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The quest for a convenient form in which to pray the daily Office

26 April 2013


From the Revd Martin Culverwell

Sir, - I have great sympathy with the Revd Robin Vickery (Comment, 12 April). I, too, have been plodding this pilgrimage - not for the same reasons as Fr Vickery, but because my wife and I like to travel in our camper van, and do not wish to carry volumes of books with us.

The only success I have had is with the pocket edition (I know he does not like pocket editions, but it is useful to put in your pocket without discomfort) of A Prayer Book for Australia, based on the ASB. The Episcopal Church in the United States does small editions of its Prayer Book, but I do think that a slimline version of Common Worship is really called for now.

8 Sandisplatt, Fareham, Hants


From the Revd Tracy Swindells

Sir, - As a self-supporting minister who works full-time, I can sympathise somewhat with the Revd Robin Vickery about his frustration at not having everything in one place in Common Worship: Daily Prayer.

Nevertheless, may I make a simple suggestion, which I have found has revitalised my prayer life? I use the app for Common Worship on my smartphone and iPad, which places all of the material in a ready-formatted order of service at the touch of a button. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Cock Robin Cottage
164 Longmeanygate
Midge Hall, Leyland
Lancashire PR26 6TD


From Mr Andrew Rycraft

Sir, - I would like to applaud the Revd Robin Vickery's article requesting a more user-friendly daily Office book. One could argue that some of his concerns are solved by using the online version of the daily Office, which precludes the need to refer to a lectionary for the daily readings, for instance. But I find that sitting at a computer, with its obvious distractions, is not conducive to a prayerful reading of the Office.

I, therefore, hope that someone out there will take up this challenge on the daily Office book. When they have done that, perhaps they might look also at producing a single-volume Common Worship, on the model of the BCP, which, of course, includes not only forms of service for regular worship, but also the occasional offices from baptism to ordination and the consecration of bishops, and even finds room for the Thirty-Nine Articles: in fact, in excess of what a working priest needs to carry around with him or her - and, I hesitate to say, in "pocket-size" form.

Surely a Common Worship equivalent cannot be beyond the wit of clerical man/woman?

St Mary's House
Oxfordshire OX5 2UQ


From Mr Andy Rooney

Sir, - If the Revd Robin Vickery would care to embrace 21st-century technology, I can offer a suggestion that addresses many of the issues he raises: http://daily.commonworship.com/daily.cgi?today_mp=1 for Morning Prayer; substitute "ep=1" at the end to get Evening Prayer. The full NRSV readings and psalmody are there, as are the appropriate canticles and collects.

It is very readable on a smartphone or tablet, and I use it most weekdays to say the office on the Tube. An internet connection is required to load the day's service, but, once loaded, it is usable offline (including deep underground).

Much credit, by the way, to Simon Kershaw for maintaining this valuable resource.

123 Duke Road, London W4 2BX


From the Revd Philip J. Swindells

Sir, - If Robin Vickery needs a more portable and convenient aid to reciting the Divine Office, he could do worse than download the Liturgy of the Hours from the Universalis website on to a Kindle reader.

A month at a time can be downloaded, and everything needed for each day is written out in full, and in the right order; so there is no turning back and forth. One can download just what one wants: the whole Office, or, for example, Morning and Evening Prayer only.

21 Wertheim Way
Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 6UH

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