Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your personal monastic bells plus weekly Q&A

Easy Reminders -  Push Notifications with Snooze

My Divine Office routine usually includes five daily liturgical hours. Given my lifestyle--older children, part time work from home, good health--this is has not been that hard to do. Morning prayer,preceded by the Office of Readings, is a cinch to do once the remaining minor offspring gets on the school bus. It's hard to forget Night Prayer since a separate volume of just Compline sits on my nightstand, and its association with bedtime makes it impossible to forget except on the occasional day that I just fall into bed in utter exhaustion--the kind of night when I also might neglect to brush my teeth or wash my face.

But funny things can happen with Daytime and Evening Prayer. My theoretical goal with daytime prayer is to hit it around the middle of my day, roughly between 11:30am and 1pm.  But I'm a procrastinator, so what tended to happen was that at 4pm I'd realize that it was almost time for evening prayer, therefore I'd better drop what I was doing and do the midafternoon version. Similarly, I'd tend to put off Evening Prayer until well into the night. 

But now things are much better. Thanks to Catholic techie  Sarah Reinhard of, I learned about the free Easy Reminders App for ipod/iphone/ipad.  I assume that similar things exist for android phones, tablets, and maybe even Kindle fire. Anyway, I entered an ongoing reminder to do Daytime Prayer at 12 noon and Evening Prayer at 5pm.  As each of these two times roll around I get a lovely  little Westminster chimes sound effect. I've found that although I can't necessarily drop everything and pray at these precise times, just having heard that single reminder chime usually keeps the thought of praying in the back of my mind such that I do get around to it sometime within the next hour. In the three weeks that I've had Easy Reminders I"ve improved about 90% at getting these two hours done at the times of day I intend to do them, rather than procrastinating til its almost time for the next hour.

REMINDER! Will the winners of the blogiversary book giveaway kindly let me know where you live? Other than the prompt Mrs. Pinkerton I have not heard from any of you. Email me at thesockeys"at"gmail"dot"com.  Thanks.

Don't forget to add an intercession for Pope Benedict these next few days when you do the intercessions for morning or evening prayer. Thank God for his papacy and ask God to bless him in his new ministry of prayer.

Okay. Q&A time. Comments, Queries, and Quibbles welcome.


  1. I don't have a smart phone or iPad or tablet etc, but I do have a flip phone that has three alarms, plus a calendar where I can add alarms and reminders and whatnot. I set alarms for 9am, noon, and 3pm. Even if I can't pray one of the Daytime Prayers, I can stop and pray an OF, HM, or anything else!

    In the past, due to my schedule, I had problems getting Evening Prayer in. Once I learned that Evening Prayer and Night Prayer could be combined, I combined them. Now my wife and I are both able to pray/chant EP and NP together.

  2. You're right, Chris. Basic cell phones have an alarm feature, something I'd forgotten since I don't have a cell phone. (Well, there's a seldom used tracfone in a drawer somewhere). I acquired an ipod touch last spring, and am delighted at how useful it is to carry a computer in one's pocket. That's where my use of reminder alarms comes in. I suppose anyone could go even lower tech and just have a clock radio set with two different alarms in their daytime living area.
    And yes, combining hours is a simple solution. (as I do with OOR and MP) I just like the idea of spreading them out when possible, in keeping with the idea of sanctifying the various portions of the day. I guess in pre-Vatican II days many priests would routinely save their entire days' Office and take an hour or so to do everything at once. Not the ideal, but not forbidden either. One of the reasons that the Church shortened the length of most of the hours in the 1970 revision.