Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Gives with Online Breviary Discrepancies? Plus Q&A

 This is from alert blog follower Russ Stutler, who lives in Japan, and thus is a day ahead of us.  First he said some very kind things about   The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. I blushed  modestly and went on to read:
All the navigating between different pages and options during Advent finally convinced me to buy a cheap tablet so I could let iBreviary and/or Divine Office navigate for me. Well, my first day, today has different ending prayers for Evening Prayer (Sunday I -- I live in the future still). iBreviary has prayers about St. John of the Cross while Divine Office talks about Advent. Which is correct?
My answer: iBreviary is pretty clearly wrong this time, which surprises me. Both iBreviary and Divine Office occasionally make mistakes, but my experience is that ibreviary has a slight edge over in posting the correct prayers. But the only people who might possibly use prayers for St. John of the Cross this evening are the Carmelites, who might celebrate this saint with a solemnity. No, I take that back! Sundays in Advent (as opposed to those or Ordinary Time) take precedence over solemnities. So yes, iBreviary fail here. 
I'm imagining the webmasters cutting, pasting, and posting these prayers on the sites weeks ahead of time, and just getting a little tired and perhaps looking at the wrong day on the calendar now and then. Or just forgetting some rule about the order of precedence for a given saint's day. It could happen to anyone. 
Now, you will frequently find legitimate discrepancies between these two apps on weekdays. will sometimes choose to run a weekday office without reference to a saint whose memorial is optional. iBreviary usually lets you know about every possible saint's memorial on the universal calendar, but then chooses which one they want to have on the day's page, leaving the reader to go find the commons in the "Prayers" section should he want to choose a different saint. 
Both sites have ways to contact the administrators to let them know when something is incorrect. In fact, they are grateful to have mistakes pointed out. In general, digital breviaries make fewer mistakes than we ribbon flippers normally do, so we should forgive their occasional glitches.
Welcome, new blog followers Andrew and Vicki.
It's Q&A time. Congratulations to any of you, especially mothers, who are keeping up with most of their LOTH routine despite the insane amount of work Christmas preparations  can impose upon us. If  you even have time to think about items in the breviary that confuse you, much less  formulate rational questions about them, then you are REALLY dedicated, and really keeping your mind on prayer and praise during this holy season. 
 I will check back whenever there is no cookie dough on my hands, in case any answers are required.