An iBreviary for when you iPreside
Should you decide to take matters into your own hands and preside at a liturgical celebration with an iPad, you are all set. If, that is, you are a Roman Catholic. It seems that there is an app called the iBreviary that is made for this. It includes this missal, lectionary, breviary, and lives of the saints. (As Gizmodo notes, it is hoped that this also includes the instructions for the Holy Hand Grenade).
Alas, Anglicans are out of luck. For American Episcopalians, Church Publishing has (expensive) software for Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Palm, but not for iPhones or iPads. There is an iBCP, but it’s clunky. It seems that no one has yet made excellent liturgical software or even liturgical websites for Episcopalians.
Across the Atlantic, the news is a bit more encouraging. The Church of England has an excellent set of liturgical resources online (please have a look, Church Publishing!), but no apps yet. I’d put my money on the C of E coming up with something sooner than the Episcopal Church, because they generally seem to do web tech stuff better than the US franchise. There are some bright spots here. The communications office at 815 has made great strides, using social media well and entering into the realm of live streaming video. Surprisingly, our well-resourced publishing house seems stuck in 1998.
Anyway, Anglicans will be using real books to preside for now. Perhaps that’s good. This way, we’ll have more time for the church goods companies to produce proper cases for our iPads. Who would want to preside using a gizmo without a classy damask cover? Also, we need the damask so that we can do what we Anglicans do best: worship in a slightly superior way. Then we can be nonchalantly dismissive of the iBreviary and its pretentious slogan (“Open your phone to God”).
NOTE: I am expecting to be challenged on my assertion that there aren’t decent websites or programs for Episcopalians. You can read some reviews here, if you’d like them. For now, I’ll note that I am very favorably impressed with St. Bede’s Breviary, and I look forward to when it comes out of beta.
Photo nicked from Gizmodo.