Electric Prayer

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

Archive for the ‘Newsletters’ Category

May 2022 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 18 May 2022

Happy Eastertide!

One way and another, this is going to be rather a bookish newsletter.

New e-books are ready

Those of you who use e-books rather than apps know that each e-book lasts only for a fixed time, and when it has finished you have to get an e-book for the next period. In this way an e-book is like a printed book –  it covers only the period it is designed for, whereas an app lasts for ever.

Ready-made Liturgy of the Hours e-books are available through Amazon for the Kindle. Because of the size of the Liturgy of the Hours, the e-books cover half a year each. The current one goes from Advent 2021 to Pentecost 2022, and Pentecost is approaching rapidly. The next e-book from Amazon goes from Pentecost 2022 to just before Advent, and it is available now. You can find the catalogue here.

You can also create your own e-books for yourself, which is cheaper because you only ever need to pay once. It is also more flexible because you can choose your own local calendar and the exact Hours you want. If this is something you have been doing already, nothing has changed in the way you do it – but as a reminder, this page has the instructions.

The Mass in Close-Up

The Universalis apps and programs have a feature called “Daily Books” which lets you read a book, divided into daily slices, as part of any of the pages in Universalis. The daily slicing means that you are never tempted to read too much at once, but can focus deeply on one passage at a time and get the most out of it. You can get at the books through the File menu in the programs and through the circled-I menu in the toolbar of the apps. This page has all the details and instructions.

There is a new Daily Book out now: “The Mass in Close-Up” by Father Antony Jones, who for some 50 years was a parish priest in Wales. As his priestly ministry proceeded, Fr Antony became increasingly convinced that the more we understand the Mass, the Church’s greatest treasure, the more we will love it and benefit from it. His constant aim was to instruct his parishioners about the Mass and from the resulting talks and papers this book was born. “The Mass in Close-Up” is a detailed examination of the Mass, exploring every aspect of it, theologically, historically and spiritually. In Universalis it comes in 70 daily instalments and you can attach it to whichever page you want, although the Mass Readings page is probably the most logical choice.

The Creed in Slow Motion

The publication date in the UK is now definitely 30 June and advance copies are already going out to reviewers and the like.

The US publication date is 18 October, but I know that some of our American friends have been pre-ordering the UK edition from The Book Depository.

This page tells you all about the book and includes the final cover design.

From Wednesday 18 May the Universalis apps and programs, and the web site, will give you access to a short daily audio clip telling you about each chapter of the book. There isn’t time, in 60 seconds, to say very much, but I hope that what is said will interest and intrigue you. On the web site it is a yellow box about half way through the About Today page or at the bottom of the Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer pages. In the apps and programs the box is in the same sort of position but it is grey rather than yellow.

Try a few episodes and see if you enjoy it! And if you aren’t interested, the boxes are not too obtrusive and will disappear automatically at the end of June.

And another thing…

While you are waiting for a book by one member of the Kochanski family, another member’s book is already out! It is Resistance: the Underground War in Europe, 1939-45 by Halik Kochanski, who is my sister. It was published in March in the UK and the US publication date is 24 May. It is not family solidarity alone that makes me mention this book. It is a solid, authoritative and compassionate piece of work. Max Hastings, in the Sunday Times, calls it “The best book on the subject I have ever read.” The publisher’s page about the book is here.

App news

The Android apps now follow the iOS apps in letting you select text by holding down your finger on the screen. Handles then appear which you can use to highlight exactly the text you want to copy and paste into other apps (for instance, for emailing). The apps from Google Play already have this feature and the Amazon Appstore ones will follow soon.

Now is also a good time to remind you about another feature of the Android apps. If you are blind or are using a screen reader for some other purpose, there is a switch in the Settings screen of the Android app which makes the display more “visible” to TalkBack. The switch is labelled “Screen reader mode” and it is at the beginning of the “Advanced” section at the end of the Settings screen. A blind user asked me to mention this, and I am happy to do so. (The iOS app naturally works with VoiceOver and a separate mode is not needed).


Thank you all for using Universalis. If you have trouble or questions, or suggestions, do write to us at universalis@universalis.com or use the Contact Us button in one of the apps.

Let us all keep one another in our prayers, as always.

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March 2022 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 25 March 2022

Happy Annunciation!

That isn’t something people say. You didn’t wake up this morning expecting to hear it or planning to say it to everyone you met. Just as well, because you would be disappointed (on the one hand) and (on the other hand) come across as some kind of lunatic. But all the same it is true: the Annunciation is a great feast because it is the feast of the Incarnation. It is when our salvation started.

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February 2022 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 1 March 2022

Every year, Lent seems to arrive suddenly: almost as a surprise. This year, the benefit of a later Lent is that it is a lighter Lent (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), which reminds us that, sombre though Lent is liturgically, gloom is not really what Lent is about. Lent is about joy.

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Advent 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 8 December 2021

Advent can be an embarrassing time for those of us who like to live a quiet life as “compatible Christians”, rubbing along next to our pagan neighbours with just a handful of quaint beliefs to distinguish us. Advent rather sabotages the feeling that we are just like everyone else really (or perhaps that little bit nicer).

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November 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 12 November 2021

The newsletter is a bit long this month, because this is the time of year to be thinking about books. Advent is round the corner, so if you get the annual or semi-annual e-books of Hours and Mass readings for the Amazon Kindle or some other e-book reader, now is the time to be getting the next one. Christmas is round the corner, so if you enjoyed last year’s “New Every Day” e-book, or gave it as a present to a friend, now is the time to do something about that. We also have a new e-book available this year, just in time for Christmas.

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October 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 7 October 2021

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, which is as good a reason as any for sending out the October newsletter today. Thank you for subscribing, and I hope you enjoy it. This month it is mostly about the features of the Universalis apps and programs, because sometimes people forget some of them and in any case there is always something new to discover.

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August 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 23 August 2021

It has been rather a quiet summer, and we have been quiet too: there was no newsletter in July. We got one or two emails expressing concern about this, but don’t worry! All is well here, as we hope it is with you.

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June 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 23 June 2021

Welcome to another Newsletter. It marks the 25th anniversary of Universalis!

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April 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 23 April 2021

Happy Easter! He is risen indeed, alleluia!

The Easter Alleluia

As the last newsletter promised, we have been trying out a new feature for Easter this year.

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March 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 26 March 2021

The Easter Alleluia

We are trying out a new feature for Easter this year.

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