Thursday, 25 August 2016

Novenas: Prayers of Intercession and Devotion, by William Storey

William Storey, Novenas: Prayers of Intercession and Devotion, 2005 Loyola Press

On this blog I have previously reviewed two novena collections, the CTS Handbook of Novenas to the Saints and the American Treasury of Novenas. I've also reviewed another prayer book edited by William Storey, A Catholic Book of Hours.

The distinctive feature of this book is that the novenas are accompanied by a sort of prayer office, with a psalm, a short reading, a canticle and a litany. Some of these contain the Magnificat as a canticle, which feels awkward to say when one is saying the Magnificat as part of the Liturgy of the Hours. I sometimes say these offices, but more often I just say the novena prayer.

The selection of novenas to saints is a bit limited. Favorites like St. Anthony of Padua and Saint Joseph are there, but there is no novena to Saint Rita or Saint Anne. Oddly we get some novenas to individuals that have not yet been canonized- Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dorothy Day and Oscar Romero. These choices clearly reflect the anti-traditionalist preferences of the editor. However, we do get a novena to Saint John the Baptist, who tends to get forgotten. There are also no novenas for the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. The Novena to the Good Shepherd was new to me and a nice addition.

Not bad, but I think I liked Treasury of Novenas better.

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