this time but catholic practices give a variety of options with the Roman variations being predominate but I’m sure we can find some divergences even from that among regional uses (like the 24 candles of the Sarum tenebrae hearse as opposed to the more pedestrian 15 of Roman practice). I did write a bit about this last year which covers some of the various points to weigh.

Bottom line at the breviary is this: the breviary keeps the gloria patris for the beginning of Holy Week, but gives reduced offices for Triduum. The BSG version, however, does not use reduced offices but presents a full, regular, prayer book office. This probably is something that I should build into the preferences but haven’t had the time to do.

New Breviary URLs

The latest work at the breviary has not been primarily code changes, but has been the addition of some new dedicated pages. The breviary was designed to make pray the office both flexible and easy, and over it’s evolution, I’ve been making progress in both of these directions (more flexible and easier…).

I started with the date/time of day/option-sets entry screen.

Eventually, I made the move to cookies as a means of capturing specific options. (And I do need to do some work to make sure all of the options are functioning properly in cookie form…)

One of the issues I’ve faced from the beginning is the need for a static url which will get folks right down to the business of praying. An entry page was the only way in for two reasons—1) you had to make your choices somewhere, and 2) you needed to indicate what office you wanted to do. Cookies made the first one disappear, and—at the prodding of some friends—I’ve coded a page to by-pass the second as well. It functions by using javascript to find the timestamp on your computer (the client), then passes that value to my server-side PHP code. (So—if you have javascript disabled, this won’t work for you.) This allows me to present a single static url so that, if you already have a breviary cookie/set of preferences saved, all you have to do is jump to this url and the Office as you like it, appropriate to your time of day ought to appear.

Here’s the url:

I’m still working out the exact times for changes between the offices so there may be continued tweaks with that part of it.

In related news, I have created a dedicated page for the Brotherhood of St Gregory—the ones who provided the impetus for this change, in fact—one of our Anglican religious communities bound by rule to pray the offices, according to their set preferences: a straight-forward Rite II with the monthly psalm cycle. This page requires no cookies at all and should work for anyone if this is the kind of office you desire:

For those interested, I’m also in conversations with Fr. John-Julian concerning a similar page for the Order of Julian of Norwich which should be up and running before too long.

So, my thanks to the Brotherhood for kindling a fire under me to get this work done, and I hope these new pages provide all of you with an even simpler way to experience the offices.

Breviary FYI

The breviary is having a rocky couple of days. This is the first year-transition since the new date calculation system has been installed and the inevitable errors are occurring, in part due to the odd way the BCP does the days between Christmas and the first Sunday after Epiphany.

We currently have readings but no collect; I’m working on getting it back…

Things seem to be functioning now.

Seasonal Maintenance

There have been some seasonal oddities at the breviary as we shift into Advent. The breviary actually turned one a few days ago but there’s been enough change in the base code that I have no idea what the state of the Advent calculations is currently. So, I’ll be poking around there a bit in the coming week and no doubt the occasional weirdness will pop up. I’m also planning some Advent posts but those haven’t managed to write themselves yet…


I’m hacked off at the breviary’s inability to select second commemorations appropriately. Today in the House Use should be both the Octave Day of All Saints and somebody else but the somebody else isn’t showing… There’s an error somewhere in the date parsing code. Even more frustrating, there’s an old test file on the server that I think gets it right—and now I can’t locate it.

Maximum execution time of 30 seconds exceeded…

Neither M nor I have been able to access the breviary this morning from our computers. We’re operating over a slow and limited (at times intermittent) internet connection. However, I’m getting word that others are having similar problems. If you’ve had issues like these, add a comment.

I’m looking into root causes. Tightening the code may help some, but I fear we’re encountering server load issues. I may need to upgrade the host to fully resolve the issue. I’ll keep looking into it and keep you posted.