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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Catholic Customs & Traditions: A Popular Guide (More Resources to Enrich Your Lenten Journey) Paperback – December 12, 1989

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dues is a religious educator and pastoral minister in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.
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Product Details

  • Series: More Resources to Enrich Your Lenten Journey
  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Twenty-Third Publications; Revised edition (December 12, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896225151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896225152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Dunphy on February 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Some interesting information, but overly hostile to traditional Catholicism. The book claims we fasted because of "an exaggerated devotion to the real presence" [p.153]. It says we were overly attentive to the needs of those in purgatory [p.130]. It repeatedly puts the word "souls" in quotes[pp.34,130]. It demeans kneeling as the position of "servitude and slavery" [p.176]. It disparages "confession in a dark closet" [p.146].

The whole book has an odd flavor to it. It uses BCE/CE for dates, instead of BC/AD. It refers to "Orders" instead of "Holy Orders" and too often portrays clergy as either out of touch with the laity or indistinguishable from them. The book often makes it sound as if pagan practice was uncritically adopted by the church.

There is good material here, too. But before you purchase this book, you might want to consider one of the following books, which treat the Catholic faith less skeptically:

The Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions

by Ronda De Sola Chervin and Carla Conley

Catholic Customs: A Fresh Look at Traditional Practices

by Regis J. Flaherty

The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You

by Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty

Why Do Catholics Do That?

by Kevin Orlin Johnson

The Catholic Source Book

by Peter Klein

The Year and Our Children

by Mary Newland

A Continual Feast

by Evelyn Birge Vitz

These books are the products of a living Faith, and helpful for faithfully following Christ in the 21st century. Mr. Dues seems to have some of the Faith as well, which is a great thing, but I fear his book would be damaging to a reader not already unusually-well grounded in Catholicism.
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Format: Paperback
Easy to read, informative. excellent for families and those just comming into the church. Great for those who always wonder "why do catholics do that?" Not just for catholics, many traditions observe the same customs, now find out why.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second purchase I have made of this book. The book is broken down by the various Catholic seasons (i.e. lent, advent). It is a book that "Cradle Catholics" can use to renew their understanding about the traditions and customs. I recommend this to Catholic families with children, Catholics that would like to renew their faith, individuals in RCIA and anyone interested in the Catholic relgion.
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Format: Paperback
This is a fine little book because it puts its readers in touch with the riches and depth of Catholic tradition ... but it doesn't seek to enslave its readers in that tradition. As a professional religious educator, I had a copy in my high school classroom. It is very helpful, not only because of the information it contains, but also because it goes into enough detail to avoid "easy answers" that don't always get the whole story across! It begins with a general discussion of what religious traditions are and how they must be based on real life to be most meaningful. Then it ventures into timely and eternal topics like the church's calendar, different types of feasts, sacraments and sacramentals. It has a healthy, updated and valuable methodology for dealing with issues like purgatory and prayers for the deceased (both of which are difficult issues for some of our Protestant brothers and sisters who reject these beliefs). The book is published by Twenty-Third Publications, which was recently purchased by the Augustinians of the Assumption. This religious order also publishes the only remaining Catholic daily newspaper, LA CROIX, in Paris. If you find this volume as helpful as I do, you may wish to look into their other publications as well.
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Format: Paperback
on Christian holidays, and I wasn't disappointed. That purchase was over a year ago, and I just found myself using the book again tonight to copy out the parts on Easter on an ancient history mailing list I'm on. I particularly like the easy-to-read format of this book, and the index is quite complete. For example, not only does it say what pages Easter is on, but also breaks this down into further categories (like Easter lilies, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter Vigil..). Dues does not seem to be overly biased one way or the other, and from what I can tell tries to give accurate information. I wasn't satisfied with the bibliography in the back of the book, which only lists 15 sources, but he does mention that this is a selected bibliography. I would have liked to have been able to see what /all/ of his sources were though. He explains what almost every conceivable symbol and tradition that the average person could wonder about means, like I.N.R.I., genuflection, prostration, and provides history to back his information up. All in all I'd really recommend this book, it's a damn good read. and not couched in really irritating language.
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Format: Paperback
While I appreciate the concern that other reviewers have shown about this book's accuracy toward doctrine and catechisis, I believe the purpose of the work is well met.
Unless there are glaring historical inaccuracies that I am unaware of, the effort to explain the development of Catholic traditions and practices as a function of society and the evolution of the Church is well founded and useful - not as a spiritual or doctrinal education, but as a refresher in the many public and private devotions, traditions, and customs that may be unfamiliar to modern Catholics.
Certainly, reducing all Catholic practices to "Tradition" encourages the devaluation of the Sacramental experience. But there is a large arena in which the explanation of cultural and temporal impact is relevant and instructive (the evolution of "Santa Clause" as one example).
Overall, I quite enjoyed the structure of the book. The various topics were pretty well detailed. The full richness of Catholic tradition can hardly be encompassed in 200 pages, but there is clearly a lot of ground that wasn't covered (I searched and searched for an explanation of the tenebrae, for example, but found it absent).
In summary, I tend to agree that other than some historical reference, the sections concerning Sacraments are best ignored in favor of a doctrinally authoritative text. But in calling to mind many things forgotten, or hinting at many things unlearned, this book serves a worthwhile and educational purpose.
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