Experimental Code for Morning Prayer

As promised earlier, here is a link for Morning Prayer in the new experimental version of the St. Bede’s Breviary code base:


As you’ll see, most of the usual breviary options are present. The two main areas that I intend to get to but have not yet fully addressed are the Calendar/commemorations and a mechanism to save individual options. However, on the latter I think you see that selecting options is no longer the hassle it could be with the earlier editions.

There are probably still some bugs lurking in it, some I’ve discovered, a few I probably haven’t. I am working on the ones I know about in addition to getting Evening Prayer up on line too. Let me know what you think of the new interface and if you run into any problems…

14 thoughts on “Experimental Code for Morning Prayer

  1. Beth Maynard

    Hi Derek – Thanks for this very clean and readable update. I am so grateful for the time and energy you put into the Breviary project. A couple comments:

    In the new interface, what I am seeing now both on my phone and laptop is “preferences” options to be chosen repeatedly right in the text as you go through. Maybe this is temporary. For regular daily users who are at ease with the various kinds of options for how one does an Office, it may just be a little visually jarring, but workable. (Altho I have to say, on some subtle spiritual level I have found it profitable not to be able to make personal choices once the thing loads!)

    My immediate concern, though, is newbies. I’ve sent a lot of people to the breviary, and most of them react by being intimidated by the list of options up top and thinking the Office must be way too complicated for them. I’ve said “for now, just choose bare bones Prayer Book and forget it” but I think if this audience saw options for nearly every paragraph I’d lose them. I also wonder if this means reader apps are going to read all the options out loud every time (when I tried it with my reader app just now, it tried to read me the great litany, presumably because the code is provisional). The antiphons now seem always to come up with no option not to have them? And Rite 1 is the default? (FYI choosing Rite 2, though, I still got the Creed in Rite 1.) Again like my comment on the options, just trying to think of sending newbies to this, or asking a group of people who have never said the office before to load it on their phones at the end of an inquirers’ class or something.

    I appreciate the simple option to “shorten the office.” Part of me wonders if having the first-time default be something like that, so that it was easiest for new folks, would work – and asking us regulars to be the ones who had to make an effort to get what we like. Sort of like asking your regulars on Sunday to park further away, or slide into the center of the pews so there’ll be a place for newcomers to sit. But of course that goes against human nature…. :)

    Again, I am so appreciative of your creating and supporting this project. You don’t have to do it; we all recognize that — and your doing it anyway has contributed immensely to the spiritual lives of, I don’t know, thousands of people probably? Thanks.

  2. Derek Olsen Post author

    Thanks, Beth! Very helpful feedback. Part of what you’re seeing is because I’m still in the testing phase (like Rite I default–it’s what I pray so it’s what I put up…) Some of it isn’t, but you’re also giving me some great ideas for some tweaks that shouldn’t be too hard.

    First, no choices *have* to be made at all in order to pray the Office—it’s all there. Seasonal options (like the invitatory, etc.) will already be pre-selected, so even beginners can just open it up and pray with what appears.

    Second, one piece that I’m still working on is capturing and saving tab-states. That is, if you select various tabs, buttons or dropdowns, you will have the option to save them as your own default. That way, it’ll come the way you like it, but you’ll still have access to other options. However—I also see the value in choosing to not be able to make the choices! I could see a button at the bottom that would essentially lock in a set of options that would present you with a clean page like the current format.

    Third, I haven’t done anything with the urls yet. In the current set up, you can change the dates and play with some of the settings by adjusting the url. For instance, there is a way to direct someone to a specific form of the office following the presets (i.e., it’s a RESTful system in geek-talk). I haven’t done anything with that here yet, but it is a live possibility. In that way a special “newbie version” with no or reduced options and some basic explanations could be easily shared with others.

    Fourth, I’ve wanted to include some catechetical bits for a long time, but haven’t yet done so. I’ll have to think about a basic orientation for those know to the office and/or liturgical prayer…

    Thanks again!

  3. Ellen Brauza

    All in all, this is an improvement, as I see it. Easy to choose options; nice not to be locked into them. (My life is varied, day to day; a set routine isn’t possible at present.) I also noticed the Rite I creed in the Rite II office — but I know you’ll attend to that.
    If you ever decide to produce the St. Bede Breviary as an app for iOS and Android, something that would work offline, I would happily pay actual money for it. I have eCP, but the back-and-forth linking to do the Office makes me crazy.
    Thanks for all this!

