Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review of The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

Joan Chittister’s book is her love letter to the liturgical year.  The first few chapters engage the reader in the beauty of spiritual development, guiding us toward a more meaningful relationship with God.  Subsequent chapters outline the various seasons of the liturgical year: Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, and Easter.  She finishes with an overview of why saints days and Marian feasts are observed.

I’m a bit lukewarm on this selection.  The first 30 pages, explaining the role of the liturgical year, seem repetitive.  I wanted her to come to the point and get on with observing the seasons.

The book appears to be searching for an audience.  The author, a Benedictine nun, is careful to make the book less Roman Catholic centered and more inclusive of Protestant and Orthodox traditions, but ends up being somewhat vague and apologetic.

I did find some gems and kept my highlighter handy as I read. I found myself quoting her chapters on Advent and Christmas and I’m sure I’ll reread the sections on Lent and Easter next spring.

I’d recommend this as a supplemental academic work, but not as an introduction for someone not already familiar with the liturgical year.

I am a member of Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program.


Catrina Bradley... said...

I appreciate your honest review. I'm intrigued about the subject matter, and you advised me how to use this as a valuable resource should I decide to look deeper. Great job - thank you!

Terri Tiffany said...

I too appreciated how you reviewed this. When I read book reviews, I often find comments not really genuine sounding. Have a warm day!