Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tabbed Guide Sheet For Benedictine Daily Prayer. A Benedictine oblate blog

Recently I made a set of tabbed card-stock dividers for another oblate who prays with the book "Benedictine Daily Prayer (BDP)." One of the dividers was a short page-by-page list of how to pray the divine office on a Sunday that is not a special day when you would also want to include texts from other sections in the back parts of BDP.

The picture at the top of this blog is of that basic guide for to how to use "Benedictine Daily Prayer."

Making this set of tabs was a good opportunity for me to improve the way I make the dividers. Here is how I make the dividers:

With all margins reduced to the minimum, I created three text boxes across the top part of page in my word processor. The two outer text boxes are 3.70" wide and 5.70" high. The middle box is .220" wide.

In the middle text box, faint orange lines (borders) were placed on the left and the right of that middle text box.

At 5.9" from the top edge of the sheet a faint orange horizontal line was added. Here is a PDF of a typical sheet used to make the dividers showing an example of the three text boxes and the faint orange lines.

To print the dividers, first I printed one side, then turned the printed sheet over and printed on the back side. Then I cut along the faint orange lines. This method makes two dividers (I only need one, but if you are making a set for a friend, you will have another set, and of course, if you are making them for other people, you can make two sets with one card-stock sheet.) The dividers are the same size as the pages in BDP and I put the dividers in BDP where they are most helpful. Some dividers stay at a particular page, others move with the day and hour to be prayed.

My oblate friend asked for the Litany(1) of Loreto(2) on a series of dividers to keep with BDP. This illustrates one of the best reasons for having the dividers (in addition to having an easy way to find the right place in BDP where you should be praying).

The dividers allow me to put the text I want on the dividers for easy reference while praying with BDP. If you prefer another translation to any part of BDP, the dividers allow you to have your favorite translation handy. For example, I prefer another translation to the Nunc Dimittis rather than the one used by BDP — see below.



(1) A litany is a form of responsive petition used in public liturgy and private devotions. A litany finds its model in Psalm 136 where a series of lines are each ended with the repeated phrase, “for His love endures for ever.” This is another example of how the Jewish Old Testament has influenced our liturgical practices today.

(2) The Litany of Loreto (good summary of its history and thematic structures) was spread throughout Europe in the 1500s AD by pilgrims who visited the Holy House of Loreto in Italy and returned home with this litany in their hearts.

Loreto is the home of Mary’s House that had been in Nazareth, in the Holy Land. The Holy House is one of the most hallowed shrines because of how it came to reside in Loreto. The House was miraculously transported by angels to Dalmatia, Croatia, in 1291, and then in 1294 the house was again moved by angelic flight to Loreto, Italy. It continues to be a sacred destination.


  1. Elizabeth @ The Garden WindowAugust 5, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    This is a brilliant idea, thank you !

    I never thought of customising my own BDP .......

  2. John

    What kind of card stock do you use?  Is it available at any office supply?

    Great idea

  3. Ron, the card-stock is 110 Lbs ivory available from Office Depot and Staples.  Here is a complete materials list for what I used.  Thanks for the comment! 

  4. Thank you Elizabeth for the comment, my use of tabs came from getting tired of all the flipping and not having some of my favorite translations for parts of the divine office, the set shown <span style="color: #669922;">here</span> is my third version!

  5. Thanks, John.� I saw the new post and I may give making a set of those a try.� It's a really great idea.

  6. <span style="">Ron,

    If your word processor can open Corel WordPerfect text files, I can e-mail you all the files I used to make the dividers.


  7. John
    I use Word and it can open WordPerfect 5.x and 6.x files, at least it shows that option.� Thanks for the offer.

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.