Reviews of BCP iPhone Apps

Reviews of BCP iPhone Apps

Father Eirik inspired my husband and me to get active and try to implement the Daily Office into our lives. Then we saw the array of ribbons that laced Fr. Eirik’s Book of Common Prayer and thought about creating our own so that we could get organized and efficiently flip back and forth between the lectionary and the various prayers and elements of the Daily Office. Unfortunately this seemed like a lot of work. We checked into it and were dismayed at the thought of spending over $100 to get the special two volume prayer book set that had all the readings laid out for the complete two year cycle so that any reader did not have to rely upon multiple place markers or an elaborate post-it system. We then realized that we were typical Anglicans who wanted to be practical. So, we did the thing that seemed easiest–we searched for an app.

We found three possibilities that ranged from free (Book of Common Prayer: Daily Office), cheap/$1.99 (iPray-The Book of Common Prayer) and more expensive but affordable-$9.99 (the official electronic episcopal Book of Common Prayer). We test drove each app and here is what we discovered:

The free Book of Common Prayer: Daily Office is the “get it done” version that has each day’s lectionary but lacks the prayers and order of service for morning, midday, evening and compline prayers. It allows you to select the daily scripture readings with an easy click–so that you can read them while using a hard copy version of the BCP. It also has Christ’s words highlighted in red letters. One interesting feature is that you can have your smart device “read” the verses out loud which means that you could either listen or even engage in some antiphonal psalm reading with your smart device.

The iPray version of the Daily Office has colorful pictures and lists the prayers and collects for the daily offices with cues for the minister and congregants. It also allows you to skip around the calendar to check which saints’ days, feast and fast days are coming up. It does not, however, list the lectionary, so once again you would need to either use the previous app or have a BCP handy with post-its or ribbons to keep you on track.

The official episcopal BCP, Electronic Common Prayer, is the you-get-what-you-pay-for example. It has everything that would make it easy to not only follow any portion of any Anglican service, but allows you to pick rite one or rite two and have all the options for the lectionary available in a simple click at each appropriate portion of the Daily Office. It allows easy movement back and forth between the portions of the prayer book without losing your place. It also lists all the saints’ days, feasts, fasts and all the services that are part of the Anglican tradition. It is easy and intuitive to use and also struck us as the type of thing that would be really neat to use when taking communion to the sick or homebound. Another advantage is that this app is completely downloadable so that you do not need to be within range of wifi in order to use it.

The Electronic Common Prayer app is our pick for anyone who wants to start getting comfortable with the BCP and has a smart device.

God a different opinion on iPhone apps? Have you checked out Android apps and want to do your own review? Comment here.

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