By Colleen Rowan
PORTLAND—Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) has announced the launch of its new Breaking Bread 2021 eMissal app, “a very practical resource for the church during unusual circumstances,” OCP Publisher Wade Wisler said.
Designed for those who are watching livestreamed Masses at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and for those who have returned to churches for in-person Masses, the app offers everything the faithful need for full and active participation in the Mass. This includes the Order of Mass, readings, and prayers for Sundays and holy days. There are other apps available that provide this, but what distinguishes OCP’s app from the rest is that it also provides music. Eight hundred and fifty hymns and psalms to be exact, along with Mass settings.
“When we worship God, we sing,” Wisler said. What a shame it would be, he continued, for someone following the livestream Mass at home or attending Mass at church to be without access to the music to follow along and, ideally, sing along.
“Because that is what we are called to, right? That full and conscious and active participation in the liturgy,” Wisler said. “When we engage our whole bodies and our voices in worship, we can worship more fully.”
The music is not just for following along during Mass, he noted. Many of the beloved hymns from Catholic tradition as well as newer compositions that are beloved as well are included.
“This is the poetry of the church,” Wisler said. “These are the rich, poetic texts that we use for worship on Sundays, but they are also very beautiful tools to use in our daily prayer and reflection. So, a family can use this resource not only for a livestream Mass on Sunday but throughout the week.”
There is also a morning and evening prayer section for families and individuals looking for ways to pray throughout the week. “The church has this beautiful rhythm of daily and weekly prayer,” Wisler said. “I really believe this app makes it that much easier for people to participate in that rhythm of daily and weekly prayer that the church calls us to.”
Wisler recalled early in the pandemic when churches were closed and missals had to be removed from the pews in many churches. When churches opened and people came back to in-person Mass, missals or hymnals could not be used in many places. “And that’s still the case in many dioceses,” he said. “So, we really wanted people to have something that would put the readings, the prayers, and the music right in the palm of their hands.”
The response to the app has been very positive, Wisler said. He feels that this is a tool people have been eager to have.
“I think that as Catholics we want to have that resource in our hands, because sometimes you can’t always understand what the lector has just proclaimed, or maybe you really want to pause and reflect on that reading a little longer,” he said.
Another important aspect of the app, Wisler emphasized, is that it allows people to have the readings and prayers ahead of time. The best way to prepare for Mass, he said, is to meditate on the word of God beforehand, “So that when the word of God is proclaimed we can receive it with hearts that are ready to hear God’s voice in the readings.”
OCP is a not-for-profit Catholic publisher whose mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ primarily through the publication of the “highest quality” worship programs, Wisler said. OCP will celebrate 100 years of service to the church in 2022. Through its parish grants program, OCP has donated $3.3 million in direct financial assistance to parishes throughout the country since 2001. Its mission also involves serving the ever changing and evolving needs of the church. “When we recognize a pastoral need,” Wisler said, “we always strive to meet it in someway. That is why we are continually innovating and looking for new and creative ways to serve the church.”
Those needs changed dramatically in the past year in response to the pandemic. “We really wanted to get something out there and quickly so that people would have what they need to participate in the liturgy,” Wisler said.
The app serves as an alternative to the Parishioner Personal Missal Program created by OCP last year to assist the faithful during the pandemic, OCP officials said. OCP is grateful to its partners at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for giving permission and approval in a short amount of time.
The new Breaking Bread 2021 eMissal app is available for purchase in the Apple and Google App stores for $4.99. For more information about the app, visit OCP’s website at ocp. org.
OCP Now Offering USCCB-Approved Breaking Bread 2021 eMissal App
By Colleen Rowan