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Prayers for Summertime: A Manual for Prayer (The Divine Hours) Paperback – May 2, 2006
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The Divine Hours trilogy is meant to be a manual for "fixed hour prayer"--an age-old discipline of saying prayers at certain times of the day. (Fixed prayer is also known as "liturgy of hours," "keeping the hours," or "saying the offices.") The psalms contained in the beautiful trilogy (summertime, wintertime, and springtime) read like ancient poems and are made even more meaningful and powerful when sung or chanted, according to Phyllis Tickle, who lovingly gathered and organized these rich volumes. The book is organized by dates, starting with the Monday nearest to June and closing with the Saturday closest to September 28. Upon each date, readers can find complete prayers for "The Morning Office" on through the "Vespers Office" (between 5 and 8 p.m.). The clear organization and elegantly designed pages make this an excellent companion for a time-honored form of private worship and devotion. Newcomers to fixed hour prayer as well as longstanding devotees will find this an appealing and impressive guide.
From Library Journal
Religious journalist Tickle's commodious volume is the first in a series of three aimed at renewing and reinvigorating the Benedictine tradition of fixed-hour prayer. Tickle draws from the Book of Common Prayer and the New Jerusalem Bible as well as a smattering of more contemporary hymns and poems; her great labor is imaginative and thoughtful and should be well received. For most collections. Not wholly unlike it, but rather more conservative in approach, is the Redemptorist Essential Catholic Prayer Book, which draws together translations of many familiar and indispensable prayers and devotions--the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary, the Scapular. For collections where there is a strong Catholic readership.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top customer reviews
However, there are also some negatives for me which will prevent me from buying the other volumes. First, my favorite parts of this book are the parts that come directly from the BCP, which makes this one unnecessary now that I understand how the devotions in the BCP work, especially since I usually did not enjoy the additions such as the hymns. Second, she has many short sections of Psalms in each prayer instead of one longer section, which tends to make it feel choppy and disruptive as I'm trying to pray. For instance, I just counted, and one section has 11 different pieces to pray for the Vesper Office. Again, it's not the amount but the choppiness that bothered me. And third, although longer sections of the Psalms are included each day, they do not seem to follow the daily office lectionary, though it's hard to tell since the Kindle version doesn't include the dates; I can't tell if the Psalms are systematically read or not.
In the end, I prefer using the daily devotions, weekly collect, and Bible reading from the BCP rather than The Divine Hours. I didn't even make it all the way through this book. However, it might be just the thing for those who want a hymn added, who aren't concerned about the Psalms matching the daily office lectionary, and who don't mind the choppiness of multiple short readings.
The volumes follow an abbreviated form of monastic prayer: prayers for morning, midday, evening and compline (last prayer of the day). There is a suggested "window" for each of these: example: 6 to 9 a.m., on the hour or half-hour for the morning "hour." And the "hour" certainly doesn't mean 60 minutes. Time varies, from maybe four minutes to--whatever you please.
Given the intention of having a definite and usable pattern of daily prayer for busy people, there is inevitably a sense of choppiness at times, with just one line from a Psalm, for instance, when some might be able to remember the whole of it. Well, maybe that's not a bad idea for those so inclined to recite the whole Psalm(mentally, or aloud--your call) Go ahead.
Some people might prefer longer prayers, full-length psalms, longer readings, but this one is so unintimidating you are likelier to come back to it over and over. I use it at least twice a day, not always morning and evening, sometimes midday and night.
I recommend this book very highly.
Let me add that I am 69 years old, and have been using different prayer books for 36 years. The one I liked best fell totally into pieces, and is out of print, so this comes as a lifesaver. Enjoy!