New Alexa means to say the workplace from the prayer ebook
The Book of Common Prayer of 1662 has arrived on Amazon's smart speakers, helping users to pray morning and evening and learn more about its history.
On Thursday, Cambridge University Press, which publishes the prayer book, announced that Alexa's smart speakers will be programmed with a new "skill" – one of the voice-activated apps – the Cambridge Prayer Book. The idea is to help people pray and worship at home during the pandemic.
Users can now ask Alexa to "say morning prayer"; "Say evening prayer"; "Pray the Lord's Prayer"; "Give me the Apostles' Creed"; and "Recite grace".
Services are read by ministers from St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge, near the publisher's headquarters. Instead of a congregation, responses will be given by members of the Cambridge University Press Choir. There is also a small selection of Bible readings.
Users can also instruct Alexa to "tell me more about the story of the Book of Common Prayer of 1662" or to say, "I want to learn about Thomas Cranmer"; "I want to know more about Cambridge Bibles"; and "Tell me about Cambridge University Press."
Cambridge University Press plans to add more content in the future. As the queen's printer, she maintains the crown copyright of the prayer book. The Bible team worked with the Prayer Book Society to develop this intelligent ability.
The Church of England has a dedicated faith-based resource on Alexa launched in 2018 that includes questions and prayers (News, May 25, 2018).
Cambridge Bibles Director Bob Groser said, “There are prayer readings on smart speakers, but we wanted to make this traditional liturgy available. . . It is a privilege to be able to bring the elegant and accessible spirituality of the prayer book into people's homes.
“What began as an attempt to make it more accessible has taken on real urgency as the pandemic has closed churches and cut many people off from the support and fellowship they can find there. We also hope it will be welcomed by those who cannot come to church because of illness or other challenges. "
To access the skill, users can ask their speaker to open or activate the Cambridge Prayer Book.