Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to welcome Katie O’Keefe to our Tech Talk blogging team!
Developed by: Magnificat Books; Cost: $.99; Available from iTunes
I have been a fan of Magnificat since it made its first appearance in the choir loft at my parish. In looking for a way to have the readings, responsorial psalm, and gospel tract for each day of the month at hand for the cantors, my choir director had stumbled across this gem. And I quickly embraced it.
Not only does Magnificat have all the readings for Mass, it also has shortened versions of Morning, Evening and Night prayers, as well as reflections for important feast days, art, poetry, and other devotional tools to help deepen and enrich your prayer life. But this is not news to devotees of the printed Magnificat.
What about the Advent app?
The iOS Advent Companion app is optimized for iPhone and iPad, is easy to use and functions beautifully. The quality is everything I would expect from Magnificat Books. Everything I have ever had from them has been terrific.
The splash screen that you see while the app is loading is a print of the cover, a beautiful piece of art guaranteed to make you say “Ahhhh…”. The first time you open your app, the wait for the download will seem excessively long, but it will load, eventually.
And it’s worth it because there are tons of extras.
In addition to the everyday readings and prayers, there are two mp3 files of Chant for Advent (and they are beautifully done). There’s an interesting essay about the history of Christmas in England, an Advent Penance Service, Blessings for the Advent Wreath and Christmas Tree, instructions and information on praying the O Antiphons, and Advent Stations.
I must admit, I was skeptical about the Advent Stations the first time I saw them (several years ago), and studiously avoided them. But in the app they are fully titled “Advent Stations: Office of the Ancestors of Christ”. I think this is a much better description. The stations are lovely reflections on the genealogy and prophecies of Jesus and how they were fulfilled. I think I am going to use these during my weekly adoration visits.
There are a couple of little glitches that may cause you stress. If you have a menu open and your screen goes to sleep, sometimes the screen will freeze for a minute until the device realizes that it’s awake again or the app will restart or close altogether. This didn’t bother me too much after I realized what was causing it.
All in all, I love this app (apps like this are my favorite part of having an iPhone). It’s inexpensive and portable, and I know I’m going to use it a lot over the next few weeks.
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Copyright 2012 Katie O’Keefe