Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Review: My First Missal and My Book of Prayers

Pauline Media has a couple of winners here.

The My First Missal is a wonderful, purse- or pocket-sized missal to carry with you to Church. And don't be fooled by the title. Whenever I see "my first", I think of little children and lots of pictures. This missal has lots going for it and would be suitable for children who have already received their First Communion and First Reconciliation. The text is not babyish or overly simplified.

In the space of 48 pages, this booklet has the complete novus ordo Mass (with one line explanations scattered throughout for further clarification and edification). The book goes further, explaining (and encouraging) other visits to Church -- for visiting the Blessed Sacrament, for morning or evening prayers, for praying Stations of the Cross and for celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There is a very nice "examination of conscience" with prayers to help make a good confession and prayers to offer in thanksgiving after receiving this wonderful Sacrament.

Illustrations, although at a minimum, are nicely done water-colors. They don't distract or detract from the text. For $3.95, this little booklet is a nice accompaniment for Church.

My Book of Prayers is a nice booklet to keep handy, too. The prayers are the standard ones -- although for some reason the "Guardian Angel prayer" is a bit of an insipid version and the traditional "Morning Offering" is not included. Otherwise, I think this is a great little prayer book.

The book is divided into two major components -- prayers and the liturgical year. The prayers section includes:
  • basic prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
  • morning prayers
  • prayers during the day (Grace and prayer for peace)
  • night prayers
  • other prayers (for family members, friends, etc.)
  • The Rosary (including the Luminous Mysteries)

The section on the liturgical year is a nice overview of how the Church marks time. Each season -- Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Easter-Pentecost -- has a one-page explanation of how the Church celebrates these seasons and then there is a prayer/psalm that can be prayed during the specific season. Further, there is a nice overview of the Stations of the Cross with a short prayer for each station.

This book, too, is targeted to children who have received their First Communion and First Reconciliation; I'd put the target age at 8-11 year olds.

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