Friday, April 22, 2016

DivineOffice.org Gone from Appstores

image by FranciscanMom.com


Contrary to what I'd written yeserday, the DivineOffice mobile app will not be available for purchase these next two or three days.

As of several hours ago, DivineOffice.org is not longer available from any app store.

If you want a good explanation of the probable cause of this sad state of affairs, scroll down in the comments on my previous post.and read what Matt Warner had to say. He also links to a longer article on this topic.

Is there anything we can do to help save DivineOffice.org?  Yes. First of all, be aware the the free DivineOffice.org website is also under the same threat. The copyright holders for the New American Bible and other breviary texts are allowing the website to serve existing members only. This means if you want to maintain access to the Divineoffice.org website you must make sure that your are a registered member. So go there and register! It just means giving your email and making up a password for the site.  If you don't do this, you will be shut out when DivineOffice.org becomes a closed community.  I was told that this would happen in two weeks, but then, since the "three days" left to buy the app turned out to be only 10 hours, I think people had better not wait very long at all. Register, and you can still be part of this particular community of believers who want to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, a prayer that belongs to the whole Body of Christ, and should not be confined to print media.   It might help the DivineOffice.org people to make their case to the USCCB that there is a large, stable group that benefit from this ministry.

The website works pretty well on a mobile device, by the way.

Even if you don't normally use DivineOffice to say your prayers, it can come in  handy when you are mixed up about which pages to use for any given day in your breviary: they always list them for you right at the begining of the prayers, both for the single volume and the four volume breviary.

How else can you help?
Go to DivineOffice.org and make a small (or large) donation. This licensing process will cost money, you can be sure of that.  If by chance you have some legal expertise in negotiating such things, you might offer your services to CEO Dane Falkner. Contact me privately about this if you are interested. thesockeys"at" gmail "dot" com.

Please don't just say "Well, too bad.  I'll just have to  switch to iBreviary or Universalis. Because you know what? Maybe iBreviary or Universalis will be the next apps to be threatened and shut down by archaic rules that have nothing to do with the mission of the Church to evangelize and draw us into a prayerful relationship with the Triune God.

How else can you help?
You might want to write a calm and respectful letter to your bishop, and to Bishop Serratelli, chairman of the USCCB Divine Worship Committee. I'll look for and post the addresses later. (It's well past my bedtime as I write this.) Let them know how you benefit from having the Liturgy of the Hours app or website. Let them know whether you "graduated" from using DivineOffice.org to buying and using a print breviary, something you might never have done if you did not have this simple gateway to liturgical prayer.  Let them know that DivineOffice.org has truly "gone to the peripheries" and brought the beautiful prayer of the Psalter to thousands who would not otherwise have tried it.   Beg them to, in this year of Mercy, to do what they can  to lay aside the legal structures that keep God's saving word from going out to the highways and biways of the digital world.

You get the idea. I'll get back to you with those addresses tomorrow. Good night.

Update: Good morning. The easy way to do this is to use the usccb.org's "Contact Us" form. Where is says Help Us Direct Your Question, go first to Select Office and choose "Divine Worship".  You might also begin your comments with "To the Most Reverend  Arthus J. Serratelli  and members of the Committee on Divine Worship", but realize that Bishop Serratelli is not likely to receive this email: he is bishop of Paterson, New Jersey and does not work at the USCCB offices. It will be  read by a staff person who may or may not forward the emails. The bishops won't even be in Washington DC until there next meeting in the fall. Therefore, if you want to take another step,  you may email Bishop Serratelli at this address:  shepherd "at" patersondiocese"dot" org.

Another good Bishop to write might by Archbishop Aymond who is also on the Worship Committee. I could not find a specific email for him but here is the general contact page for the diocese.

Another good idea: contact your own bishop in the same way. A bishops conference is an artificial construct in the Church. The normal channel from us to the episcopacy  is our own bishop. Find your "Diocese of X" website and hunt around. Hopefully there will be a personal email for your bishop, and if not there should be some kind of contact form.

If you want to go the extra mile and write a Real Letter made of actual paper, just go to the various websites I've already linked and you will find the addresses. Right now I have to get someone up for school so I'm done here. Remember, these bishops probably have no idea what is going on at this point. Be respectful. They are also extrememly busy. Be concise.

One more thing. Spread the word. This blog is small.  Post this link on Facebook with your own note of explanation. If you think hashtags are a big deal (I don't get this myself) then use #freetheword or maybe #savethedivineoffice or #prayershouldbefree.

Another one more thing. I don't do Twitter, but if you are Twitter savvy (Twitter-pated as the Owl in Bambi would say) then there are things you could do there too. My fellow writer and DivineOffice fan Barb Syskiewiecz talks about that at the end of her post on this subject, which just came out this morning.

