This book function exactly as one would expect it to. It is a great addition to the Ancient Practices series. The book begins on the first Sunday of Advent and concludes the following November, the purpose is to help one become more attuned to a life in and through Jesus Christ. This book along with daily Scripture study does exactly that.
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The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister is a book that is exactly as the title describes. This book is set up to help the reader digest and learn about the liturgical year inside and out. Through reading this book I learned a lot of information that I didn't know before. Most of it I probably should have known. This book was interesting at first but then my interest slowly dissipated. However, I think this is because originally I didn't pick the book up to learn. I recommend you want to learn and take the time to read in depth before picking up this book. It was a very good read for me, in the end, and I do recommend it to anyone looking to know more about the Christian calendar, no matter what faith.
The liturgical year is an adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, and the soul to focus.
This quote is one of many wonderful lines that The Liturgical Year contains. This wonderful and simple little book explains many details of the church calendar and its impression on the Christian church.
The church year, unlike the civic year, does not begin on January 1st, but on the first Sunday of Advent, late in November. From Advent the book takes you on a journey through Lent, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. Along the way you not only study the holidays themselves, but also the impact they have on our lives through Suffering, Joy, Celebration, and Fidelity.
This book contains so many wonderful messages. It unravels mysteries of why we do different things through the church year, and it causes the simple beauty of the church to be revealed in a whole new light. As Ms. Chittister says, " This book, then, does not concentrate simply on what it means to grow older. This book is about growing wiser, growing holier, and growing more embedded in the essentials of life."
I highly recommend this book as a wonderful and educational read.
Note of Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through booksneeze.com - a book review program. I was not required to post a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are purely my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
I am of the opinion that something good can be found in everything. With that in mind, I would like to guardedly say that The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister is a fairly decent book.
Like many others before me, I was very excited about reading on the liturgy. I wanted to understand and become more familiar with what the liturgical year was all about in the purest sense. I elected to read Ms. Chittister's book, hoping to gain clarity and insight on this topic.
I found Ms. Chittister's writing to be both scholarly and common. She had several notable quotes and interesting comments. She seemingly tried to provide a functional link between the past and the present, and she worked to invite readers into understanding the union between Christ's life and their own.
The Liturgical Year, however, was a laborious read for me. I struggled to find the motivation to get through this book. It was redundant and dry at times, and it never seemed to make its point. The saving grace of the book was the fact that it had many one-liners, hidden treasures sprinkled throughout the book, which contributed to renewing my interest in reading to the end.
I would be extremely hesitant in recommending this book to anyone searching for a deeper understanding of the liturgy.
Last year, well, really from November 2009 to November 2010, I took a walk through the Christian calendar, trying to understand what it is, what it means, why it exists. Coming from a not-so-liturgical denomination, I was curious to know more about this practice. "The Liturgical Year" would have been a great resource for me!
Written by a Benedictine nun, this book clearly explains what the liturgical year is, why Catholics and other liturgical denominations recognize it, how it came to be a tradition of the Church, and its potential value to those who take it seriously. It then defines each element of the liturgical practice from the basic Sunday to the familiar Christmas and Easter, to ordinary time, feast days, and recognition of saints. (I had skipped over the saints in my study, but Sister Chittister explained why they are included in the Christian calendar. Their lives show us how the Christian life should be lived and that it can be done. They encourage us to continue on.)
Sister Chittister's passion for this subject shines clearly through every chapter of this book. Her explanations are clear. Her testimony is inspiring. I enjoyed reading this book.
This quote from page 6 sums up its essence:
"The liturgical year is the year that sets out to attune the life of the Christian to the life of Jesus, the Christ. It proposes, year after year, to immerse us over and over again into the sense and substance of the Christian life until, eventually, we become what we say we areâ€”followers of Jesus all the way to the heart of God. The liturgical year is an adventure in human growth, an exercise in spiritual ripening."
The rest of the book shows how this works! Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending it for my review.