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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2011
I fully agree with the other two reviewers of this book, James and A Grey in their very positive comments on this book.

I am sorry though that, as witnessed by some of the tags that some have added for this book, (which are totally unwarranted, suggesting that this book is heretical and representing a false Christianity), some very strongly disagree. These tags are very mistaken and misleading. On the other hand they may lead some to take more of an interest in this book instead and benefit from what they find !

I understand though, that some are unfortunately objecting to this book and getting very hot under the collar because they see the title, "Common Prayer" and see it as somehow trying to usurp the position of the Anglican "Book of Common Prayer", often shortened to "Common Prayer". I am quite sure that the authors of this book never had the slightest intentions of doing this. In fact, if only those who get upset will note, the full title of this book is, "Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals", their objections ought to be, at least to some extent, resolved.

Just as the original "Book of Common Prayer" formed a more concise version of previous ecumenical liturgies for the people of the time, which its successors still do, I believe that "Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals" does a similar job for our time. I cannot speak for the authors of this book, but it looks to me as if they had the intention of actually honouring the original "Book of Common Prayer" in using its shortened name as part of the title of this book. As such, and as I have already said, I am sure that they did not have any intention of trying to propose this book as a replacement.

Those with experience of the Liturgy of the Hours and similar forms for daily prayer, will recognise this as a very valid and useful resource for prayer and reflection. It includes elements from a number of different Christian traditions and so can be very useful towards helping Christians of all denominations feel at home and to come together in prayer.

A small criticism of this book might be in the way that it separates the material for morning prayer from evening prayer. At the same time, bearing in mind that morning prayer is more or less the same for each day of the week, and evening prayer has material for each day of the Christian year, I can see that, in the end, it makes sense. On the other hand, those wanting to bring more variety into their morning could easily make use of the seasonal material as well. It is worth noting here that some liturgical books can be even more difficult for newcomers to find their way around, so this one is very easy by comparison).

For those wishing that this book included Night Prayer, as I did, on first looking at it, it is worth noting that, as with the "Book of Common Prayer", Evening and Night Prayer have been combined into one service. If anyone wanted to keep to a separate Night Prayer, they could quite easily simply omit the Nunc Dimittis - The Canticle of Simeon from Evening Prayer and adapt the form for Evening Prayer, including the Nunc Dimittis and perhaps some other suitable prayers for Night Prayer. I note though, that the forthcoming shortened Pocket Version Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals will include a separate form of Night Prayer, as well as other material not included in this full edition, as mentioned in an email the publishers have sent to me, as follows:-

"Common Prayer Pocket Edition helps individuals and today's diverse church pray together across traditions and denominations. With an ear to the particulars of various liturgical prayer traditions, and using an advisory team of liturgy experts, the authors have created a tapestry of prayer that celebrates the best of each tradition. This convenient and portable book also includes tools for prayer scattered throughout to aid those unfamiliar with liturgy and deepen the prayer life of those already familiar with liturgical prayer".

"Common Prayer Pocket Edition adds new prayers for Compline (late evening) and for individual use, such as prayers for travel, protection, and various blessings. It includes a table of days and readings for the morning prayers as well as an annotated list of saints and days to remember".

I have the Pocket Edition on pre-order already, because as well as supplementing the big book, it will evidently be very useful for traveling as well.

As one who mainly uses other forms of the Liturgy of the Hours, I find this book provides good additional and alternative material to help me in my prayer life. I also believe that this book will be helpful for those who would find the more formal church books of prayer less attractive. Likewise those who might want to begin with something that is easier to use, even if they may later on want to make use of the formal denominational ones, such as used by Anglicans, Lutherans or Roman Catholics etc.

Oh yes! I nearly forgot to mention, as well as providing the words of hymns and songs, the music and chords are also helpfully provided. As a saying goes, "Those who sing, pray twice". A lot of careful thought and artistry has gone into the production of this book and I recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2011
It's nice to have a Daily Office book where the saints are those radicals like Dorothy Day who have seen social justice issues as part of their discipleship. There are plenty of quotations to stir the conscience but there are also some awkward and/or impossible tasks suggested, for example, `Contact your local crisis pregnancy centre and invite a pregnant woman to live with your family.' It is also a bit too earnest.

It comes out of the new monastic movement and for those who aren't used to formal `set prayers' it is a good starter and there are explanations of various practices and customs.

The extracts from the psalms are too short and some prayers are repetitive - many pages could be saved had these not been printed out every day.

However, for those who find the Daily Office to be a chore, this could make for a refreshing year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
The strengths of this book are the inclusion of radical Christians as feast days and the inclusive language used for the Magnificat. Because it follows a calender it is easy to use too. I love the short bits of hymnody included at the back of the book and have used bits of the liturgy in adaptations with my usual Anglican Common Worship Daily Prayer.

What it doesn't do is use inclusive language for the trinity. I think the authors missed a trick here. Because it goes as a calender rather than a cyclical approach to the offices it's not as flexible or creative as it could be in regards the seasons of the year.

A great resource but needs to be used more as a supplement than a staple. Seeking Justice: The Radical Compassion of Jesus
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2011
I'd recommend this book to any and every Christian, as a middle-teen I found it particularly helpful in structuring my prayer time/scheduling my time.
It's very ecumenical, embracing almost all Christian traditions and denominations. Would highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 April 2014
I have found the Kindle edition very helpful but a bit difficult to manage as you have to move to and fro through the book to use it fully which is difficult in a kindle version. So I ordered the paperback pocket edition but it's not the same. So to help others please note. The paperback pocket edition is a shortened version, still very good but omits the songbook and individual daily readings in the standard version, but it does have a rather good compline which is missing from the standard edition. The kindle version, although on the pocket edition page on Amazon, is the standard version with daily readings and songbook. There are other options on Amazon including a full version paperback and hardback option, but it is a tad confusing sorting it all out. If I was staring again I think I'd just go for the paperback version of the standard edition.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2011
If you're struggling with your prayer life, this book will be an invaluable companion. My wife and I have been using this together for a few weeks now, and it has revolutionised our devotional time. Its simple yet profound liturgies are littered with challenging quotes and provide a sound framework for morning and evening prayer, even when you don't have much time! A recommended buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2014
I like the breadth of the yearly calendar which includes contemporary 'saints' as well as the more traditional.. This is reflected in the breadth of the prayers included.
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on 22 November 2012
Drawing on a wealth of traditions back to the early days of the Church, and combining what they
offer with the fruits of the New Monastic movement, this large but easy to use volume provides
food for the individual and for groups for every day of the year. It makes liturgy come alive
and sets it all in the context of profound commentaries on the phases of the Christian Year.
And if that wasn't enough, it includes a selection of hymns and songs with scores and chords!
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on 12 June 2013
It's so very good to know that when I use this daily prayer book that I'm joining my voice with those of many others around the world who are discontent with the status quo and long to see God's kingdom come with righteousness and justice for all.

I bought this digital copy as a back up for my hardback copy which was a bit too hefty to take away on holiday. Now I find I use it just as much ikn everyday life- on my lunch break, on the bus, in the park.
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on 11 December 2012
This has helped me to gain that structure I need, for an old or baby new Christian. I find it invaluable in the ups and downs of life. Songs at back are great to life one's spirit and worship God frist thing in the day. Only critisism is that it is American centered but maybe there's an opening for a British version. Not as a replacement for the book of Common Prayer. 'Our God is a great big God'
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