From Tracie: The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

I saw the book The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister on Thomas Nelson's list and was excited about it. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church and an Independent Fundamental Baptist school, liturgy was a word that I never heard except in a derogatory way. Even as I have gone through many changes in my faith and moved away from those early years in so many ways, I never gave liturgy that much thought until recently, when I have found myself more and more drawn to it.

Reading the Liturgical Year was a little bit like showing up to a party that I thought I wasn't invited to and being pulled right in. Really, it was beautiful. Joan Chittister's book inspired me to see the beauty of a community living in harmony all over the world, focusing, studying and praying about the same things on the same days - no matter what their backgrounds were.  

I read the book back before Christmas, but when I sat down to write this review, I found myself not just flipping back through it, but rereading entire chapters and being encouraged by passages like, "To live for the lesser things of life is to risk not really living at all. Real life is pungent with risk, with the willingness to spend all the intensity we have for one great, lasting moment of creation - like childbearing, like human liberation, like being a living witness to justice and truth and love and faith, the greater things of life."

There is a new years resolution for you: to live a life that is pungent with risk! 

This book is a great overview of the liturgical year; what it means to the author personally, as well as how it has developed, and the changes it has gone through since the early church. The only disappointing thing about it was that I was hoping for a more exact overview of the liturgical calendar and a basic guide on how to incorporate it in my day to day life. Even without that, I feel like this book definitely challenges me to a deeper walk with God and to dive deeper into the community that is Christianity. Overall, it is a very encouraging and interesting read.

*I was provided with a free copy of The Liturgical Year to review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor was I required to say nice things.

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