Thursday, February 25, 2010

Divine Hours

Primary Volumes

Tickle, Phyllis. The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
_____. The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime. New York: Doubleday, 2000.
_____. The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime : a Manual for Prayer. New York: Doubleday, 2001.

Supplemental Material

Tickle, Phyllis. Christmastide: Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours. New York: Galilee, 2003.
_____. Eastertide: Prayers for Lent Through Easter from the Divine Hours. New York: Galilee, 2004.
_____. The Night Offices: Prayers for the Hours from Sunset to Sunrise. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
_____. The Divine Hours. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. [Pocket edition.]

The Divine Hours is a multi-volume handbook for fixed hour prayer modeled set of prayer offices ordered according to the traditional monastic hours, condensed into four prayer times throughout the day. Ecumenical in scope, much of the material is taken from the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, with the addition of poems, hymns, and short meditations taken from the broader Christian faith (i.e. Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox writers). The offices can be said in 5 to 10 minutes, and are ideal for slow reading and meditation, especially lectio divina.

Go here for Tickle's introduction to the practice of "fixed hour prayer."

What I Liked: This breviary is extremely user-friendly, and the type is readable and attractive. The offices observe major feast days and commemorations of the Christian year, and is even available for the Kindle.

What I Didn't Like: Only the paperbacks of the original three volume work are presently in print. I still have the older hardcovers, so I have no idea how sturdy and long lasting the paperbacks might be, as they are each nearly 700 pages.

The Bottom Line: This is an excellent book for beginners to the practice or for folks who want short offices with a very loose form, and is the most simple and user friendly breviary that I've used. If you want to follow the Christian year more carefully, consider Celebrating Daily Prayer or the full Liturgy of the Hours.

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