Electronic Prayer Book

Introduction

 

Purpose of Prayer Book

 

1. Christian bookshops offer a wonderful range of prayer books and other devotional aids. We have not attempted here to offer yet another. This Electronic Prayer Book (EPB) has been designed to provide a framework within which an individual, a family or any group can use their chosen prayers in conjunction with the traditional daily prayer of the Church.

2. As the project is developed it will be downloadable for use on mobile electronics suitable for travellers, etc.

3. The EPB allows one to sample a tiny portion of the traditional Roman Breviary (also called, the Divine Office) ― the “official” daily prayer of the priests and members of religious orders as well as lay people who choose to use the Breviary. Some who use this EPB may even wish to go on later to use a Breviary. This material is supplemented by material from the Roman Missal.

4. The EPB also offers selected devotional material widely used for private or family devotions.

5. The material is arranged so that the user can select easily what is appropriate without pressure to try and “get through” everything, when there simply is not time.

6. No matter what rhythm you adopt, nor the “material” you choose, your action will connect you with the unceasing prayer of the Church, the Body of Christ, in its Sacrifice of Praise to God our Creator through our Head, Jesus Christ the Lord.

 

Design Format

 

1. The EPB is based on four divisions of unequal size:

Part 1 From the Divine Office

Part 2 Devotions (according to the seasons)

Part 3 The Angelus

Part 4 Prayer For Protection (Angel Guardians)

For some people, their practice will be to use Part I, something from Part II, then Parts III and IV. For others it may be just a selection of the whole cross range of material as time permits.

2. Our recommendation is for the user to select what suits their needs at any one time and leave the rest for some other occasion.

3. We emphasise over and over again, the importance of rhythm in prayer rather than cramming to cover every item available.

4. Part 2 will most likely be used when there is more time at some other part of the day according to one’s routine or life-style.

5. Some private devotions, (which can be used without any script), are especially suitable for use during the day, (or night), when one can’t be using the EPB. These could include among others:

The Rosary

The Angelus

Spiritual Communion Exclamatory or Invocatory Prayer.

These are explained in “Devotions After Epiphany and Pentecost”.

 

Seasonal Changes through the Year

 

1. Elsewhere there is an attached paper, “Understanding of The Christian Year.

2. Our division of material is based on the traditional 12 month calendar which includes:

a) Advent Cycle

b) Christmastide (to Epiphany)

c) Time After Epiphany

d) Septuagesima Time

e) Lent Cycle

f ) Easter

g) Pentecost

h) Time After Pentecost (up to Advent)

i)  “Exclamatory or Invocatory Prayer”

3. All of the above periods vary a little from year to year except the two periods: Time After Epiphany and Time After Pentecost. These expand and contract each year according to the date of Easter.

4. The reader will become very familiar with using our On-line Christian Calendar and will have little trouble “keeping prayerfully in step” with the vast army of the Church, Christ’s Body throughout the world.

 

For Our Visitors Who Are Not Roman Catholics.

 

1. This Electronic Prayer Book (EPB) is consistently used by people who are Christians of various denominations. As is expressed elsewhere, it is a cause of great joy to know that they enjoy using these materials which we welcome.

2. The EPB is primarily a book of devotional material rather than instruction or defence of traditional teaching. However, on some occasions we elaborate some explanations to provide a basic understanding of doctrines commonly misunderstood. In this way, we hope it will help readers to understand better what their Catholic friends believe.

3. Many people may take a quick look at the ‘structure’ of the EPB, especially Part I and wonder why the format is repeated so consistently ― sometimes only a little new material being added from one day to the next. This observation reflects the traditional concept of Christian prayer in that essentially what counts is the discipline (the routine of the disciple), the intention (of the person praying), and the lifting of the heart to God, awaiting His guidance. Thus only a small amount of new material is added each day. Options are provided for the visitor to go to much longer Scriptural readings and explanations as and when they feel it is appropriate.