Thursday, September 10, 2015

Epic Images & Marian Prayers: A Review of the Scriptural Rosary App!

When I was offered the chance to review a Rosary app, I jumped at the opportunity, thinking something along the lines of:
I love the Rosary! Mary is awesome! Ooh, Scriptural Rosaries are cool. Let’s do this!

So eagerly, I replied to the e-mail with an affirmative. And then, the thought crossed my mind that…
Oh, I don’t have an iPhone.
But then, excitedly, I realized that my husband has an iPhone, which he would probably let me borrow, because he loves Mary, too! Whew. Perks of married life!

After trying out the Scriptural Rosary app, developed by Valent Richie, I would like to give you my thoughts on this delightful prayer aid. Just so you are aware, this is a sponsored post, and all opinions are my own. I mean, if you’ve been around this blog for a while, you probably already know that I claim many opinions about many topics, but it doesn’t hurt to remind you, does it? J So let’s take a look at some of the things I noticed in this app!

First off, I want to say that I love the color scheme. This app has a nice, simple, muted background that doesn’t distract me like crazy. I love the bright colors and random designs of other apps, but the stark simplicity of this app is refreshing. It really help me to focus on the prayers and artwork.

Oh, the artwork. Can we all just acknowledge the epicness of great artwork for a moment? I give the artwork in this app an 11/10! This app features awesome images of sacred artwork to accompany each Mystery of the Rosary. I feel like many times, we see the same images of artwork over and over again, on prayer cards, in prayer books, etc. While this app used some very familiar images (for example, Raphael’s Transfiguration), it also used some images which I have not seen as often. I thought the Adoration of the Shepherds, by Domenico Ghirlandaio, was a great visual aid during the Third Joyful Mystery. Paolo Veronese’, The Wedding Feast at Cana was a fabulous accompaniment for the Second Luminous Mystery. (Side note: I have seen The Wedding Feast at Cana in person—it’s in the same room as the Mona Lisa—and it’s epic. Way cooler than the Mona Lisa. If you ever visit the Louvre, you need to see this!!!) Back to the app…Really, I think the art paired up with each set of prayers was one of my favorite features! I have a huge problem with my mind wandering during prayer, and looking at the epic images was very, very helpful.

While praying the Rosary with this app, another feature that helped me to focus were the Scripture passages. Call me weird, but I didn’t actually say the Scripture verses before each prayer. Instead, I would silently gaze over the verses with each “Hail Mary.” The verses took me through the Scripture passages describing the Mystery of the Rosary, which was very helpful at focusing on each Mystery. 

Another fantastic feature included in this app is a setting that allows you to record your prayer intentions or thanksgivings. When you begin each Rosary, they will magically pop up on the screen! How cool is that? So, if you always promise your dear Uncle Bob that you’ll pray for him, and then chronically forget (not that I’ve ever done that before…okay, just kidding…I do this all the time), you need not fear!

I read a complaint that the Rosary “is long enough without all those extra prayers.” It is true that this app provides tons of prayers, but that is not a bad thing at all! One of the beautiful aspects of Catholicism is that we have many awesome devotions and several epic prayers. This app includes fantastic prayers like the Litany of Loreto, the Angelus, the Guardian Angel Prayer, the Memorare, the Regina Coeli, and special prayers before and after each Mystery. If you don’t want to pray those prayers with your Rosary, then don’t—no one is sitting there, judging you if you don’t pray the Litany after your Rosary. Yes, there is a little swiping you will have to do if you want to move past the extra prayers at the end of each decade, but if you do want to pray these, it’s very handy!

I must admit, I had a small hesitation when I prepared to test this product. I always pray the Rosary in Latin, so does using the app mean I have to pray in English? I know, I’m weird. But still, I feel that this is a valid concern. Voila! Latin translations for all of the Rosary prayers are at your fingertips if you just select that option in the “Settings” tab. This is particularly fantastic, because even though I’ve been praying the Rosary almost daily, in Latin, for a few years, I still don’t know the St. Michael Prayer in Latin. So, I can just follow along on the screen. Cool? Totally!

This app has tons of options, which is great. Not only are there loads of prayers, but there are many different language & Scripture options. There are a bunch of different languages that you can choose from (which includes the “typical” ones, like Spanish or French, as well as what I consider more random choices, like Korean and Indonesian). Plus, there are about ten different versions of the Bible that you can select for the Scripture readings. New American Bible? Check. Douay-Rheims Bible? Check. Biblia de Jerusalen? Check.

Another hesitation I had was the computer-generated voice that says the prayer out loud if you play the audio feature. For one thing, the voice sounds weird. For another thing, it mispronounces a lot of the Latin words. I'm not a fan, so I don't use the audio feature. But if you do want to use the audio feature, all is not lost!  Nope, not at all. You can click the handy microphone button and record your own voice praying! Or your spouse’s voice. Or your best friend’s voice. You get the idea. How cool is that??? So it takes a little more effort to do this, but the end result is pretty fabulous. 

All in all, I think this app is quite fantastic. I’m not a “technology person,” but I found it very easy-to-use. There are lots of options, a splendid color scheme, epic artwork selections, and a cool audio recording feature. The Scriptural Rosary Lite is free, but it only includes the Luminous and Sorrowful Mysteries. Perfect for Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! There is also a full Scriptural Rosary app, which includes all the sets of Mysteries, and it is $4.99. So feel free to follow this link and take a look at these two options! Let me know if you have any questions about the app, about the Rosary, or about Marian devotion (‘cause I really love Mary, and talking about her is fun J

Friends, thanks for joining me today! And thank you, Valent Richie, for letting me review your great product! 

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