Oh! And how about a novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots?

One more thing. This is the last, I promise. Send messages of support to support@divineoffice.org I'm sure the folks there will be glad to hear from you. If you have any special legal expertise, write directly to Dane at  dfalkner@divineoffice.org

24 comments:

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    1. Maybe. I'm sure they'll get wind of this soon.

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    2. EWTN would do well in propagating the prayers on TV. Frankly speaking, this is the one thing missing in their program lineup, and I'm sure it would be very popular and beneficial if done the right way. I have licked a little bit of the Trappists' life, and the Hours were always the most beautiful moments of the day. Strangely enough: Ora et Labora really works. Even if you think you have tons of work to do, just stop, and pray the hours. You'll get recharged, revitalized, your mind cleared and yes, you even get happy. Muslims and Jews do this, so why aren't we doing this as openly as them. I believe that when it comes to sacred works, the technology has lost the battle. I can read a Mistery book on my gadget, but kissing the Word of God on the screen is rather ridiculous.

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  3. As I get older, my eyes aren't the best and to walk with my phone listening to the Divine Office is a God send. Let's all help as instructed above.

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  4. Perhaps God wants us to carry the Breviary with us instead of concealing it within our electronic gadgets? Perhaps He wants to be more visible in the age where He is more and more pushed from the public square? Let's pray for the wisdom to see things His way, not ours.

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    1. I am with you on that comment Robert; I am trying to resurrect my missal and its not easy after the celphone!πŸ‘

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    2. Thanks Norman, I think its a lovely idea. Think of the time people ask you "what's That?", pointing to your Breviary or Bible instead of your cellphone or Tablet. I believe that deep down, people of faith dream of liberating themselves from technology and give proper witness to God. Today, with the cellphone or tablet, I feel like I'm too ashamed of something I read, so I conceal it in my gadget - and that's making me very guilty and sad. The fear of being ridiculed. So what, so be it. This a reason I don't buy any religious books in electronic form. They deserve better than that. And the Breviary, though quite bulky, certainly deserves a special place on our shelves and in our lives. You can do it :) God Bless!

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  5. I just successfully downloaded it from the Amazon app store. I subscribe to amazon prime, but I don't think the "prime" membership is required. Although I appreciate using the paper books, these apps are convenient and can help to teach a novice how to pray the office. Still a novice myself, the app acts like a cheat sheet to help confirm I am on track.

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    1. Just tried to find it on Amazon and it wasn't there. I lost it a few days ago when I had to reset my phone. Can't get it back. :(

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    2. Janet, I'm not sure if there is a solution for this, since you won't find it in the appstore anymore, but I will ask the CEO if there is anything that can be done.

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  6. I hope this isn't totally unrelated, but it is something I've wondered for a while. Has anybody just furnished a simple Internet or digital schedule of the Liturgy of the Hours, including the Psalter, other Scripture readings, extra Office of Readings, Antiphons and other items according to their cycles? For example, if one just looks up a schedule of the readings for the Mass, one can just read the readings from their own sources (for example, personal Bibles). I suppose that for the Liturgy of the Hours it would be a lot more complicated, due to synchronizing the Psalter and other types of readings which follow (I think) different schedules than just the four-week Psalter schedule. I suppose another problem might be if the phrasing of the Antiphons might be copyrighted. I guess finding a schedule for the proper intercessions for each day could also be a problem. Thank you for putting up with my curiosity.

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  7. Cyberkotic, check out this website: catholic-resources.org

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    1. Excellent! Thanks! It's better than what I have found so far.

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  9. You may find this useful:
    http://liturgyofthehours.org/todays-pages/

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  11. I take mine to Disneyland every week and have fielded quite a few questions from curious folks...everyone assumes it is a Bible...which in a way it is. If I was on my iPhone or an app, not sure if anyone would notice!

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  12. Any idea if iBreviary will be removed at some point too? I just bought my wife an iPad so she could have the app with her and now the DivineOffice app is gone. She could use iBreviary, but it's not as nice as it doesn't have the audio feature. Better than nothing I guess.

    I still prefer to have a book in my hand, but when going on retreats or if I have to limit what I can carry with me, taking a tablet is nice.

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    1. Don't forget that you can still access DivineOffice.org content by going to it's website and registering as a member (giving them email and creating a password). Their website works pretty well on mobile devices. I would not worry about the ibreviary app anytime soon. They are based in Rome and the app has Vatican approval. It would be much more difficult to conduct any kind of legal process with them.

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  13. Yes I miss it but it had forced me to reconnect with Daria and find other sources and articles and return to the book,

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