Monday 9 January 2023

Oremus Latin Prayers for Young Catholics - Katie Warner and Meg Whalen

Oremus Latin Prayers for Young Catholics
Katie Warner
Meg Whalen (Illustrator) 
TAN Books
eISBN  9781505127409

This is the fifth book I have read by Katie Warner, my youngest and I love her books even though they are well below her reading level. A number of years ago we read Cloud of Witnesses: A Child's First Book of Saints and loved it. A few years ago we read, Lily Lolek, Future Saint, and really enjoyed it. Both my daughter and I enjoyed this book. It is a great read, and we will continue to track down other works from Katie to read. The description of this volume is:

“In Oremus—Latin for “let us pray”, prayers from the Mass and other beloved Catholic prayers, in both English and Latin, are accompanied by master copies of some of the Church's most beautiful artwork. 

Young Catholics will learn to pray in the language which Pope Saint John Paul II said elicits “a profound sense of the Eucharistic Mystery” while exploring, reflecting on, and being inspired by studies of masterpieces of Christian art, from Fra Angelico to Bouguereau.  This stunning compendium is an invaluable resource for young Catholics to use both at Mass and at home.”

Katie in the introduction states:

“This book began as an idea to translate our First Faith Treasury board book, Let Us Pray: A Child’s First Book of Prayers (TAN Books, 2019), into Latin, the official language of the Church. It grew into the beautiful treasury you have in your hands today, thanks to the creative inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

We pray this collection helps children of all ages to fall more in love with the prayers of the Mass and other beloved Catholic prayers, while learning them both in English and in Latin; the language that Pope Saint John Paul II called “an expression of the unity of the Church” and a language which “through its dignified character elicited a profound sense of the Eucharistic Mystery” (Dominicae cenae, 10).

In addition to learning sacred prayers in Latin and using this compendium while participating in the liturgy, we want families to become more familiar with some of the great artistic masterpieces that reflect the mysteries of our faith. We hope that Meg Whalen’s studies of great master works will draw hearts and souls to the divine in an even deeper way. More practically, we also wish this book to serve as a launching point for exploring religious art and learning the practice of visio divina (“divine seeing”), an ancient form of prayer in which art is used to open one’s heart to meditation and conversation with God. 

Perhaps your children will further be encouraged to do their own master studies, copying the artwork in their own drawings and paintings, or as a family, you may be inspired to learn more of the history, details, and symbolism behind the pieces chosen for the book (you can find a list of the names and artists in the back). 

May this book be a blessing to your family’s life of prayer and experience of the Mass, the highest form of prayer! May it help you develop a greater appreciation for the use of Latin in the life of the Church, as well as a greater love for the beauty and spiritual growth that visual art can bring to the faithful.”

And Meg Whalen in the afterwards states about the art:

The practice of making master studies, or copies after master paintings, like the pictures in this book, is one that has been used for centuries. When we talk of these illustrations as copies, we don’t mean that we are stealing the work. Credit is always given to the original artist, usually by titling the new picture as “after Raphael” or “after Fra Angelico” and so on. 

This practice of copying or studying master works helps us to learn from these artists in a real way, even though we aren’t able to learn from them in person. What better way for an artist to improve drawing or painting skills than by drawing or painting the works of the greatest artists who ever lived? And what better way to discover the sacred truths these artists depicted than by studying and recreating the symbols and details the artists included?

Illustrating this book has made me grateful not only to have had the chance to study and draw these master works of sacred art, but also to contemplate, in the details the artist included, the depth and beauty of our Faith. 

I sincerely hope that this book inspires you to draw your own master studies as well. It is a wonderful way both to become a better artist and to grow closer to God, the Divine Artist.”

The list of works used as source material is:

Evening Prayer, Pierre Edouard Frère, 19th century
Main Apse, Altlerchenfelder Church, Vienna, Karl von Blaas, 19th century
The Prodigal Son, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 17th century
For God So Loved the World, Artist Unknown, 18th century
The Adoration of the Shepherds, Guido Reni, 17th century
La Disputa, Raphael, 16th century
The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, Félix Louis Leullier, 19th century
Messa di Paolo III Farnese, Antonio Maria Panico, 17th century
Creation of Adam, Michelangelo, 16th century
Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Ghent Altarpiece), Jan van Eyck, 15th century
Christ and the Centurion, Paolo Veronese, 16th century
The Eucharist Wreathed in Flowers, Jan Anton van der Baren, 17th century
The Annunciation, Fra Angelico, 15th century
Holy Trinity, Hendrick van Balen, 17th century
Queen of the Angels, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 19th century
Grace Before the Meal, Evert Pieters, 19th century

The list of prayers included in this volume are:

Sign Of The Cross
Nicene Creed
Mortem Tuam
Our Father
Agnus Dei
Domine, Non Sum Dignus
Tantum Ergo
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Salve Regina
Grace Before Meals

This is a magnificent volume, for young readers, and for the young at heart. I enjoyed it just as much as my daughter. The illustrations are amazing. The layout and design is excellent. The only thing missing would have been links to download or watch online audio versions of the Latin Prayers to make sure we are getting them correct. 

It is a great book to add to the family, school, or church library. It is a great good book we can easily recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Katie Warner:
Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family
Gaze Upon Jesus: Experiencing Christ's Childhood through the Eyes of Women
A Grandparent Who Prays: A Journal to Guide You in Praying for Your Grandchildren
A Parent Who Prays: A Journal to Guide You in Praying for Your Children

A Sponsor Who Prays: A Journal to Guide You in Praying for Your Confirmand
A Godparent Who Prays: A Journal to Guide You in Praying for Your Godchild

For Children:
I Went to Mass: What did I See?
Cloud of Witnesses: A Child's First Book of Saints

Lily Lolek, Future Saint
Let Us Pray: A Child's First Book of Prayers 
The Word of the Lord: A Child's First Scripture Verses 
Kiddie Cat: A Child's First Catechism Lesson 
Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass 
This is the Church

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