Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Updating apps and programs

Posted by universalis on 21 February 2018

Depending what Universalis app or program you are using, it may update itself automatically when a new version comes out. Here are all the details, with instructions for manual updating.

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Easter 2019 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 23 April 2019

Happy Easter!

He is truly risen! May the grace and blessings of Easter be with you all and remain in you.

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St George in England

Posted by universalis on 23 April 2019

Today is St George’s Day, and some people in England are wondering why it does not appear in Universalis today. The reason is that this year there is a collision with Easter Tuesday.

The Church’s calendar has to deal with collisions. Suppose, for instance, that the Annunciation, on the 25th of March, falls on Good Friday (as it did in 2016). Should we omit Good Friday that year, or omit the Annunciation? Or try to celebrate both at once?

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Interview at Pray Tell

Posted by universalis on 25 March 2019

The Pray Tell blog describes itself as:

A blog that gives practical wisdom about prayer, sacraments, and the community of the faithful – in short, worship. Created especially for pastors, liturgists, musicians, and scholars, Pray Tell is informal, conversational, even humorous, but also – we hope – always well-informed and intellectually grounded.

It has just published a two-part interview by Father Neil Xavier O’Donoghue, which you may find interesting:

  1. An unlikely liturgist.
  2. An interview with Martin Kochanski, Founder of Universalis Publishing.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

How Google Calendar works

Posted by universalis on 22 March 2019

Someone emailed us complaining that we were sending him notifications of events a year in the future, and asking us to stop. Since we do not send email notifications of that kind, this sounded strange, and worrying in that we cannot stop doing something that we weren’t doing in the first place!

The result of the investigation may be useful to someone else, which is why we are posting it here.

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St Patrick in Ireland 2019

Posted by universalis on 13 March 2019

The rules say that when a Solemnity (such as that of St Patrick in Ireland) falls on an important Sunday, such as one of the Sundays in Lent, it is celebrated on the Monday instead.

The Irish bishops have asked the Vatican if they can not apply the rule this year, and the Vatican has agreed. Accordingly the Solemnity of St Patrick will be celebrated in Ireland on Sunday the 17th of March, in place of the 2nd Sunday in Lent.

Universalis has just been updated to include this change. If you are in Ireland and haven’t received an update by Friday, you may want to update yourself “by hand”. Here are the instructions.

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Lent 2019 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 7 March 2019

Happy Lent!

To many of us this greeting may sound odd, because isn’t Lent meant to be associated not with happiness but with gloom? That is a risky way of thinking because it risks valuing gloom for the sake of gloom. Yes, Lent is stern, but its sternness is because it is sorting us out and setting us more firmly on the path to glory. St Paul is fond of athletic similes, so perhaps one could think of Lent as a kind of getting back into training. Nobody likes getting up at six in the morning and going for a row in the pouring rain, but unpleasant though it is, it has value both in getting rid of the belly and pointing one in the right direction for the future.

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The two-year cycle of the Office of Readings

Posted by universalis on 6 March 2019

When the liturgy was extensively revised in 1970, one of the themes was the inclusion of a far wider range of biblical readings. At Mass, this meant a three-year cycle of Sunday readings and a two-year cycle of weekday readings. In the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours this meant a two-year cycle, both of Scripture readings and of the patristic Second Readings which accompany them.

The two-year cycle covers the whole of salvation history and uses practically every book of the Bible – not avoiding tricky passages which need thorough reading and meditation and aren’t suitable for the “listen fast or it’s gone” nature of the readings at Mass. It is also carefully designed to be out of step with the Mass readings, so that if you hear a passage read at Mass then it won’t appear in the Office of Readings for a year (or at worst, for a few months).

This masterpiece is lovingly described in §§147 to 152 of the General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours. But if you look in the actual printed books – it isn’t there. In its place is a one-year cycle of readings, covering half the material.

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The Revised Standard Version (UPDATED)

Posted by universalis on 6 March 2019

Universalis uses the Jerusalem Bible for all the readings in the Liturgy of the Hours. In the English-speaking world which uses the Jerusalem Bible at Mass, this is a consistent and familiar translation. It is less so in the USA, where the New American Bible is used at Mass, and in some other parts of the world which use one or other variant of the RSV at Mass.

We have now reached agreement with the copyright owners and are able to offer the Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) readings as an add-on to the Liturgy of the Hours in Universalis. This affects the Liturgy of the Hours only: the Mass readings continue to be from the Jerusalem Bible (or, in the USA, the New American Bible).

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January 2019 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 30 January 2019

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2019! Thanks to all who gave Universalis as a gift this Christmas. It will be with the recipient always, in fruitful times and dry ones, in good times and bad.

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Encouraging people with free trials

Posted by universalis on 23 January 2019

When groups get together, at conferences, retreats and so on, it is quite common for them to do at least some of the Hours and it is also common for them to use Universalis to do it. The question is how to preserve that spark when everyone gets home afterwards, in the hope that it will burst into flame.

So here is a summary of how anyone with a mobile phone, or a tablet, or a laptop, can get the Hours free for at least a month. This gives good habits a chance to get established, and lets people decide whether they really want to carry on doing the Hours, in whatever way suits them best.

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