It’s not often we get to pass on news of a price reduction. But that’s what Divine Office app did a few days ago, listing their complete audio and text version of Liturgy of the Hours (English- United States approved texts) at half price on most of its platforms. As developers note, it’s to encourage giving a gift of prayer. “We hope it will be easier to get it for someone you care about. A gift of prayer that will bring them in the Divine Office prayer community, where people of all cultures, rich and poor, all are praying together around the globe.”
This popular full-feature app is the complete Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Roman Catholic Church. The version for iOS iPhone and iPad and Mac OS X is now $9.99. The less sophisticated version for Android phones and tablets is $5.99. Digital book reader version for Kindle Fire is now $7.99 but Nook remains at its original price of $14.99. If you just want to read your Office off your computer screen for free, simply go to the home page of their web site and the day’s prayers are all set in order for you in a beautiful layout which includes the ribbon settings (ooooh!) for any print version you choose.
No matter which version you get, the app automatically opens to the day’s readings and can download several days ahead (up to 21 days in the iOS version). Each day you get elegantly formatted text and professionally-produced audio of:
- Office of Readings
- Morning Prayer
- Midmorning Prayer
- Midday Prayer
- Mid-afternoon Prayer
- Evening Prayer
- Night Prayer
While the text of Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer book of the Roman Catholic Church, it is suitable for all Christian faith traditions, developers note. It automatically downloads the appropriate prayers for each office, every day of the year, including Solemnities, Feasts, and Memorials.
As noted, Divine Office offers the approved texts for United States (English only) with a bias towards the U.S. calendar.
You will enjoy the audio version which engulfs you in a virtual monastic environment from the opening chimes and lovely, professionally-produced hymns through to closing chimes and background music suitable to prayer. One of our priests who uses this app noted that the use of several people reading in the production is consistent with the Church’s notion that this form of prayer is preferred as a communal experience instead of private. The cast of readers brings you into that community atmosphere of prayer, and over time you become familiar with their voices which further adds to the comfort of the experience as you pray with others.
While some criticize the pious recitation of the prayers as a little on the sappy side, others absolutely delight in this audio version. It’s a tasteful and elegant interface to go with excellent studio production quality. We particularly enjoy the sensitivity to the liturgical year by occasionally embellishing the experience with full chanting of the psalms ( for example, during Easter and its octave) and adding musical enhancements to the Advent opening chime.
But they don’t stop there. On iPhone/iPad only you get a tracking component so that you can see a graphic of the globe with little points of light that indicate who is praying the Hours with you in real time around the world! How cool is that? Watch the video demo explaining all the many aspects of this well-developed, award-winning app.