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Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals

Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals [Hardcover] by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Enuma Okoro, and Shane Claiborne. Zondervan 590 pages.

The book begins with, “If you love liturgy, this book is for you. If you don’t know what liturgy is, this book is also for you.” This is followed by a wonderful introduction (yes, for those immersed in liturgy, it is an introduction) and a daily office book with a difference, deeply influenced by the New Monastic movement.

Each day of the year has its own Morning Prayer that may include something about a saint of the day or an encouraging story. There is a song, some verses from a psalm, the reference to two readings from the Scriptures, and prayers to conclude. The Church Year is taken account of. Morning Prayer takes up the bulk of the book.

The book actually puts Evening Prayer (a different one for each day of the week) before Morning Prayer – following the Jewish understanding of the day. Midday Prayer, Occasional Prayers, and some songs with the tune given, complete the book along with occasional notes on such things as “sacred space: thinking about where we pray”, “prayer beads”, “smells and bells”.

There is a common prayer website that supplements the book. You can see what the daily morning prayer and other services are like, and other resources are also provided there. I have added that link to the Chapel of this site.

For those who already follow a discipline of the Daily Office this book would not replace the more fulsome praying through the psalms, but it can easily be used as a supplement for such of you to enrich your daily prayer. For those new to the daily office tradition, this would be an excellent introduction.

I was given this book as a gift. And I am grateful to the person who gave it to me as I am already appreciating using it for a personal resource and for resources for leading and preparing worship.

I highly recommend it. One suggestion: it comes with only one ribbon. Although page turning is kept to a minimum, anyone who prays liturgy from a book will have laughed when they read that.

There is also a Common Prayer Pocket Edition, a small, abbreviated version.

There is also a facebook page which the Liturgy facebook page has “liked”.

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5 thoughts on “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals”

  1. It sounded a most interesting book and I thought of buying it. Then I thought of a number of other sources of daily prayer I have and thought not another. From time to time i lead evening and morning prayer for this community and actually find a sometimes dreary Australian prayer book combined with Episcopelian book “Holy Men and Holy Women”Suffices with an occassional break out into Iona.
    But then last night I accepted an invitation to attend a Society of Friends worship meeting- basically an hour of silence. For some time I found the silence disturbing almost frightened to think how can I get through an hour like this. My mind wandered and even encompassed five decades of Rosary out of my youth. Then there was a settling, a quietning that was somehow more meaningful than the Anglican evening prater I had attended earlier.
    Brief talk afterwards. ONe quoted some Quaker science group “Beliefs are not just safe ledges in an uncertain reality, but rather handholds.”
    this morning I read this by george Fox “Be still and cool in thy own mind and sprit from thy own thoughts.”
    Would I want this time after time. I doubt it. There are things to e derived from variety in prayer,

  2. I also really enjoy Phyllis Tickle’s “The Divine Hours.” It’s a three volume set, but so worth it. It hadn’t crossed my mind that she needed ribbons (I own the paperbacks) I just use a couple bookmarks.

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