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Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation Through the Book of Common Prayer Paperback – August 28, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In an age when Protestants are recovering such disciplines as fixed-hour prayer and the liturgical calendar, it's refreshing to have a book that invites readers to rediscover relatively ordinary rituals like baptism, the Eucharist, marriage, confession and last rites. Although some of these are no longer official sacraments for Protestants, they are a crucial part of the Book of Common Prayer that is the foundation for this text. While DeSilva is no longer Episcopalian himself, he has been spiritually formed by the BCP and wants readers to join in its richly textured sacramental life. He makes valuable contributions throughout, but some chapters are less original than others, with the section on how the BCP handles death and grief the best of all. These would be an amazing resource for high church support groups on dying and bereavement. There are a few small errors (e.g., it was Mary I, not Mary Queen of Scots, who restored Catholicism to England in the 16th century), but these minor mishaps are offset by the book's strengths, especially the practical exercises that close each chapter. (Sept.)
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"As a book of mediations this is a superb introduction to the BCP as a coherent spiritual approach to Christian spiritual life in all its breadth and depth, and will be of immense benefit to both those who are familiar with the BCP and those who know little or nothing of it." (Robert D. Hughes, Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care)
"In this innovative and engaging resource David deSilva invites you in to a new way of being spiritually formed through an old book that has shaped thousands of disciples through the years." (www.wfn.org, June 2009)
"Sacramental Life is a fine exposition of the central sacramental experiences as found in the Book of Common Prayer, 1979 edition." (Harry S., Book Bargains and Previews (bookbargainsandpreviews.com), June 2009)
"First, deSilva does an unusually good job of communicating well and concisely. This, couple with the equally unusual feat of suggesting helpful practices at the end of each chapter makes this volume a great book to use in a small group or individual setting. The chapters are short, which make it a great daily read, and with 45 chapters, it is a great discipline for about a month and a half. If you know people who are curious about the Book of Common Prayer but altogether unfamiliar with it, this would be a decent place for them to start." (Kyle Strobel, Theology Forum (theologyforum.wordpress.com), March 24, 2009)
"Sacramental Life bridges the gap between the Book of Common Prayer and daily life, making a helpful and substantial contribution to the ever-increasing number of pilgrims who desire a meaningful life with the prayer book." (Julie Lane-Gay, Christian Century, March 24, 2009)
"The chapters in this book are short, and each has a section at the end titled "putting it into practice" giving an invitation to meditate on the material just read and to act on it." (Rachel Wheeler, The Lamplighter, February 2009)
"A must-read for anyone who worships in a liturgical church, but will be edifying for Christians from any background. It is well suited for either individual or group study." (James R. Hamrick, Bible Study Magazine, January/February 2009)
"There is much to glean from deSilva's book. The practical applications are especially helpful. Some of them are tangible expressions that could serve as powerful object lessons in a pastoral setting." (Trevin Wax, Discerning Reader (www.discerningreader.com), December 16, 2008)
"Here liturgy is directly connected to our spiritual vitality, individually and communally. I can imagine this book not only being profitiable for individual spiritual growth, but any one of its four parts would form a useful resource for a study and reflection group." (Liturgy (www.liturgy.co.nz), November 7, 2008)
"Finally, there is a book that allows a breath of fresh air into the past and present. Trustworthy in intellect and inventive in practice." (Worship Leader, October 2008)
Top customer reviews
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Each chapter in the book concludes with absolutely useful practices for readers. This is a hands-on devotional book that will lead readers to discover a deeper spiritual life. It will also teach readers about the godly practices and traditions of the church in the form of liturgies and prayers.
I have already given several copies of this book to friends as gifts and fully recommend it to Christians seeking a devotional resource for personal or group use and to readers seeking to discover the richness of the liturgical tradition through the Book of Common Prayer.
The volumn, a paperback book of 266 pages, has "Putting it into Practice" suggestions at the end of each of the 44 chapters. This book would be an excellent gift to a newly confirmed person.
Harry W Shipps