I am considering offering three new product lines for 2012, and would like feedback from members of the Byzantine Forum about them. Electronic Byzantine Daily Office – an electronic PDF file of the daily prayer services in their complete form and with the special prayers for each day of the year (for the saint, the feast day, or season). The file would include Morning Prayer, First Hour, Third Hour, Sixth Hour, Ninth Hour and Evening Prayer. The files would be distributed by email on a weekly basis for the upcoming 7 days. Is this something you would be interested in subscribing to? Do you think others would be interested? Would you be willing to pay about 25 cents/day ($7.50/month) for this service? Do you have any ideas how this could be improved?
Sunday Bulletin Inserts – for parishes who do not currently receive our Sunday Bulletin Covers, this would be a single page insert sheet (1/2 of a legal paper) with a color icon on the front and text commentary on the back for one feastday in each month of the calendar year. Feasts would be those celebrated by all Catholic and Orthodox Churches regardless of calendar (e.g. Presentation in the Temple, Annunciation, Palm Sunday, Easter, Pentecost, etc.) and would not be dated. Would you like receive this in your own parish? Do you think many parishes would be interested in subscribing to this monthly service? Do you think a price of $7.00/100 copies is reasonable and affordable? How could this be more attractive to Roman Catholic or Orthodox parishes (different content, different size, different price)? Electronic Distribution of Audio Recordings – make our 200+ library of lectures, audio books, OL plenary sessions, liturgical services and choral music available through downloadable websites (e.g. iTunes, etc.) for portable devices or desktop computers. Each album would contain about 30-45 minutes of material in 8 to 20 tracks and be priced at $4.95 per album. Would you be interested in purchasing this type of product? Which category of material would you most likely purchase – lectures, audio books, OL plenary sessions, liturgical services and choral music? What type of device would you use for listening to these audio recordings? What website are you most familiar with for downloading audio material?
Please comment to this thread or send me a private message on this forum. If we find enough interest in any or all of these products, we will be making announcements in the near future.
Jack Figel Publisher, Eastern Christian Publications and Bulletin Service Executive Producer, OLTV
All three sound intriguing, and in considering the first and third, I think electronic distribution of several of your existing products would also be well received (e.g. smaller print booklets; videos).
Of the three new potential offerings, I would personally be most interested in the third and would be inclined to purchase selections from each of the categories you've mentioned, but most especially music / audio of chant selections, DLs and other services of various Eastern traditions.
Concerns of the secular world would preclude me from enjoying the full benefit of an electronic Daily Office, but I could see that as being a compelling offering for many.
Perhaps I've been spoiled, as I can't recall being in a parish that doesn't use your bulletin covers. That said, I do think the inserts as you've described could be useful for many purposes, including adult catechesis, and the suggested offering price is certainly reasonable. As for potential crossover sales to RC parishes in particular, I know many that have larger bulletins (ledger size paper, 8.5x11 when folded) so that would have to be considered. But they all seem to like icons and icon study these days. If you were to conform sizing and chose icons applicable to popular feasts of the Latin Rite, together with appropriate text, I think you'd have a very captive audience. I'll poll some of my RC friends and family on this one, as well. FYI - I do often save a number of the front pages of your bulletin covers each year, and it would be nice to have them available in the larger size (8.5x11). You might even be able to bundle them up as a new icon study pack on some sturdier stock.
Hope this feedback is helpful!
May the Lord continue to bless you and inspire you in your faithful ministry,
Stuart and Joe, thanks for your comments. Your feedback is very helpful.
But I'm just a little disappointed that even though over 300 people have "viewed" this survey in the last 24 hours since I posted it, only two have replied with any comments. Looks like to me there's not really that much interest in these ideas!
To answer the questions raised:
1) I'm thinking of offering two Daily Office products -- one for Gregorian and one for Julian dates of Pascha -- and trying to follow a pan-jurisdictional Typicon, overlaying Raya's BDW, Petras' Typicon, the Romanian Almanac, the Greek Horologion, etc.
