Sacred Space for Lent 2022

Sacred Space for Lent 2022

Author The Irish Jesuits
Publisher Messenger Publications €4.95
Format pbk
ISBN 9781788124942

Sacred Space is a website (www.sacred space.ie) inspired by Ignatian spirituality. This little companion book augments the website with a simple spiritual guide to the Lenten season. Each day is provided with a scripture reading and points for reflection – a prayerful companion for the journey to the Easter Resurrection.

Reviewed by ELIZABETH HOGG

Lenten devotion

This Lent book was published previously, but is still in print. We did not review it at the time of publication.

Hearers of the Word. Lent and Holy Week Year C

Hearers of the Word.
Lent and Holy Week Year C

Author Kieran O’Mahony
Publisher Messenger Publications €19.95
Format pbk
ISBN 9781788124796

The subtitle of this Catholic seasonal manual is ‘Praying and Exploring the Readings’ for Sundays in Lent, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Father Kieran O’Mahoney is an Augustine friar and a fine biblical scholar, and he provides detailed insights into all the Eucharist readings in Lent (which are common to Anglican and Catholic lectionaries), including Old Testament and New Testament texts as well as the Gospels. This alone provides excellent material for any minister preaching during Lent, but there are also short reflections and much additional prayer material, including general ‘prayer pointers’. This book therefore provides a more detailed and more scholarly Lenten guide than any Anglican material that I have seen in recent years. It is refreshing in its approach, and ministers with busy diaries during Lent would quickly gain important insights from its clear and accessible style. Available from www.messenger.ie.

Reviewed by ELIZABETH HOGG

Lenten devotion

This Lent book was published previously, but is still in print. We did not review it at the time of publication.

 

The Room Where It Happens

The Room Where It Happens

Author Rose Hudson-Wilkin
Publisher DLT £6.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781913657789

Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Bishop of Dover since 2019, and former Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, often reminds us that she is still ‘the girl from Montego Bay, Jamaica’. Her roots are with immigrant communities but her strong evangelical faith has a flavour which crosses all boundaries. She herself had many barriers to cross in her journey to the priesthood, and to becoming a bishop. She is therefore the ideal author for this, the latest in DLT’s imaginative Lent course books, based on recent films or shows. The Room Where It Happens is of course based on the hit musical, Hamilton, and features five sessions for house or church gatherings. If you have not seen the show, Hamilton is about the founding fathers of America in the late 18th century, but it has huge resonances for American multi-ethic society today – and indeed British society. Bishop Rose has written this course from the heart, in order to ask questions of all of us, and to show how the Bible and the experience of Christian faith can teach us about the big issues of life, especially diversity, justice, and overcoming adversity. Good preparation by group leaders will be needed, including the availability of excerpts from the songs of Hamilton on ‘YouTube’, especially the dominant recurring theme of The Room Where It Happens. This surprising course has great potential to boost faith and to take Christians out of their comfort zones. I recommend you give it a go!

Reviewed by ALICE BURDETT

Lenten devotion

 

The Print of the Nails

The Print of the Nails

Author Hugh Hillyard-Parker (Ed.)
Publisher Canterbury Press £18.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781786224248

This book is the perfect gift as Easter approaches – give it to someone who appreciates fine writing and gentle, thoughtful, but penetrating Christian opinion. The ideal day for the gift would be Palm Sunday, since the liturgical focus is Holy Week and Eastertide. That said, you may want to buy two copies, because if you start to read, it will be difficult to give away!

All the writings in The Print of the Nails appeared in the Church Times between 2000 and 2021, and have been edited and collated by Hugh Hillyard-Parker, accompanied by a witty introduction from Paul Handley – 67 pieces in all, from a galaxy of accomplished writers with their fingers on the pulse of Christian thinking: modern but orthodox, original yet devotional, full of wisdom and light. This book will enrich your life, for it reminds us in this soundbite age that thoughtful written words and well-constructed arguments are still powerful forms of communication. The essay is not yet dead.

The canvas is broad, since the book is divided into eight sections, each representing a specific day (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday), a seminal event (The Crucifixion, The Resurrection) or a general Eastertide theme (Easter Reflections, Worship at Easter, Easter in the Arts). The writers include several bishops (e.g. Stephen Cottrell, Martin Warner); well-known priest-authors (e.g. Rachel Mann, Barbara Brown Taylor, Sam Wells); regular Church Times columnists (e.g. Malcolm Guite, Caroline Chartres, Angela Tilby); eminent Readers (Paula Gooder, Ronald Blythe); and others too numerous to list – an embarrassment of riches.

The theological focus is not simply biblical – although scripture dominates much of the writing. The section on Easter in the Arts shows how the Christian message is given in creative works, especially in paintings and music. There are also many black and white illustrations. Enjoy this book – it will illuminate the Easter season for you, not just in 2022, but in the years to come.

All royalties from this book will go to the Church Homeless Trust.

Reviewed by KATE BURTON

Lenten devotion