I've flirted with Magnificat before, and at one point before I got married I had a subscription for years. I eventually stopped subscribing because I found myself not using it as much, and I also a full set of the Liturgy of the Hours books. It's not a cheap subscription, so I let it go.
Well, this past Lent showed for sure and for certain that the Liturgy of the Hours just isn't happening at this point in my life. It's not that I don't have the time; it's that in the (somewhat limited) free time that I do have, I'm not disciplined enough to devote the necessary time to it. At some future point it will hopefully be possible, just not right now.
So I tried Magnificat again. Since I last subscribed, they added an option for a 6 month subscription for $24.95. Although you don't save as much money as if you subscribed for a longer period of time, this is a nice option for trying out the magazine at an inexpensive price. No need to shell out $45 for a full year if you're not going to like it or use it. And fyi, Magnificat offers a free sample issue to anybody to wants one, so do take them up on that to get a sense of the magazine if you've never used it before.
My first issue to arrive was May. I was very excited to tuck it into my purse yesterday and pray Morning Prayer. I am so, so glad that I gave this another chance. What Magnificat does is modify Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours (they include selections of the psalms and readings only) into a shorter format. It also includes the daily Mass readings and prayers, and the Order of Mass, so you can use this instead of a permanent or annual Missal. Each day also includes a meditation and a saint story. The saint stories were always my favorite. There will be a short biography of the saint on the calendar, but the section I'm talking about is called "Saints of Today and Yesterday" and discusses a saint I've never heard of before. As is always the case with saint stories, the details are fascinating, sometimes morbidly so. :)There will be a few articles at the very beginning, an editorial and one other, addressing a theme for the month.The cover always features beautiful sacred art (and there is a description of the cover art in the back, along with another featured work of art that is given a full color display and a longer discussion).
This is really a wonderful publication. It's so much more than merely a magazine, but it's also more than a devotional. It's a daily prayer companion. If anybody else subscribes to Magnificat or starts up a subscription, do leave a comment and let me know how you like it.
I am a recent subscriber to Magnificat for the exact same reasons you mentoned above - i don't have the discpline to commit the time needed for the full LOTH.
But while i really do like Magnificat, pray with it daily, read the daily Mass readings, and take it with me to Sunday Mass, i was very disappointed to find out that the daily prayers are NOT just 'condensed' versions of the daily prayers in the LOTH. They are different prayers and psalms altogether. If you go to one of the online Divine Office sites and check the prayers for the day against Magnificat, you will see they are entirely different.
So while, yes, Magnificat is a wonderful (and it is!) daily devotional/Mass companion, it's just not accurate to compare it to a "LOTH-light". It's just not. :(
You are correct. The Magnificat Morning and Evening Prayers are not the official prayer of the Church (LOTH), nor are they a condensed form of such. I'm not certain if I knew that or not back when I wrote that post, but given that I've been using Magnificat for over a year now, I got clued in somewhere along the way, lol. That doesn't bother me, so long as I'm getting some form of disciplined prayer in each morning and evening I'm happy, but I can see that it may not be what others are looking for. So it's a good point to clarify. Thank you. :)