Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Catholic Book of Hours and other Devotions, by William Storey

William G. Storey, A Catholic Book of Hours and other Devotions, 2007 Loyola Press

This cannot possibly be a Catholic book- it has no page marker! I had come under the impression that all Catholic devotional books had page markers. It might have been helpful for this book to have one, though otherwise it is an attractive and handsome volume.

This book stands in the tradition of Medieval primers. Such prayer manuals contained a simple daily office, usually the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, as well as Eucharistic devotions. A Catholic Book of Hours also contains Eucharistic devotions, as well as other devotions such as the Seven Joys of Mary and the Five Wounds of Jesus. It does not contain the Little Office of the Virgin, but the Hours of Jesus-Messiah, which may be said on any day with each hour devoted to an aspect of His life. Another office is provided for each day. The days all have a theme, for instance Monday's hours concern the Holy Spirit and Wednesday's are dedicated to All Saints. There are five hours; matins, morning, noon, evening and night, instead of the traditional seven. There is a single psalm and a canticle for each hour. This daily office is not liturgically suitable for Lent.

This uses modern language, which is not my preferece, but I'm used to that in Catholic prayer books. The Our Father is given in modern language. Oddly, this version includes the doxology. Some reviewers have criticised the author for using a version of the Lord's Prayer more associated with Protestantism. Personally, I like to say the doxology when saying morning and evening prayer.

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