Every morning Monday through Friday, we offer two live webcasts of Morning Prayer at 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Eastern, and we invite you to participate!
If the technology is new to you, please come early so we can help you get familiar with it. If you’ll come early and type the host a message in the Chat area in the lower right of your screen, you won’t have to memorize all the information on this page, you can just read it as an overview.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t figure it all out at first. We all had to learn how to do this. Don’t feel embarrassed, don’t worry that you ruined everything, because you didn’t. This page is designed to prevent the problems we’ve all had in learning how to join the service.
Here’s how our webcasts work.
If you’re on a mobile device, you’ll need an app, free from Adobe and available here.
At the top of our Western Hemisphere page, dailyoffice.wordpress.com, you’ll see a webcast graphic something like this (we have several different ones):
Don’t click on the graphic; instead, a line or two below that, find the link to our live services. (Each service gets its own daily web address.) Click the link and you’ll be taken to a sign-in page. Sign in as a Guest and choose a screenname. You need not give your full name, but “Debbie of Boise” is a great sign-in.
From there, our webhost, Adobe Connect, will install a new, temporary Flash window (no additional software required), taking you to a “room” where the worship leader and congregation have gathered. You’ll see the faces of other participants in the upper right corner; a list of our names (including the actual Rev. Debbie Graham from Boise, Idaho), a chat box, and the main portion of your screen will show an image of the day’s printed liturgy. You are immediately able to watch and listen. On a laptop or desktop, your screen will look something like this.
If you’d like to speak and/or be seen on camera (which we invite you to do, but it’s not required), you need to take a couple of additional steps, depending on the age and type of device you’re using to connect with us. Here are some common scenarios.
First, you need a fast internet connection; fiber optics or DSL work well, but aren’t available everywhere. A direct connection to the internet is preferable to Wi-Fi, which also varies in strength and speed. Webcasting uses sophisticated technology that eats up broadband. If you’re in doubt, check with your internet provider to see how fast your connection is. If it’s too slow, your transmission quality may be poor and the experience may be frustrating. Or it may work one day and not the next, depending on web traffic, weather and many other factors.
Turning on your microphone and camera
If you’re using an older desktop or laptop (say, Windows Vista on an HP), you may not have a built-in webcam, speakers or microphone, but you probably purchased these as external accessories. You must turn them on before you enter the room. If you forget, close out the temporary gray window, turn on the speakers and mic, and come back; no need to log in again. Just find the “Open a new Flash window” link (in tiny type) and click on it.
If you’re using a desktop or laptop computer less than five years old, Adobe will automatically activate your built-in video camera, speakers and mic, so you’ll be able to see and hear just fine – but you have to take additional steps before we can see or hear you.
To speak, click your pointer on the tiny mic icon at the top of the screen. That turns on your mic within the webcast. (You can also use the pull-down menu next to the mic icon to adjust your settings, raise or lower your volume, or mute your mic during the service.)
If you don’t want to speak or you don’t have a microphone, click the icon of a person with their hand up (the fourth icon in the row) and select DISAGREE. That tells the Officiant not to call on you. No mic? Let him or her know!
Now that your mic is working, here’s how to use it. We talk among ourselves before each day’s service and afterward during “coffee hour,” but during the service itself we ask everyone to mute their mics unless the worship leader calls on you to speak. (We do not read in unison with this technology; streaming video is different from being in church because all voices are amplified and their sound travels at different speeds.)
The icon to the right of the mic (a person with a dot or “eye” in the middle; your camera indicator) lets you control whether or not we can see you. Click once to give permission for your video image to be shared in the upper right corner with the other faces. When you see your image in the corner, click again on the Allow button and your face will be visible to us. Yay, we see you, welcome!
In most cases you must use an external headset (available at many retailers for $10 and up) to speak and hear, instead of your computer speakers and mic, which may cause an intolerable echo or feedback. A stand-alone external microphone may also be acceptable; please arrive early so we can help you test your hookup. Be sure to adjust your System Preferences (Mac) or Control Panel (Windows) to select your external headset or mic before you enter the room.
Tablet and smartphone users are welcome, though you won’t be able to use your camera if it’s located on the back of your device, as most are. Typically we have some tablet and smartphone users every day; they can see the screen, speak and hear us, but we don’t see them. Each device is different, so again, please arrive early.
Confused? We are blessed to have an IT specialist available before and after most webcasts. He cannot help you during the liturgy itself. Come early or stay late for best results.
Note: We use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) only. You can’t use your phone to dial in to this technology.
Once the Service Starts
At five minutes before the service begins, we often do a sound check. The Officiant asks each Attendee to say a few words so we can make sure we hear you, and help you adjust your volume up or down.
When that’s done, we spend a few minutes in silence before the service begins. Please mute your mic.
At the top of the hour, the webcast producer (Josh) will begin recording the service for others to play back at their convenience. The Officiant (Clint, most often) will introduce the service, give a quick overview of these tips for newcomers, then begin the liturgy.
As it progresses Josh will scroll through the service so everyone can follow along.
The worship leader will call on participants to read various portions of the liturgy. This is why, if you don’t have a mic or don’t want to read, you selected Disagree.
Again, we never read in unison; it sounds terrible online.
If the worship leader calls on you, unmute your microphone by clicking on the mic icon in the top row. (Josh also has the ability to mute/unmute most participants.) Begin to read aloud, and don’t worry about pronouncing all the Bible words correctly.
At the end of your selection, mute your mic again and the service will proceed.
Towards the end the Officiant will invite individual prayers; if you’d like to offer one, click the Person icon at the top of the page and select Raise Hand. The leader will then call on each person in order. Don’t give a speech, but say your peace, then click to mute your mic again.
During the intercessions, we suspend the use of the chat box, so that those who don’t have a mic can enter their prayer into it. At the end of the intercessions the Officiant will give voice to any prayers you’ve entered into chat.
When the video is over, if clergy are present, they pronounce the final blessing. Many of us like to watch them do it on their webcams.
Immediately after the final blessing, we watch a video. All participants, including the Ministers, must mute their mics to avoid feedback.
The service officially ends at that point, Josh enlarges our webcam images by moving us into another virtual room (“the parish hall”), a member of the congregation says goodbye, and Josh ends the recording.
Those who can stay usually visit with each other during “coffee hour.”
A Few Last Notes
We began webcasting in December 2013. Webcasting has made a real difference for many of us; we know each other now, and reading the Daily Office together is a lot more fun than doing it individually. We have become a virtual parish, while always encouraging our members to be active in their local church.
While most of us are Episcopalians/Anglicans, the Daily Office is non-sectarian and we have always had members from other Churches. All are welcome; we are a friendly and helpful group who don’t put up barriers to new people. Most of us are laypeople and a few are clergy. Some of us belong to religious orders; some of us may feel alienated from the institutional church; while others may be prevented from attending regular services.
We try to end Morning Prayer in 30 minutes or less. Feel free to attend just a portion as suits your schedule.
We webcast every day, Monday through Friday, including major holidays, but never on the weekends. We also host Video Evensong every Friday night at 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific, a meditative service with much less reading and a lot more videos. Our music selections tend to be traditional in the morning and more eclectic at night; we also run short educational videos at times.
Our live streams are recorded for immediate playback, generally available a few minutes after the service. (If not, please notify the Vicar.)
Our webcasts are made possible by contributions from our members. The prayers are free, but after you’ve been with us for awhile, please consider making a donation of $10 or more (tax-deductible), using the Donate button on every page of our site. Thank you.++
Revised May 28, 2015