Saturday, December 12, 2015

Giifts for Breviary Buffs, Psalmsayers, and Ribbon Flippers

Third Sunday of Advent! Here at the Sockey homestead, that means the outdoor Christmas lights all go on, and we can cut down and put up the tree whenever it's most convenient between now and next Sunday. We grow our own trees in the backyard so getting it won't be a big deal, but finding an evening when everyone is home to decorate is another story.

I was just thinking about how online shopping has certainly taken lots of the stress out of Christmas shopping. Far fewer trips into town, and no more struggles to package gifts for mailing and then heading out to the post office to mail them to recipients.  It really is possible now to take time during advent to pray and reflect--time  that we mothers simply did not have a dozen years ago.

The purpose of this post is to share some ideas for Liturgy of the Hours-related gifts. Items that a breviary beginner might appreciate, or things that might enrich those who have been praying the psalms for years.   I'll list a few here and would like the rest of you to chime in with your own finds (or wish list) in the comments section.

The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours  is my book, so I figured, why not give it one more plug?  It's good for people who just want to know what the LOTH is  and why they  should give it a try. It's good for those who are trying already, but not quite getting it. It's good for old timers who can flip  ribbons like nobody's business but want some tips on understanding the psalms and some motivation to maintain  their LOTH habit.

The Mundelein Psalter Are you interested in learning  some really basic,simple chant for the psalms and gospel canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer? Then this is the book for you.

Hymnal for the Hours by Fr. Samuel Weber,editor. A comprehensive collection of the traditional Roman Breviary hymns for all of the hours for every day of the year, many saints' feasts, commons, and the holy seasons. All in English translation, all in Gregorian chant.

Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich  Bonhoeffer. A classic from the heroic Lutheran martyr. Save money  and get the Kindle edition.

Praying the Psalms by Thomas Merton. Another short book. This is a very short work, about 50 pages. I re-read  it regularly. Delightful.

Reflections on the Psalms by  C. S. Lewis. You can't go wrong with this author.

Custom made breviary covers I've mentioned this wonderful cottage industry a month or so ago. Send in the measurements of your breivary, pick out a color and embroidered design, and get back a beautiful zippered cover of heavy-duty imitation leather

Singing In The Reign The only book I know of (for non-scholars or semi-scholars) that gives a theology of the psalms, exploring what the psalms meant as a whole to the Hebrews,  delving into key concepts such as king and kingdom, and explaining the significance of the order of the psalms.

Okay. Send me your suggestions and include links if you can.