New version of the St. Bede’s Breviary

While I’ve been quiet here for a little bit, it doesn’t mean that nothing’s been happening… There are a number of things in the works and some of them are actually—finally!—coming to fruition. The first of these is a new version of the St. Bede’s Breviary.

There are several changes with the new version…

First, it uses a completely different set of technologies to get and display the Offices. This doesn’t matter for most folks; it’s under-the-hood stuff, but is important for the development of the software generally and for keeping up with where technology’s going.

Second, it integrates directly into a WordPress environment. This is a big deal because so many church websites use WordPress. Once this version matures, it could be integrated into a lot of church websites pretty easily to help promote the spread of the Daily Office and the disciplines of Morning and Evening Prayer.

Third, it gets rid of the cookie system to keep track of options. Instead, the options are available on the page itself. I am working on a way to save your selections as you go, but I’ve not figured out that piece to my satisfaction yet.

Fourth, if you exercise all of the options, you’ll note some blue text in there. There’s a reason for that… I make the claim that this breviary follows the Book of Common Prayer strictly—and it does. But I have had some people challenge that assertion on the grounds that I introduce materials not authorized by the prayer book. This is true. I do include “catholic” options found in the practice of the liturgical West not in the prayerbook itself. In my eyes, these are legitimate private devotions that are not part of our public common prayer, but are part of our classical liturgical spirituality. So—in this version of the breviary, I have identified these by indenting them a bit and making them blue to distinguish them visibly from the text of our common prayer.

Fifth, I am still working out some cosmetic bugs, and some technical issues may also pop up as we move along. clearly, I’ll try and address these as soon as I am able as I become aware of them.

Enough chatter—the link is here and you can also access the page from the “WP Breviary” link in the menu at the top of the page. Let me know what you think!

11 thoughts on “New version of the St. Bede’s Breviary

  1. Derek A. Olsen Post author

    Ah! Good catch… Actually this is a data issue. The code is there but the sentence itself isn’t showing up; I wonder why not…?


  2. Peter

    I love it. Bravo! Of course, I’m a fan of your original site as well. Can you write a bit more about how your back end works for all this, for the techies among us? Clearly still MySQL and Php I’d bet. What a wonderful service you’re doing.

    And on to the feedback:

    I find the light gray text (like that for psalm 108 today) SUPER hard to read. Not enough contrast (and a bit small). I’m reading in an iPad Pro, if that’s helpful. Its hard enough for me to read that I currently can’t pray using it. What does the light gray denote vs the black text? Sorry if that should be obvious.

    It’s not clear if the tab labeled “Daily Psalm Cycle” is the BCP prescribed Cycle or something else (given the other is “Monthly” I’d guess it’s the BCP cycle).

    Why is there a hymn after the collects? This doesn’t seem to be a typical thing? Maybe make it optionally expandable (like the confession)?

    Thank you again for all your work. Love your book, Inwardly Digest, as well.

  3. Peter

    Sorry… another comment: it would be helpful to know which text is “enhanced content” somehow (I commented about the hymn after the collects, and I believe this hymn is part of the enhanced content option… but it’s hard to tell). Maybe a different color text (perhaps a different shade of blue, so things get too rainbow looking) like the private devotions?

  4. Peter

    Sorry again… don’t mean to be clogging up your comments (you don’t need to approve/publish this): There appears to be a bug in the interactions of private devotions and rite I vs rite II — if you have rite II selected, and you enable private devotions, you get the rite I language (in the Regina Coeli, for example). You can repro this in evening office today. It seems the language for Regina Coeli always defaults to rite I?

    I hope these reports are helpful and not annoying. I’m a software developer, and I know there’s no way to find/fix the vast majority of issues without user feedback. So, I’m trying to be as supportive of your work as I can.

  5. Barbara

    Found some bugs in today’s (may 19) MP. Go to “The Lessons – A Reading from Ezekiel 36:22-27” and click between NRSV, RSV, and Authorized, and you’ll see what I mean.

  6. Barbara

    Do you want reports of spacing issues and and other layout/visual stuff? If so, on tonight’s (May 21) evening prayer, I found several things.

    The Domine Clamavi tab starts out like this:

    Let my prayer be set forth in your sight as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.Psalm 141 Domine, clamavi

    Song of Simeon looks like this to start:

    The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis
    Luke 2:29-32Lord, you now have set your servant free *
    to go in peace as you have promised;
    Suffrages B looks like this to start:

    That this evening may be holy, good, and peaceful,
    We entreat you, O Lord.That your holy angels may lead us in paths of peace and goodwill,
    We entreat you, O Lord.That we may be pardoned and forgiven for our sins and offenses,
    We entreat you, O Lord.That there may be peace to your Church and to the whole world,
    We entreat you, O Lord.

    Font size varies throughout also. Little things you may be aware of already, but just reporting…..

  7. Derek A. Olsen Post author

    Thanks, all—these are very helpful; please keep them coming. Be aware, though, that I won’t be able to act on them for a little bit. I leave in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow to head to the Society of Scholar-Priests meeting and every spare moment is going to finishing and polishing up my talk for them on Friday (appropriately, falling on the Feast of St. Bede…).

  8. Peter

    In the Evening Prayer, clicking the plus sign to the left of the Confession of Sin does not open (show) the text.

    In the Evening Prayer for the past couple of days, the Psalms in what’s labeled the Daily Psalm Cycle aren’t correct (assuming these are supposed to be the psalms from the BCP cycle). Today, the 23rd, for example, the evening psalms are the same as the morning ones (119: 1-24).

    There’s a formatting problem in the Rite II Psalms as well. Rite II, 119 1-8, are in a different (smaller) font than 9-16 and 17-24. This looks to be the result of the paragraph that starts “Psalm 119: Aleph” being prematurely terminated.

    So, you have for the first chunk (wrong):
    Psalm 119: Aleph Beati immaculati
    1   Happy are they whose way is blameless
    (note the at the end of the “title” — This also causes an extra where the end of the paragraph SHOULD be.

    For subsequent chunks (correct):
    Psalm 119: Beth In quo corrigit?
    9   How shall a young man cleanse his way?

    If you intend the whole Daily Office to be in the same font, then there are several other similar formatting problems as well. The Lords Prayer is in a different font from the Creed (for example).

    Again, I hope these are helpful.


  9. Peter

    Hmmmm… It seems that the HTML markup that I tried to provide to you gets “eaten” by the comments engine, making part of my comment above incomprehensible.


    The issue is that there a “left angle bracket, slash, P, right angle bracket” that doesn’t belong there immediately after the “title” for the first chunk (that is, immediately after “Psalm 119: Aleph Beati immaculati”

    No good dead goes unpunished. Isn’t that somewhere in the bible? ;-)


  10. Derek A. Olsen Post author

    And that’s one of the fun factors here–the way WordPress doesn’t play well with either html or JavaScript…

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