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Encircling the Christian Year
Liturgies and Reflections for the Seasons of the Church
by Barbara Mosse
Publisher:BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)
Published:06 June 2012
This is a lovely book of short liturgies, with meditations and prayers for each week of the Church's year, useful for private meditation, as the basis of group discussion or as the inspiration, for instance, of short Evensong services.
Barbara Mosse has chosen a lectionary reading for each week from the three years' readings available, with each day of Holy Week and some Saints' days included. One of the strengths of the book is that, in each case, after a short opening prayer the highlighted Biblical verses are given, often in abridged form but easy to follow. A reflection on the passage of about two hundred words picks up and discusses a theme of importance in our Christian living. So we are challenged by the unexpected appearance of God in our lives as Moses was by the burning bush, or encouraged by the apparent abject failure of the mission of John the Baptist at his humiliating death to hold fast to hope and trust.
There is a bidding prayer to conclude each week, and a new Collect. These form the most moving part of the liturgies, as the words of the prayers are often gracious and beautiful. They are in themselves a valuable prayer resource.
Barbara Mosse's considerable scholarship is evident here, but quietly so, and always subservient to her awareness of the rhythm of the Christian year and our need to spend time simply experiencing the love of God in action in our lives. This book will help many of us to do just that.
Reviewer: Joan van Emden (30/08/12)