2) I know of a few smaller Roman Rite parishes that use legal size bulletins, so 1/2 of a legal size would fit both while a full letter size would not. But then again, I might offer 2 or 3 different sizes (1/2 letter, 1/2 legal, and full letter) and then let the market pick.
I'm just a little disappointed that even though over 300 people have "viewed" this survey in the last 24 hours since I posted it, only two have replied with any comments. Looks like to me there's not really that much interest in these ideas!
Glad to have given you feedback, sad to see you are a bit discouraged for not having received more.
As I read your post and reflected on all that you have built, I could not help but think of the famous quote from the movie Field of Dreams = "If you build it, they will come ..."
Your ministry is living proof! How many attended the last Orientale Lumen Conference? And from how many different Churches, Eastern and Western, Catholic, Orthodox or otherwise? Who would have thought it possible just a generation or so ago ...
Please keep the faith and keep doing what you do best!
P.S. I will as promised get back to you shortly with some additional feedback, after polling some of my RC friends and family about the bulletin inserts.
I was waiting for others to reply first. I would like the Electronic Byzantine Daily Office. This would make it more convenient. I recently ordered the Roman Rite Magnificat magazine for $45 yearly to simplify my prayer life and meditations.Keep up your great work. I was wondering if a web site with the prayers would be easier to maintain and use.
I would definitely subscribe to a daily office that included vespers and matins if they were sufficently complete, depending on the license I might even need a couple of subscriptions to cover familly to make praying together easier. How complete (what changing parts) are you thinking of making the service?
Thanks all, for your feedback. I'm a little more encouraged now.
For the Byzantine Daily Office, to keep things simple, and designed for private prayer rather than parochial prayer, we're thinking of only including Morning and Evening prayer (will not change from day to day, but included for completeness) and the four Hours -- First, Third, Sixth and Ninth. Vespers and Matins are intended as community prayers with a priest, so they fall outside the scope of our goals with this Daily Office for private prayer. The only changeable parts are the Troparia taken each day based on the tone of the week, the saint of the day, and any festal periods, especially during Lent and Pascha when there are other prayers added. I'm thinking of just two versions -- one for Gregorian Pascha and the other for Julian Pascha, as we do today with our Sunday Bulletin covers..
And to further test market this, we may offer it for free on a trial basis to see what level of interest we have, and then put the infrastructure in place for paid subscriptions. This way, we can also collect more feedback on the content and design intent.
Jeff, great and thanks. That's exactly one of the goals I have in mind for this product. I think a lot of professional could benefit in this same way. Also, I'm hoping it might spur more people to start Daily Prayer in earnest, and especially encourage young people, who seem to spend ALL DAY on their iPhones, to start a routine of prayer, too. I understand the Latin equivalent of this is quite a popular app, and I would hope we could offer a full app along these lines in the future, when we have the resources to do the programming. We'll try a more "shoe-string" approach on the cheap for now!
May God abundantly bless your evangelization work.
I have come across a catechetical need and I have found a vacuum. Our traditional children's ECF program was failing because we have so few students. I've adapted the UGCC "Generations of Faith" concept; we invite all ages and then break down into youth and adult groups for the ending session. So far it is working well.
I have difficulty finding material. I would like to center each session around a short (3-10 minutes) video The Greeks and Melkites have the best selection of YouTube material, but most of it isn't in English, or if it is it has a heavy accent, which turns off the youth. Videos of each of the sung or recited prayers (Our Father, Angelic Salutation, Heavenly King, Trisagion, Creed)centered around the icon(s) would be helpful. The combined video and audio bring the prayers to life for all ages, child and adult.
For instance, for January a video for the Theophany would be appropriate, music- "All you who have been baptized" with icons of the Theophany and video of baptism and blessing of Holy Water.
The Church calendar with Holydays, prayer, and the Mysteries would be the initial subjects of these videos.
This may be asking too much, but since you asked.....
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