  4. Cullin R. Schooley p/OSB

    I really like these changes! Especially the easier access to options: For example, the way one can switch to either Suffrages A or Suffrages B; the way one can do the suggested 2nd canticle OR the Benedicite; the easy way one can show or hide Catholic elements of the office.

  5. Bill Power

    Nice format, Can easily be done from a tablet. I do morning prayer for the men in our parish and we also use the prayer on the bottom of page 100 BCP that starts “O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth….” It is used by tradition here and I was requested to use that prayer when I started doing the service. It would be nice to be able to switch that prayer in instead of the “Lord Jesus Christ..” on the top of page 101 BCP. Othe than that this is a very nicely done, thank you.
    Bill Power
    Christ Church
    La Crosse, WI

  6. Derek Olsen Post author

    Ellen, elements of this code/format will be recycled in the full revision of the Daily Prayer app (for both iPhone and Android) I’m producing for Forward Movement.

    Thanks, Cullen!

    Bill–it hadn’t occurred to me to use a tab panel for the prayer for mission as well although it’s quite obvious now that you mention it… Thanks!

  7. Keith McKenna

    I like the concept Derek, but a couple of things jump out at me. Today there is the option to use the entirety of Psalm 95 for the invititory that is missing. Also even when rite I is selected the modern wording of The Apostles Creed is used rather than the traditional.. That is all I see on a quick look on my phone. I will take a closer look later when I am home on my computer.

  8. Derek Olsen Post author

    Keith, I did have Ps 95 in, but ran into an issue and had to rebuild the tab and haven’t put it back in yet. It’ll be back…

  9. George Hayhoe

    Over all, I like the simplicity of this new version. A few observations and suggestions, though.

    1. The antiphons after one psalm and before the next get run together.

    2. Did I imagine yesterday that there was an antiphon for the OT canticle following the first reading? I have missed those antiphon so, which the RC office uses, in the St Bede’s Breviary.

    3. There was no doxology for the Benedictus canticle this morning.

    4. There seemed to be no option to use the Sunday collect instead of the HWHM collect for the day.

    5. There seemed to be no option for the hymn or the prayer for the faithful departed, even though I selected the Catholic option at the top.

    6. The type size is small, and the right margin is fixed, so there was no way to magnify the type on my tablet without having to scroll back and forth.

    7. I really liked the use of Gospel antiphon said for the psalms.

    Thanks for all your efforts, Derek! You enrich our prayer life.

    –George Hayhoe

  10. Ellen Brauza

    I preface these remarks with a remembrance that this code is still a work in progress. That said, some elements have been missing all along. There is no Gloria after the Psalms, not even after the entire selection. Those canticles which take the Gloria are also without it. Most of us know when to add it, of course, but I presume you are creating an aid that can be used by beginners. “Let us bless the Lord” (with or without its Paschal alleluias) has been missing. I also echo the request for the option of using the Sunday collect rather than the sanctoral for lesser observances. You are a busy man; I can be patient. No rush.

  11. Stephen Shaver

    Derek, I like the new format a lot and am so grateful for your immense (and uncompensated) work.
    Today (May 2) I’m noticing that none of the Kalendar options in the old or new formats are offering St. Philip and St. James. Ordinarily they would fall on May 1, but that was a Sunday this year. Instead the breviary just gives us Athanasius. I wonder if it’s possible to implement these transfers of major feasts without adding too much extra complexity in the code?
    Thanks again for this service to the church. I always use it when I’m traveling (sometimes at home too!).

  12. Ellen Brauza

    Has this project now been abandoned? Or is there a new bug? When I tried to use it today, there was no content — no Psalms, no readings, no matter which options I chose.

  13. Derek Olsen Post author

    It hasn;t been abandned–I’ve been working on some other parts of it. There are still a couple of persistent errors that linger that I haven’t tracked down yet. For instance, sometimes, it’ll come up blank (as you describe). But if you click the “Previous Office” button and then the “Next Office” button, it’ll show up just fine. Clearly there’s a javascript bug preventing the initial load, but I haven’t tracked it down yet…

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