Future of the Electronic Anglican Breviary

The attempt to fund an electronic version of the Anglican Breviary did not succeed. I do think that the Kickstarter model is a good one, and I can definitely see doing some projects through it. However, This one didn’t quite work out. I’ll have to ponder what didn’t work and what might work…

Actually—one thought I have already had is that this might be the right way to fund much smaller scoped projects like the preparation of e-book editions of classic Anglican texts. I’m thinking here of things like Proctor and Frere’s commentary on the (English 1662) BCP or Dearmer’s Parson’s Handbook. (And when I say e-book, I mean more than just a scan dumped into a .pdf file; I mean fully searchable, proper formatting, hyperlinked indeces, cross-references, and all.)

In any case, the ending of this funding attempt does not mean the end of an Anglican Breviary project. I do think that it is an important resource that needs to go online in an easily accessible form. I will continue to work to that end. However, it will have to move towards a back burner while I work on projects that I have already committed to and that do bring in income.

I’m thinking that the best way forward will be to reduce the scope and to work on those sections that will be of most use to most people. Thus, I anticipate starting on the Matins readings of the temporal cycle. Once these are in electronic form, I will be able to incorporate them as a further patristic option within the St. Bede’s Breviary, leveraging them either as additions to the Noon office or as options for a third reading at Morning Prayer or a second/third reading at Evening Prayer.

Several people have contacted me with offers to help with transcription work—I hope to be able to send a note to you all within the next few weeks and identify some specific material with which to begin.

So—this particular effort has ended, but the project will move on nevertheless.

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About Derek Olsen

I'm a layman within the Episcopal Church with a PhD in New Testament and an interest in most things medieval, monastic, and liturgical. My chief job is keeping up with my priestly wife and our two awesome kids. In addition to that, I earn a living, run the St Bede's Breviary, listen to loud goth/industrial music, and do some stuff for the church. I currently serve as Secretary to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music where I'm also co-chair of the Calendar committee and chair of the Digital Publications committee.
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8 Responses to Future of the Electronic Anglican Breviary

  1. Yeah, that’s too bad. I think the main thing was that the Anglican Breviary is really kind of an esoteric thing; I mean, I didn’t know what it was when you announced it. And personally I’m quite happy with the St. Bede’s Breviary, and think it’s probably the best online Prayer resource ever invented. ;-)

    BTW, I can help you with anything you need on this, too – just let me know.

  2. Rdr. James Morgan says:

    Not sure what you mean here: “Thus, I anticipate starting on the Matins readings of the temporal cycle. Once these are in electronic form, I will be able to incorporate them as a further patristic option within the St. Bede’s Breviary, leveraging them either as additions to the Noon office or as options for a third reading at Morning Prayer or a second/third reading at Evening Prayer.”
    I’m familiar with Robert Wright’s Readings for the Daioy Office from the Early Church. Are you perhaps using this as a basis?

  3. Paul Goings says:

    Derek, I chose not to support your Kickstarter campaign, not because I opposed it, but simply because I think that an online version of the Anglican Breviary is not necessarily the best option right now. It is, after all, a very idiosyncratic work, and that of one man working on his own. (Which makes it all that more remarkable, in a sense.) But even when using it at S. Clement’s we relied on other vernacular translations of the Breviarium Romanum to “correct” Fr Joseph’s magnum opus.

    What I would be in favor of is a “cento” vernacular breviary, that would allow you to select Anglican/Roman options, rather than relying on an excess of page turning (or crib notes!)

  4. Ormonde Plater says:

    Will this be a chant version? Or just text?

  5. I just found this project tonight! I wish I had been able to help fund it while the kickstarter was active!!! This would help people learn the AB in faster-course than any other form!!! Back when I started learning the LOTH, I loved being able to check if I was performing the office properly with supplemental web-versions. A group of friends and I have really wanted to start using the AB together, but I live in Baltimore and they in Chicago… it will be very difficult to know we are not making mistakes in our attempts to be aligned in prayer (as it seems easy to make mistakes when praying alone with no real authoritative calender to follow for the AB). This app would have alleviated that worry completely! I sincerely hope you continue this project! If you launch the kickstarter campaign again, I will MOST DEFINITELY donate as much as I can! The option to line the calender up with the BCP would be unbelievably useful!

    The AB needs to have a digital format! It would create such a surge of Christians coming together in one of the richest forms of the office in English.

    Many Blessings!
    Caleb

  6. Wilfried says:

    Are you aware that it appears an online version of the Anglican Breviary already exists at http://www.breviary.net (the actual breviary is at http://www.breviary.mobi), run by the “Confraternity of Saints Peter and Paul”? I have no idea who these folks are, except that it’s alleged that they’re a bunch of sedevacantist Catholics. As near as I can tell, the texts come word for word straight out of the Anglican Breviary. Much like St. Bede’s Breviary, the provide complete, rubrically correct, compiled offices, for every hour of every day. They now charge a small fee to use it. I’ve used it off and on over the years, despite the possible political incorrectness of the group that runs it. I’ve started using it again this Lent. Googling about to find out more led me back to you blog (I’ve followed it off and on, though I didn’t see your Kickstarter campaign until know). I have no idea if one can collaborate with these folks, but I though I’d mention that the wheel appears to have been invented, if you didn’t know about it already.

    • Derek Olsen says:

      I am familiar with it, but I don’t believe it’s exactly the same. There is certainly going to be a lot of overlap between what there and what’s in the AB. However, the AB uses the Coverdale Psalter and the KJV and I’m pretty sure theirs uses the Doauy-Rhiems version for its biblical text. Too, the AB specifically makes some adaptations in a couple of recent feasts deemed outside the bounds of the theology of the Undivided Church. So—it is close, but it’s not the AB.

      Too—I believe that prayer ought to be free…

      • Wilfried says:

        They use the Coverdale Psalter, and the King James; I checked their Sunday Matins lessons against the AB. That does seem odd for hyper-traditionalist, anti-Vatican II folks. Like I said, the texts seem to come verbatim from the Breviary. They did not however celebrate Cuthbert this week, one of the Anglican additions to the kalendar. They also didn’t use the common for Abbots to celebrate Saint Benedict, one of the non-Roman Commons of Saints provided in the Breviary, resorting to Rome approved Confessor not a Bishop instead. And they reinserted the papal bull of Pius IX as lesson vi of Matins of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Their offices are very close indeed.

        I agree that prayer should be free, but then the Episcopal Church charges for its electronic resources. And you have to pay something even for the old analog method, even if only to buy a Prayer Book and Bible; the Daily Office Book costs a pretty penny. A copy of the Anglican Breviary isn’t cheap either.

        I’d like to see your project happen, but it’s too bad you can’t build on their work, as they’ve already done the bulk of it.

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