Using Catholic iPhone Apps in Mass/Adoration?


I recently found an amazing Catholic iPhone app called iPieta, and just learned about many more on a great Forums thread.

My question is this: Sometimes in Mass or adoration, if I’ve forgotten to bring my daily readings, bible, St. Bridget Prayers, or want to say a prayer/chaplet that I don’t know by heart, I’ll use the iPieta iPhone app and read the prayer/reading off of my phone.

Although I feel it is totally okay to do this, as the phone is serving to help me pray, I don’t want to upset anyone around me who might see me, have no idea that I’m using the prayer app, assume I’m doing something like checking my email in adoration, and think I’m being completely inappropriate/disrespectful.

Of course I don’t want someone to think these thoughts about me, I especially don’t want to distract someone and be a cause for them to be angry or annoyed while they’re trying to worship.

What are other peoples’ thoughts about using a Catholic iPhone app in Mass/adoration?


If I were to see you looking at your phone in mass or adoration, my assumption would be that you were using it to view a text message or something relative to that. While I think that it is a great thing that they have that app and that you can use it, I guess the question then lies on the perception that you want to give. I would suggest maybe investing in a prayer book with some prayer cards that you particularly like, that would be more "appropriate,:

Just my two cents.

I think this app can be very helpful for use in private, and I certainly will check it out for myself, but I agree that it may give the wrong impression of what you are doing, no matter how pious your intention.

If you are concerned about the judgments others will pass, drop the iPhone. However, if someone is spending precious mass time silently judging you for looking at a phone instead of a book, that person is the one who is not respecting the mass. :shrug:

This happened to me. I’m older and don’t know about iphones, so I assumed she was texting. I didn’t judge, I wanted to think she maybe was a single mom and had left the kids at home, but she did distract me. If she wanted to read prayers, why not use readings for mass in the missalette?

:)This may be dumb, but why not make a “book cover” that you could use to keep your phone in if you have to use it to pray…like I said it dumb might fit here. Actually what I would do if I were you would be on those ocassions where you have forgoten your prayer book or other materials, simply pray from the heart. Maybe that is why God allowed you to forget them in the first place. You never know what surprises might be in store for you if you pray from the heart. (I am NOT saying using a prayer book is bad…I use one all the time)

Hi, Newleaf.

I own an iPhone and iPieta (which, like’s Faith Database, is a massive collection of Papal and Church Father documents, the Baltimore Cathechism, a Douay-Rheims translation, Summa Theologica, The Imitation of Christ and much more).

When I’m not able to get a missal book when I enter Mass, I have had no problem in using my Catholic-related apps on my iPhone at the appropriate time, particularly opening the iPhone version of the New American Bible that’s hosted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It allows me to see the daily reading when I want to read along.

Now about the ethical issue of it all. The advent of smartphones, particularly an iPhone, which is more computer than phone, allows it to have many resources that make it an excellent addition to your faith arsenal. I’ve got an app to help me with confession, allowing me to make a proper one without drawing things out. It’s called (appropriately) iConfess.

That said, any object, electronic or not, can be a distraction–not just to the user, but to the people surrounding you who see you and wonder “What’s he doing?”

For that reason, I have and do use my iPhone during the readings, but sparingly, and put it away after the Gospel. You’ll never see it out during the homily or afterward. So I both agree and disagree on the matter. Yes, use it, but discreetly, and as part of the Mass, not against it. And don’t use it so that it creates unnecessary distraction to others around you–especially youngsters who think that you’re texting and think that it must be OK to text during Mass.


Years ago the nuns taught us never to do anything in church that would bother others.

I also use my phone (blackberry storm a lot like an iPhone) during Mass/Adoration. I like how fast I can find a prayer. The other benefit is it is much quieter than flipping through the pages of a prayer book. I will admit I don’t feel right using it in Church. I try real hard not to let people see me using it. I’ll hide it between my hands so it looks as if I’m just praying (which I am doing).

I have an iPod Touch which is able to use all of the wigets described. I am a devout Catholic and attend daily mass and enjoy spare time reading catholic literature. That said these wigets are amazing. The wiget provides me with the readings for daily mass and is much easier for me to follow. I am discrete and after the Gospel put it away. If you happen to be older (as I am, 60), be open to this new technology. I check the application store frequently to see if “new” catholic items have been added. I can carry the equivelent of a two foot stack of catholic literature in my front pocket. It is alright for us to use technology (appropriatly) and we should embrace it. I am able to participate in all of the readings of the “Office” which is recorded and includes hymns. I think that application cost $10.00. At mass discretion is the word. In Christ through Mary.

Unfortunetly, it’s best to avoid causing a scandal in mass even though your intent is to be pious. Human nature is something we can not change, so while I understand the basic reasons why someone would want to say “well it’s their problem”, unfortunetly we get to this conclusion by using bad logic. I.E. we throw what we know about human nature right out of the window.

I’d get a good prayer book, or bring your bible with you to mass. My fiance and I bring one of our bibles with us each time we go.

Though this makes me wish the Misslet was a standard feature of every church, the parish I went to growing up has them and it’s wonderful. All the readings are there, the Pslam and pretty decent instructions (for those who are unfamiliar with Catholic Mass).

I use my android phone during adoration all the time, either to use Ibreviary, or sincereprayer or Olivetree, and I don’t get dirty looks. But of course I am there at 3 in the morning and 99% of the time by myself anyway.

These things are becoming more common and I think people will get use to them. It would be nice I do tend to carry stuff into adoration,

When I see someone writing I assume it is spiritual not a to do list or work. I don’t try to see what someone is reading and make judgments so I guess I can do the same for what I might first think is playing on the phone

Sorry to change the subject, but Android? Nooooooo…

As long as it is SILENT it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business.

Yes, I guess it was my fault I was distracted by someone texting next to me in the pew. I should have kept my eyes closed. Lord knows She had a right to do whatever She wanted in church cause it was helping Her and She was quite sure that was a good thing and others shouldn’t have been bothered - their problem.

This happened to be the final straw for me on top of a big pile of other straws, so I promised myself that would be my last novus ordo mass. This would not have happened at the traditional Latin mass I attend.

Idea: why don’t you see if you can get your pastor to have a mass only for people who use iPhones, etc. That way no one would notice.

How about memorizing the prayers? The reason I mention this is that to memorize the prayers one would have to do a lot of praying every day. This could only be good.

Perhaps, reading the readings prior to mass then you will be familiar with their content. Also, this means you have taken extra time during the week to focus on God.

As a lifeguard I work with a lot of high schoolers and college students. They all have various electronic gadgets. I have had to admonish several of them to leave their phones in the office. I would ask any parents if they would feel comforted by the sight of a lifeguard texting on a cell phone? I would find it hard to focus on the mass if I were fingering a cell phone.

The person that uses it while at adoration at 3 a.m. would be in a different situation. If an electronic gadget gives you words of prayers that help then that would be good. I still think it would be better to memorize the prayers as then the prayers become part of you in a more intimate way. (By the way 3 a.m. Tuesday is my time for adoration.)

God bless

Just wanted to add:

If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and lips all that happens on the altar.
St. Pius X

Just out of curiosity, why would someone silently reading their IPHONE be more distracting than turning rustling pages in a book?

Because it’s unusual, unexpected. Lot’s of people might think she was texting.

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