The third and final 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 third and final book in the set, Prayers for Springtime, provides prayers, psalms, and readings for this season associated with rebirth. Compact, it is perfect for those seeking greater spiritual depth. As a contemporary Book of Hours, The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtimeheralds a renewal of the tradition of disciplined daily prayer, and gives those already using the first two volumes the completion they are seeking. With this volume, the series culminates with three prayer manuals encompassing the liturgical and calendar year with the offices for every day.
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In the beginning of each volume, Tickle provides a concise "Brief History of Fixed Hour Prayer" as well as "Notes for Use of this Manual" which are very helpful, fascinating and informative. The book itself is arranged in three brief daily offices of about 1-2 pages each containing Psalm verses, prayers of the day, as well as a suggestion to say the Lord's prayer. The fourth office, said before retiring for the evening is found in the "complines" section for each month. The book can be used interchangably in any year, as it is arranged by day of the week closest to _____ date.
There is also a special section for Holy Week and Easter in the spring edition.
I heard about this wonderful resource from my pastor, and have found it to be a tremendously meaningful and spiritually fulfilling discipline. I must admit I have not said each and every office, but I do squeeze in about two a day on average, and just pick up with the date and time for that given day.
I highly recommend this series of excellent books for anyone looking to deepen their spiritual journey in a very enriching way!
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.