Electric Prayer

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

February 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 8 February 2021

Happy New Year! It is still all right to say this, since there hasn’t been a Universalis newsletter since before Christmas.

It has mostly been steady progress without anything spectacular, but here are some points worth reporting.

Epiphany errors!

2021 is the first year in which the Epiphany in England and Wales has been celebrated on a day other than a Sunday. Because this pattern is so new, we got quite a few emails from people who saw Mass readings in Universalis different from what they heard at Mass. Universalis, in this case, was right (which is a relief). Rather worryingly, one or two of the diocesan Ordos got the readings wrong. So in case you are responsible for compiling one, please remember that the days after 6 January are 7 January, 8 January, and so on. For instance, on Thursday 7 January 2021 you should have been using the readings for ‘7 January’ in the books, not the readings for ‘Thursday after Epiphany’. So as not to bore everyone with the details, I have put them in a blog post here.

Concluding prayers in the Hours

We have now added American-language versions of the Concluding Prayers at Lauds and at Vespers. You will see these automatically if you have selected the New American Bible readings at Mass. And you get those readings automatically if you select ‘USA’ as the local liturgical calendar.

If you are using the spoken audio of the Hours, this has been updated to include the American texts. When you press the Play button to listen to Lauds or Vespers, the app will tell you that there is an updated version of the big audio file and offer to download it for you.

If you aren’t using the spoken audio of the Hours, why not try it? You can read all about it here. The audio is available as a subscription, and there is also a separate subscription for the readings at Mass.

New Mass readings for England, Wales and Scotland

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, have decided to replace the Jerusalem Bible translation of the readings at Mass with a lectionary based on the English Standard Version, which is currently in liturgical use in India. You can read the full announcement here. A enormous amount of work has been done, but an enormous amount of work still has to be done, so that it is not yet certain when arrangements will be made for publishers to receive the texts, nor on what terms the texts will be licensed for publication.

Our intention at Universalis is to license these texts and to make them available to users of our apps and programs. Until we know the details we can’t give you any more details ourselves, but we do not intend to make it impossible to read the Jerusalem Bible version, even after the changes, since people may still want this for private study.

Once we know more, we will be able to make more detailed plans and let you know what they are. But we thought it important that you should know that we do intend to continue to provide you with the texts as you hear them in church.

Spiritual Communion prayer

One final small new feature: because in these times many people cannot get to Mass, we have had requests for a Spiritual Communion prayer in Universalis. This has now been added in the Order of Mass page just after the Communion rite itself, and also in the Mass Today page (which combines the Order of Mass with all the prayers and readings for the Mass of the day). There are two prayers: one by St Alphonsus Liguori (in Latin and English) and one by Cardinal Merry del Val.

App updates

To see the new features, you need the latest version of the apps and programs. Updates are (or should be) automatic on Android and iOS, while on the Mac and on Windows, the Universalis program checks for updates from time to time and lets you know when one is available. In case any of this doesn’t happen, we have instructions for updating manually here.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.