Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Midwest Theological Forum. As always, all opinions are my own and I'm proud to share my favorite Catholic resources with you!
For those who aren’t frequent readers, I am a book dork. I have books coming out of every crevice of my home, including handfuls of prayer books, Catholic and otherwise. The lovely folks at the Midwest Theological Forum sent me a hardcover copy of the Handbook of Prayers.
It may well be the last Catholic prayer book I ever buy. Well, I guess I didn’t buy it but you know what I mean ;). I went to a Ignatian retreat about 5 years ago and I loved the routine but once I got home, I couldn’t remember which prayers we said and when. This book reminded me of nearly all of them.
From a book nerd standpoint, it is a leather feeling hardcover with gold leaf pages and two ribbons for marking your spot. Frankly, I’d love a few more, but marking pages is a good use for holy cards, too. The pages are thin, enabling you to have a 500+ page book that is less than an inch thick! It’s the perfect size for your purse at 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches.
On the inside is everything I’ve ever wanted in a Catholic prayer book. The first section of Handbook of Prayers is about how to be a good Catholic — sacraments, precepts of the church, commandments & more. My favorite part is the Spiritual Game Plan section. Fr. Socias covers things you should do daily, weekly, monthly, annually and ALWAYS. While we can’t always do them all given the limitations of our vocations, it’s a great list of things to shoot for.
The next three sections include prayers. Some of them are in Latin AND English (be still my heart!). Other sections tell you when or why to say the prayers. The big 3 are included as are morning & evening prayers, the angelus & more.
The next four sections cover Mass, the Eucharist & Adoration. When our family attended a parish that offered the Latin Mass, I loved the prayers that the congregation said before & after Mass. I took pictures of them with the intent of adding them to my prayer book. I was pretty stoked to find them all in here. I was also happy to find that nearly every prayer was the same wording as the one I learned — I can be weird about that. I make no apologies.
There is a section on making a good confession, complete with an examination of conscience.
The next five sections of Handbook of Prayers include common Catholic devotions to the Blessed Trinity, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. These sections include many prayers I had never heard of before so if you are looking for something new, this is a great place to look! It also includes things like First Friday’s/Saturday’s, consecrations, litanies, the Stations of the Cross from St. Josemaria Escriva (I prefer St. Alphonsis Liguori’s, myself), the Rosary and even Marian readings for every day in May among other gems.
Finally, the book ends with various other prayers such as traditional grace, for spiritual reading, and aspirations. It ends with prayers at death and various blessings. Midwest Theological Forum is proving to be one of my favorite resources for Catholic books. Their books are always beautiful, useful and faithful to Catholic teaching.
If you are looking for a comprehensive Catholic prayer books with all the traditional prayers, Handbook of Prayers is the book you are looking for. It has everything you need to deepen your prayer life and relationship with Christ. Except maybe the Bible. They make THE BEST bible, too :). One of the bibles and the Handbook of Prayers would make a fabulous Christmas present for the Catholic in your life. I love mine!
How do you fit prayer into your busy vocational life?