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Lent books: notice board

22 January 2021

FOR THOSE who would like to draw on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2021, but in a different way, it provides the weekly themes for #Live Lent: God’s story, our story by Stephen Hance, the C of E’s Evangelism and Discipleship Lead, which ties in with further online resources. After a foreword by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, this colourful booklet provides a short Bible passage, a reflection, and a prayer for the 40 days of Lent on the theme of evangelism (Church House Publishing, £1.99; 978-1-78140-232-0; pack of ten, £17.50; 978-1-78140-233-7; pack of 50, £75; 978-1-78140-234-4).


From the same publisher comes Pilgrim Journeys: 40 days of reflections on the Creeds by the Bishop of Oxford, Steven Croft (£2.99; 978-1-78140-194-1). In fact, it is just the Apostles’ Creed that is divided into eight sections, to each of which are allocated five days of Lent. Each day has a short reflection on a Bible reading (not given in full) with a “pause” for a task of meditation, research, or to consider questions; and then a brief prayer, such as a psalm verse or collect, or the Jesus Prayer, for example. The book presupposes involvement in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church, seeking to build on this, and finally encourages readers to join a group using the Pilgrim course (pack of ten, £25; 978-178140-199-6; pack of 50, £115; 978-1-78140-200-9).


The Irish Jesuits’ Sacred Space for Lent 2021 (Messenger, £4.50 (£4.05); 978-1-78812-259-7) is the latest edition of this popular annual adapted from the Sacred Space website: a scripture reading, points of reflection, a weekly topic, and six steps of prayer and meditation.


Also from a writer of popular Roman Catholic reflections, in the United States, is Not by Bread Alone: Daily reflections for Lent 2021 by Mary DeTurris Poust (Liturgical Press, £4.99 (£4.49); 978-0-8146-6451-3), who contributed a book of the same name in 2019, as well as Waiting in Joyful Hope for Advent 2017 and Be Glad for Eastertide last year. This paperback would suit those looking for a very small book to slip in the pocket.


The Prayers of Jesus: Cover to Cover Lent study by Amy Boucher Pye, a US-born devotional writer living in north London, offers six Lent sessions bringing together study and, it is hoped, deepening prayer (CWR, £5.99 (£5.39); 978-1-78951-250-2). Each includes warm-up suggestions, setting the scene, Bible readings, and focus sections.


Racial justice, particularly in the United States, is the subject of Lent of Liberation: Confronting the legacy of American slavery by Cheri L. Mills (WJK, £10 (£9); 978-0-6642-6683-7). This comprises 40 daily devotions, each of which includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a network of routes and safe houses which enabled escapees to flee to free states in the US, or Canada. Each also has a scripture passage and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes, notably exodus, redemption, discipline, and repentance.

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