Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Liturgical Resources

A couple of weeks ago, we had a good conversation about the feeling of homelessness some of us experience in our worship traditions. For those of us in the evangelical tradition, we may miss the structure, beauty, and rhythms of "high liturgy." Leaving our informal churches to join more traditional churches may not feel like the right step, and so our best option, according to several comments, is to find ways to integrate different traditions into our personal devotion.

For those of you in this camp, what are the liturgical resources you have found most helpful?

Here are some I have come across that have been extremely helpful for me.

The Divine Hours, by Phyllis Tickle. This is a liturgical trilogy of the daily office (The daily office is a cycle of prayers that works with the rhythms of the day). You can find the prayers for summer here and the prayers for autumn and winter here. I use this everyday. What I love about it is that everything is incuded - the prayers, the psalms, the bible readings. There are morning prayers, midday prayers, and evening prayers. Highly, highly recommended.

Celtic Daily Prayer - Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community. Northumbria is a community in northeastern England that fits into the "new monasticism" tradition, and this book is a compilation of the community's daily prayers and readings.  What this book offers that Tickle's doesn't is an impressive and beautiful collection of readings and prayers from ancient sources. Their daily prayers are also available online here. I prefer the book because if I turn on my computer in the morning I'm in danger of being absorbed by email and sports stories.

Living the Christian Year: Time to Inhabit the Story of God, by Bobby Gross. This book provides insightful introductions to major church seasons like Lent and Advent, and then gives thoughtful comments on the scriptures it assigns for each week.

There are just three resources and there are so many more. What do you recommend?