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The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385497571, Hardcover)The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle draws on the Book of Common Prayer and the Church Fathers, as well as the New Jerusalem Bible, to provide daily readings and prayers (for morning, noon, vespers, and complin) for every day between October and January. Tickle's book of hours modernizes the ancient practice of fixed-hour prayer, as originally practiced by the Jews ("Seven times a day do I praise you" [Psalm 119:164]) and adapted by early Christians. The book's introduction provides a short history of this tradition of prayer, whose centrality in Christian worship was cemented in the sixth century, when St. Benedict fashioned the rule of his community according to the schedule of fixed-hour prayer. The introduction also encourages readers to experiment with sung and chanted prayer (the encouragement includes the tantalizing observation by Saint Augustine that "Whoever sings, prays twice"). The discipline described by The Divine Hours is demanding, but the rewards, as Tickle describes them, are great. Christians who practice fixed-hour prayer "find themselves filled with a conscious awareness that they are handing their worship, at its final 'Amen,' on to other Christians in the next time zone. Like relay runners passing a lighted torch, those who do the work of fixed-hour prayer create thereby a continuous cascade of praise before the throne of God."
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 19 Apr 2011 17:02:16 -0400)
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