The first volume in a trilogy of prayer manuals compiled by Publishers Weekly religion editor Phyllis Tickle as a contemporary Book of Hours to guide Christians gently yet authoritatively through the daily offices. The Divine Hours is the first major literary and liturgical reworking of the sixth-century Benedictine Rule of fixed-hour prayer. This beautifully conceived and thoroughly modern three-volume guide will appeal to the theological novice as well as to the ecclesiastical sophisticate. Making primary use of the Book of Common Prayer and the writings of the Church Fathers, The Divine Hours is also a companion to the New Jerusalem Bible, from which it draws its Scripture readings. The trilogy blends prayer and praise in a way that, while extraordinarily fresh, respects and builds upon the ancient wisdom of Christianity. The first book in the set, Prayers for Summertime, filled with prayers, psalms, and readings, is one readers will turn to again and again. Compact in size, it is perfect for those seeking greater spiritual depth. As a contemporary Book of Hours, The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime heralds a renewal of the tradition of disciplined daily prayer, and will whet the hunger of a large and eager audience for the follow-up autumn/winter and spring volumes.
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For me, spontaneous prayers are a disaster for a mind as prone to meander as mine. It is quite impossible for me to pray longer than twenty seconds without straying to thoughts all together unholy. Hence my need for an anchor, a corral, a hemmed in path for my mind to pray along, so as not to get lost.
This trilogy is just that sort of thing. Phyllis Tickle has taken the Book of Common Prayer and laid it out so those of use who find the actually book daunting may still unitlize this excellent tool. There is a minor amount of uncertainty when first starting as to the dates, but once you start, the dates settle into a rhythm. There are four times of prayer: Morning, Mid-Day, Vespers, and Night. The prayers themselves are mostly scripture Psalms with other readings added occasionally. The Vespers prayer has a hymn or piece of poetry and the Night Office usually has writings by universally acknowledge Saints of God.
I highly recommend The Divine Hours. Praying this will encourage you, guide you, deepen your relationship with God, and give you structure and peace. It is an excellent tool for those who wish to improve their prayer life but are uncertain how or where to begin. Even those who have been Christians for many years will benefit from the act of praying the scripture.