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Prayer Book of the Early Christians Hardcover – February 1, 2012
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About the Author
The editor and translator, John A. McGuckin, is a priest of the Orthodox Church and the Nielsen Professor of Early Christian theology and history at Union Seminary in New York and at Columbia University. He is the author of twenty scholarly works, and is internationally regarded as one of the leading expositors of ancient Christian studies today.
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Top Customer Reviews
What is refreshing about Prayer Book of the Early Christians is that has no new spiritual insights of any kind and it makes no promises that `reading it' will make you a better pray-er. Rather, this book draws on the wisdom of the early church and the Orthodox tradition. This is not a book to be `read' though I have done that for the purposes of this review. Rather this is a book to be prayed.
John A McGuckin is an Orthodox priest and patristic scholar. He has gathered up the pieces of this prayer-book from the richness of the Christian tradition, particularly the Christian east. After a brief introduction offering advice about prayer and the use of this book, the book unfolds in three parts. Part I presents prayers for the Ritual Offices of the day (i.e. Vespers, Compline, Matins, the first and third hours of the day). Part II contains rituals and prayer services for various occasions (traveling, the blessing of a house, prayer for the sick, grace before meals, personal repentance, etc.) Part III collects various prayers and hymns from the Ancient saints.
What I really like how this book unfolds the beauty and prayerfulness of the Orthodox tradition. If the church in the East has a gift for the whole church it is how the life of prayer penetrates their entire theological reflection.Read more ›
These prayers certainly brought me to a place of praising God that I was not accustomed to before. One of the beautiful things about many of the prayers in this book is the Trinitarian nature of them. In the prayer of St. Ioannikios we find this short prayer, "My hope is the Father. My refuge is the Son. My shelter is the Holy Spirit. O Holy Trinity, glory to you (32). The beauty of extolling the Father for his plan, for the Son in the carrying out the plan and the Holy Spirit guiding and interceding for us is an unmistakable element in these prayers.
Lastly, the prominent use of Scripture throughout these prayers, focusing in on the Psalms is a breath of fresh air. The format in which the Psalms are placed reminds us of the poetic quality of the psalms and also their inherent power for following after God in dark and desolate places.Read more ›
Starting off with some very practical advice for everyone, ranging from the experienced Catholic who grew up saying the liturgy or the novice Southern Baptist who has no liturgical experience at all, McGuckin makes entering into the morning and evening offices accessible for everyone. As someone whose experience is limited to a cursory knowledge of the Book of Common Prayer, the Prayer Book of the Early Christians has been a blessing in my home. Offering a simple way of engaging in prayer with my family, and a beautiful translation of Ancient prayers from some of the early Church Fathers, this book serves a wonderful launching pad for those looking to unite their entire household in prayer.
It should be noted that Father McGuckin comes from an Orthodox Christian background, which colors his theology and his selection of prayers from the early Church. While there are aspects of that which may been unsettling to some, as in the Hymns to the Virgin or McGuckin's suggested usage of icons, these are things that are easily accommodated to fit one's worship preference.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent prayer book; well laid-out, thorough without being overwhelming...just wonderful. It is the preferred prayer book for our family prayers each evening.Published 10 months ago by Kathleen A. Smith
I was surprised by the high quality of this book, in every sense. This publisher really put care into the printing of this volume, and at the time of this review, you get a very... Read morePublished 15 months ago by ICXCNIKA
Excellent. Exactly what I expected when purchasing. This book is a treasure for the heart and soul. An absolute pleasure to read every chance I get.Published 18 months ago by Stel
The modest title may appear something like "here's another devotional from the old days", perhaps similarly to the way that the Greek word "biblos" can mean "... Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by Ronald Sims
If one is interested in Eastern Orthodox prayer, it's difficult to find a meaningful, readable compilation in a single volume. Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by John R. Swales, III
I think this is an interesting prayer book from a historical and religious perspective.
There is a wide variety of prayers for different parts of the day and for different... Read more
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a simple yet informative prayer book in plain English. Many prayer s not found in other more common prayer books.Published on June 15, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout the history of the Church, she has turned primarily to two sources to teach and enrich our lives of prayer-Scripture itself (primary the Psalter) and prayer books. Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by T. C. Judd