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Wednesday, 31 August 2022

A Time of Prayer - CBCEW - Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales - CTS Devotions and Prayers

A Time of Prayer
Daily Prayer for Groups and Individuals for
Morning, Evening or any time of the day
CBCEW - Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales
ISBN 9781860822995
CTS Booklet D669


This is the first book I have read from the Liturgy Office England & Wales. Or at least that I can find evidence of. I have found several other volumes published under the name ‘Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales’ but only a few with the abbreviated CBCEW like this title. This volume was first published in 1979. It was reprinted in 2005 and there is no eBook as of mid-2022. Over the last several years I have read over 300 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society. Many great books, many wonderful series, and a slew of excellent authors. I have ready many books in the CTS Devotions and Prayers Series that have been of benefit to my faith. This one was a surprise, and to be honest a little disappointing.

The description of this volume is:

“A simple form of daily prayer based on the Liturgy of the Hours: hymns for Morning or Evening, psalms for each day, scripture reading for each day, Benedictus and Magnificat, seasonal psalms and Night Prayer.

Many people are looking for a simple pattern for daily prayer. Prepared by the Liturgy Office of the Bishops' Conference, A Time of Prayer offers a simple form that can be used at any time of the day, everyday. It follows the basic structure of the Divine Office, which since Vatican II has been seen as the prayer not just of the clergy and religious but of the whole church. This booklet is suitable for use by individuals and by groups: Hymn for Morning or Evening, Psalms for each day, Scripture reading for each day, Benedictus & Magnificat, Seasonal Psalms, Night Prayer.”

The back of the booklet states:

“Often people are looking for a simple pattern for daily prayer. This new booklet, prepared by the Liturgy Office of the Bishops' Conference, offers a simple form, using the scriptures that can be used at any time of the day, and everyday. It follows the basic structure of the Divine Office, which since Vatican II has been seen as the Prayer not just of the clergy and religious but of the whole Church. 

A Time of Prayer is suitable for use by individuals and by groups.”

The chapters and sections in this work are:

A Time of Prayer
     Introduction
     Word
     Prayer

A Form if Night Prayer
     Introduction
     Word
     Prayer

Notes

We are informed prior to the beginning of the book, prior to the table of contents that:

“The Liturgy Office works with the Department of Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops' Conference to provide diocese and parish communities with resources to enable a worthy celebration of the liturgy. It seeks to promote the full, conscious and active participation in the Liturgy by all the baptised so that they may find in the Liturgy nourishment and inspiration as they take up their pan in the mission of the Church.”

At the beginning of the book we are told:

“Christian prayer is primarily the prayer of the entire human community joined to Christ. Each individual has their part in this prayer which is common to the one Body and it thus becomes the voice of the beloved Spouse of Christ, putting into words the wishes and desires of the whole Christian people and making intercession for the necessities common to all humankind.

Those taking pray in the prayer should make it their own so that it becomes a source of devotion, abundant grace and nourishment for personal prayer and apostolic activity.”

Page 5 states:

Structure
Introduction
     Opening Response
     Hynm
Word
     Seasonal Psalm
     Psalm of the Day
     Scripture Reading
     Reflection
     Gospel Canticle
Prayer
     Intercession
     Lord's Prayer
     Concluding Prayer
     Blessing

At the end of the volume I highlighted a few passages:

“Psalm of the Day
A psalm is provided for every day of the week. It is hoped that through repetition these texts will known by heart.”

“Praying by Yourself
A time of prayer has been prepared so that it can be used by individuals as well as groups who wish to join in the prayer of the Church and would appreciate a short, simple format.”

“Praying as a Group
A time prayer can be used by a variety of groups. It can provide a form of Morning Prayer for parishes where Mass is not celebrated everyday but people wish to come together to pray. It provides a simple form of prayer for parish meetings or catechetical lessons. For groups reflecting on scripture together it could offer a structure for a session with the discussion following on from the silent reflection.”

The version presented here is very simple. I would suggest a fuller version of morning and evening prayer. It does recommend you can use different psalms but also recommends using it to the point they are memorized. Those instructions are inconsistent. If you have never looked at structured prayer this way the volume might be useful, or if you wanted to use it in a group. But I see many people outgrowing it very quickly. And because of that maybe not attempting more challenging versions like the Morning and Evening Prayer or Divine Worship Daily Office.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.











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