Catholic Review of: Book of Christian Prayer
Orthodoxy: Completely orthodox.
Reading Level: Intermediate
By Michael Gielczyk (IL) - See all my reviews
True prayer for a true Christian; an excellent choice for laity
One of the greatest joys that I have found as a Catholic is to pray the Divine Office; Christian Prayer is the ideal choice for those wishing to take part in the Church's official prayer, but desire the simplicity and portability that does not come with a multi-volume breviary. As a single-volume edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, Christian Prayer is the book that I rely on. While Christian Prayer does not include everything (for example, there are only selections from the Office of Readings and Daytime Prayer), it is nevertheless a well-rounded, high quality volume that will serve the needs of most people. One of the things I do like most about it is its aesthetic simplicity: a simple red prayer book with gold letters, and a five-ribbon book mark. This outer beauty does not, though, compare to the beauty of its contents.
Included in Christian Prayer are Morning and Evening Prayer from the four-week Psalter--on which the day hinges--selections of the Office of Readings, selections of Daytime Prayer, Night Prayer, hymns, and the Office for the Dead. It also includes the proper of seasons and of saints. This is an ICEL translation of the version that was revised by Vatican II. This edition is also one with the hymns set to music. In short, this is really everything that a person needs to celbrate the entire day with prayer. It is particularly suited for those wishing to find a more in-depth beviary than Shorter Christian Prayer.
It is worth noting, however, that this volume is best suited for those who have some familiarity with praying the Divine Office; some of the language in the General Instructoins, for example, sometimes is a little stilted and needs a mental double-take to be sure that it is understood. I would recomend, then, using this book with the guidance of a leader in a group, or with some kind of written guide, whether that be an online guide or a printed one.
Long story short: Christian Prayer, is a worthy addition to any Catholic's personal library, one that will enrich a person's prayer life in communion with the whole Church.