Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Little Flower Prayer Book

The Little Flower Prayerbook: A Carmelite Prayer Manual, 1926 TAN Books

This is basically a standard Catholic book of general prayers with a Carmelite flavour. Carmelite elements include a short biography of Saint Therese of Lisieux, meditations by the Little Flower and a list of important feast days for Carmelites.

What I really liked about this book was the traditional language. It even says 'Holy Ghost' rather than Holy Spirit, which is very unusual in a Catholic publication.

There are prayers for morning, during the day and at night, but there are not a structured office, but rather an ad hoc collection of prayers to say at those time. I found it disappointing that there was no proper daily office in it. An easy, simple Carmelite flavoured daily office would have been a good way to introduce laity to the practice of saying the Liturgy of the Hours. Rather less usefully, the book contains an order for masses in honour of St. Therese. Epistle and Gospel readings for Sundays are included as well. There are various devotions in this book. These include several litanies, mass and sacramental devotions, the Rosary and Stations of the Cross.

Readers coming from a Protestant background are likely to be surprised by the heavy emphasis in this book on obtaining indulgences. The indulgence value of each prayer is given below the text of the prayer in small print. This does not really bother me. I followed a school or Protestantism that placed a heavy emphasis on gaining heavenly rewards, so the idea of indulgences makes sense to me.

Not a remarkable book, but it is beautifully and sturdily bound.

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