Electric Prayer

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

Archive for the ‘Downloadable Universalis’ Category

Advanced Debugging on iOS

Posted by universalis on 16 October 2019

Very, very rarely, a problem comes up where we need the Universalis app to report precisely what it is doing at every instant, and also to report every detail of its configuration.

For this purpose, version 3.26 of the Universalis app for iOS will have a new setting: “Advanced Debugging”. This version is being reviewed by Apple, and if they accept it, it should appear in the App Store next week. These instructions will not work until you have updated to the new version.

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How to send a Contact Us message

Posted by universalis on 16 October 2019

All the Universalis apps and programs now have a command called “Contact Us”. This is a good way of getting in touch with us, because it creates an email which automatically contains a lot of useful information – such as which version you are using, what calendar and language settings you have, and what page you are looking at.

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How to record the screen on the iPhone or iPad

Posted by universalis on 14 October 2019

Sometimes it is easiest to explain things by sending a video of what you are seeing on your screen.

Apple have instructions, but they are a bit elliptical, so here is a longer version.

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VoiceOver bug

Posted by universalis on 4 October 2019

It is very rare for Apple to introduce a bug into their operating systems which causes major trouble for users of the Universalis app, but unfortunately it looks as if this is what has happened in iOS 13.

Apple’s VoiceOver feature reads the contents of an app screen out loud to the user, thus enabling blind people to use the app. Universalis has worked with VoiceOver for many years now, but with iOS 13 there has come a problem.

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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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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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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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Giving Universalis for Christmas

Posted by universalis on 18 December 2018

The two safest kinds of present to give at Christmas are the kind that lasts no time at all (it gets eaten or drunk, so it doesn’t add to your burden of possessions and you don’t have to keep on being grateful for it) and the kind that lasts for ever – such as Universalis. Universalis is a present that will be with the recipient for life, through the pious times and the pagan ones, through the dry seasons and the fruitful ones.

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Chanting the Psalms

Posted by universalis on 19 July 2018

The Grail psalms, which are used in the English Liturgy of the Hours, are designed with a given number of stresses in each line. The number of syllables per line may vary from one verse to the next, but the stress pattern remains consistent throughout the psalm. As one might say:

When chánting each psálm,
the páttern of stréss is consístent.
If you lóok at the márks,
you will sée how the psálm should be chánted.

In general, among the printed Liturgy of the Hours books, the English books tend to include these marks (“pointing”) and the American ones tend not to. The latest versions of Universalis give you a choice between viewing the stress marks (if they are helpful) or hiding them (if they are distracting).

The question then arises – what to do with these marks once you have them?

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