Friday, December 26, 2014

The Amazing Online Breviary at DivinumOfficium.com


Divinum Officium (divinumofficium.com) is absolutely the best website I have ever seen for the traditional Breviary. Hard-to-use design makes my hackles rise, but this site is so well done, easy to use, and complete that even I can't find fault with it. I think it's a treasure.

The default language option is English, which brings up Latin and English side-by-side. I began to be curious about why the three language options in a pull-down menu at the site used to be Latin, English, and Magyar.  Only recently did I discover that this beautifully organized, option rich, and brilliant work was developed and maintained originally by a Mr. Lazlo Kiss. Kiss was a computer engineer who was born in Budapest, Hungary. That explains the Magyar option. 

During Mr. Kiss' lifetime, there was no information about him or the origins of the site to be found on the site. But, after Mr. Kiss's sudden death in 2011, the site was taken over, maintained, and expanded  under the auspices of "The Divinum Officum Project," by a diocesan priest and three software engineers. Since then, they added information to the bottom of the page that describes the site's origins and makes it clear what a prodigious amount of effort Mr. Kiss single-handedly put into the site. When he retired, according to the brief biography now available, Mr. Kiss dedicated his time to provide "free access to many different versions of the Divine Office (or breviary), the traditional daily prayer book of the Roman Catholic Church."

Left: Italiano and Deutsch have been added to the language list.  
One thing that amazes me is that you don't just have to settle for one version of the Office.  Options range from "pre Trident Monastic," through "Rubrics 1960" [which the Institute of Christ the King uses and so do I], through 1960 Newcalendar. The Credits link brings up a page that details which sources were used. 

Deo gratias for this amazingly useful and useable work of programming and user sensibility that was selflessly done, as the current authors of the page have written, for the goal of  "promoting the worship of the Triune God through the Divine Office."
 
The start of Matins for today's feast of S. Stephani, Protomartyris (St. Stephen, the first martyr). 
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