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Advent books

01 November 2013


THE new church year in Common Worship means that with Advent comes a return to Year A of the cycle of readings. Journeying with Matthew: Lectionary Year A by James Woodward, Paula Gooder, and Mark Pryce follows previous volumes in the same series on Mark and Luke, providing background information and stimulus for preachers and others (SPCK, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-281-05903-4).

Bob Hartman's Bible Stories Through the Year: Lectionary readings for year A retold for maximum effect provides suggestions for delivery of the RCL readings which distribute the text between speakers with a theatrical touch (Lion Hudson, £12.99 (£11.70); 978-0-85721-329-7).

Jim Rosenthal's From the Holly Jolly to the Holy: Reclaiming the sacred during Advent and Christmas provides daily sermonettes for Advent Sunday to Epiphany. Instead of fighting the cultural importance of Santa Claus, Rosenthal enlists the help of St Nicholas, not to mention that of Scrooge and Bing Crosby, to help busy readers deepen their sense of joy and holiness (Morehouse/Forward Movement, www.forward movement.org, $4; 978-08802-8357-1).

The Living Gospel: Daily devotions for Advent 2013 by Brendan McGuire, a Roman Catholic, offers two pages for each day, with a short reading, a longer meditation, an act of the will, and a short opening and closing prayer (Ave Maria Press/Alban Books, £2.99 (£2.70); 978-1-59471-383-5).

Advent with the Pastoral Epistles by Graham Sawyer, a priest in Blackburn diocese, provides a commentary for a few verses every day in Advent (Village Digital Press, £8.95; 978-1-4921-6267-4).

Day by Day: A treasury of meditations on mindfulness to comfort and inspire by Sister Stan (Stanislaus Kennedy), of the Sisters of Charity in Dublin, is a walk through a whole year, or a book to dip into: short daily thoughts, with wide-ranging quotations, and nine essays, eight by others, such as the Abbot of Glenstal (on gratitude), and the Irish Times columnist Tony Bates (on kindness) (Transworld Ireland, £10 ; 978-1-848-27166-1).

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