This is yet another iPhone/iPod Touch App that is making life easier for many technology savvy people around the globe. iBreviaryPro is exactly what the name states – a readymade, easy to use Breviary complete with Lauds, The Daily Office, Daytime Prayers, Vespers, Compline for both Roman and Ambrosian Rites. The application was developed by a young Italian Parish priest, Fr Paolo Padrini, who has since been appointed as an advisor to the Pontifical Commission for Social Communication, and has been involved with the creation of the social networking tool Pope2You, designed to initiate the Vatican into the world of the likes of facebook and myspace.
Upon launching the application the phone will automatically download the day’s readings of the Office, all five hours of it including antiphons, propers and hymns, all in your choice of six languages. One can also select other days with which to download. The app also contains a number of ordinary prayers or the Catholic Tradition, an ‘About Saints Day’ (short bio and picture) along with a full lectionary for the day, as well as the entire Order of the Mass (including prayers and rubrics).
I know that for me, as well as for a number of others, this application has served as a wonderful introduction to this great prayer of the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours. Whilst the four volume print editions will certainly not be made obsolete by this handy little app, it is likely to make this beautiful prayer more accessible to people everywhere, and it is particularly handy for people who are travelling.
One drawback of this application however is its reliance on an internet connection (either Wifi or your own mobile internet connection to work). This is somewhat circumvented by the new feature which allows users to download up to ten days of prayers in advance. Other similar apps, such as one named ‘Universalis’ operate on a different platform, allowing you to download the entirety of the office once and for all – for everyday - EVER. You pay for that convenience however, a one off payment of $29.95 (which is still cheaper than the printed publications). As iBreviaryPro is a free app it will likely serve to propagate this tremendous prayer of the Church further among the laity, particularly young people who, let’s face it, are often strapped for cash. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, mobile version, widgets, this is a download that is definitely recommended.
Originally published in The Record, 13 Oct 2010