Future Features

I try to balance my development time between improving what currently exists, and building out new stuff. I know some things that need to be fixed, and bug reports help point out others. But how about the new stuff? I have some ideas, but I’d like to make sure that what I’m producing is what people who use the site find useful.

The number one goal that drives everything else is to maintain a site that will enable people to experience the Daily Office, to make it as user-friendly and informative as possible, and to nurture the classic Anglican spirituality of the Office and the breviary tradition.

So—what’s going to accomplish this best?

Here are some thoughts that I have. Read through them, then throw a vote into the poll at the bottom. That’ll help me get a sense of relative interest in the various options. If you have an idea that I haven’t mentioned, feel free to stick it in the comments, too!

Votive Offices: The English prymer tradition both before and after the Reformation included a variety of set offices that could be either used in place of or in addition to the regular prayer book offices. These would be things like the Office of the Dead, the Little Hours of the BVM, the Little Hours of the Passion, etc. Also, some post-Reformation prymers contained offices similar to the mid-day offices of the old breviaries. (Since most of these are “set” and mostly unchanging offices, this would be relatively easy to do since there would be less code work behind it.)

Historical Offices: Currently, the focus of this site is the ’79 BCP. However, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have other formats as well for both historical and devotional purposes. So—various older BCP offices, the 1549 English, the American 1789, and others could be put in here. (Time-wise, this would require quite a bit of work. The first hurdle is that the church kalendar is different given the season of Pre-Lent and the reckoning of Sundays after Trinity rather than the Proper system. The second, then is entering the lectionaries from which ever BCPs selected.)

Public Offices: Currently, the offices are set up for the purpose of individual recitation. That is, I’m assuming that you’re praying by yourself on your computer/iPad/Kindle/phone/whatever.  However, some of the emails that I’ve received suggest that folks are printing out the Offices here for public use. Creating a public option would add in rubrics and ceremonial directions to indicate who does (or could) do what when.

Sung Offices: Offices with music. While I know that some individuals prefer to sing the offices when they do them privately (my wife being one), this might also shade into the one above and, while suitable for individual use, would be slanted towards public uses. For music, I’m thinking of plainsong and Anglican chant in particular.

Catechetical Material: It’s one thing to pray the Office, it’s another to understand exactly how and why certain options are chosen rather than others, and how the whole fits together. This would be work by putting links in the Offices to catechesis located in the blog. This would be a fairly extensive work-in-progress depending on scope (i.e., would a link on the Psalms go to general information on the psalms or, eventually, give information on that particular psalm?).

  1. William Loring
    July 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    My wife and I both have each prayed the Office daily (often singing at least part of it) for more than forty years — separately until our marriage and together for the last seven. Even though we make various personal modifications your site is the best tool we have found yet for this purpose. We currently get our musical settings from Palmer, Frere, and two online sites (http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~renwick/sarum-01.htm and http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/SarumPsalter.html) with Sarum antiphons and other music. (While we normally pray the Office in English we are quite comfortable with using Latin Antiphons when these are the best available.) If text files with notation were included in the Breviary that would be great — midi or .wav files as accompaniment would be an added bonus, but in terms of both bandwidth and preparation time might well be too much to ask.

  2. July 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Like all of the above ideas, but would probably recommend that they be enacted in more or less the order your suggested.

    One thing that would be helpful to me personally would be a wider choice of Psalms for the Noonday Office: although I know you’re endeavoring to stick as closely as possible to the ’79 BCP, have you seen Howard Galley’s “A Prayer Book Office”? While also based firmly on the 1979 Prayer Book, it includes proper Psalms for each day, and a couple of seasonal alternatives. When using Rite I, I have also seen a pattern whereby Psalm 119 is prayed through during the Noonday Office, in the course of the week. Just a couple of suggestions!

  3. July 22, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Actually, I have a loaner copy of Galley’s PBO. It’s a very interesting text which gives quite a bit of insight into the intentions of the ’79 BCP editors—or at least one of the major minds behind the project. Of course, Ps 119 is the classic choice for the mid-day offices as in the old secular (non-monastic) scheme, 119 was prayed through every day through the Little Offices.

  4. Nolan
    December 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Derek,

    Thank you so much for the breviary. I have found it so wonderful, and it definitely has made my morning commute much more productive! I was wondering if there were a way to include The Great Litany as one of the options?

  5. December 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Hi Nolan,

    There is an option to include the Litany on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays (as appointed in the English BCP). As for daily or occasional use, I don’t currently have an option for that but–you’re right, that would be a good thing to include. I’ll think on the best way to do that. Thanks!

  6. January 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    I would really love to see “historic offices” added. From the English 1662 book, the American 1928 book, really anything with a “Septuagesima” in it would make me happy.

  7. willht
    November 11, 2013 at 2:20 am

    Would greatly appreciate having the Common Worship Weekday Daily Office Lectionary as an option as it provides considerably more continuous and systematic reading of the Old Testament.

  8. Caelius Spinator
    July 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Is there any possibility of rotating the Little Chapter at Compline? I also have a sense that the Collects are supposed to match the Little Chapter. The second and fourth of each are especially resonant with one another. Yet in the current implementation, the Collects rotate, but the Little Chapter does not.

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