Friday, 19 February 2016

CTS Handbook of Prayers



Handbook of Prayers, 2011 Catholic Truth Society

I suggested in my review of The Little Flower Prayer Book that prayer manuals of that sort ought to contain a basic form of morning and evening prayer as a way of introducing the Liturgy of the Hours to the laity. The Catholic Truth Society's Handbook of Prayers does this! This takes the form of a sort of sample, with the inclusion of morning prayer for Monday Week 1 and evening prayer for Wednesday Week 1. This is a positive move, though readers are likely to get weary of repeating those psalms and canticles daily. Hopefully they will be encouraged to buy either the Shorter Morning and Evening or Daily Prayer from the Divine Office.

This is an attractive volume in an imitation leather cover. It was originally published by Midwest Theological Forum. Most of the prayers in this book are given in both Latin and English, which will please traditionalists.

The introduction offers some general advice about how to be a good Catholic, explaining some basic doctrines and practices. A large chapter of the book concerns prayers said at mass. I am always a bit surprised when prayer manuals contain the liturgy for the Eucharist, as Catholics are just as likely to own a missal as to own book like this. I was also surprised that a book presumably intended for laity contains a lot of prayers that are said by priests. The final chapter contains various blessings, including to my surprise, a rite for blessing a Christmas tree. A wide selection of devotions to Our Lady are contained in this book, as well as devotions to Saint Joseph. However, there are no prayers to other saints.

This is an attractive and useful prayer manual. I think on the whole, CTS have done a good service in publishing this.

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