Posted by: AJ the Irish Lass | September 20, 2018

Hymnals and Prayer Books – In Tablet Form?

woman sitting on chair using black ipad Photo by on

Episcopal News Service announced back in 2012 that the Episcopal Church’s authorized hymnals would become available in tablet format for those with iPads or similar devices. As mobile technology has become a greater part of the landscape since then, I think this ultimately proved to be a good move.

Shortly after subscribing to an Anglican email list back in 1998, I recall a discussion about the order of service being made available in a format for PDAs that were available at the time. Although the prevailing view seemed to be that print copies of the BCP were best, quite a few wondered whether mobile devices would shape how services are done to a greater extent in the future.

OK, it’s not heavy theology, but I do think this is an interesting point to discuss, especially where such ideas have become reality. With many visitors being from non-liturgical churches or not from a church background at all, some parishes have been printing the order of service in the bulletin to make things visitor-friendly.

However, there are concerns about whether this is good for the environment. Many find using bulletins formatted for mobile devices (for those who have them) to be a good choice, as well as using PowerPoint projections.

A parish I attended in Houston between 2001 and 2003 used PowerPoint to project the order of service and hymns during its seeker-oriented contemporary service. In recent years, technology being used during services seems to have become more popular, as well as live webcasts of Sunday services and online daily prayer options.

What do you think is a good use of technology as an aid to the service?

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