Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Review: Queen of Apostles Prayer Book

I don't think it's any big secret that I really like prayer books.  Most books I read get read once, maybe twice and then they sit on a shelf or get passed around to my friends.  Sometimes I feel like I'm a private library, only I don't exactly keep track of who has borrowed what and there are never any fines for returning books late.  But prayer books are different.  The ones I like I find myself turning to frequently.  They're the books that will be around for the long haul.  Generally speaking, I find that I gravitate to prayer books that are pre-Vatican II because they tend to contain prayers where the language is more beautiful, and in using those prayer books, I feel like I am able to draw closer to God.

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Queen of Apostles Prayer Book from Pauline Books & Media.  Queen of Apostles is a new up-to-date edition of a prayer book that has been around for more than fifty years.  This prayer book is really beautifully done.  It has a leatherette cover and the sewn page binding, so there are no worries about the pages falling out from years of use like you can find with glued bindings.  The pages are nice and thick, too.

As I paged through this prayer book I was amazed at how much this resembled my favorite older prayer books.  From the prayers included in this book to the language used in the prayers, this book has a very traditional feel to it.  It's not modernized to the point of stripping it of all it's beauty like some others.  It reminds me of a cross between the Mother Love and Blessed Be God prayer books, with more of a leaning towards the former.

The book is divided into the following sections:

  • Daily Prayers
  • Prayers to the Holy Trinity
  • Eucharistic Devotions
  • Prayers to Our Lady
  • Prayers to the Angels
  • Prayers to the Saints
  • Prayers of the Saints
  • Prayers from Scripture
  •  Seasonal Prayers
  • Latin Prayers and Hymns
  • Helps for Spiritual Growth
  • Catholic Beliefs and Practices
I was particularly impressed with the sections of this book that included prayers to the Blessed Mother and the prayers to and by the saints.  In the section on the Blessed mother I like the scriptural explanation of the mysteries of the Rosary.  I think this is done better than in other prayer books I have.  The section on prayers to the saints is filled with prayers for all different situations and needs. The prayers by the Saints is a beautiful variety of prayers written by the saints. I found several prayers in that section that I know are destined to become favorite prayers.

There is a section with Latin prayers and hymns, but the English translation is not given alongside the Latin prayers as you often find in other prayer books.  I'm used to seeing the English translation next to the Latin so it struck me as a bit odd, but I suppose when the compiled the book they thought it better to not repeat prayers that were already elsewhere in the book in English.

I like the examination of conscience that is found in this book.  It is very much like the one in the Mother Love prayer book which presents questions by commandment, only in Queen of the Apostles, the examination is more modern, which I like.

The prayer book comes with a dedication page which makes it suitable for gift giving.  As I read through this book I kept thinking that it would make a great gift for someone who has just gone through RCIA since it offers not only a lot of great prayers, but also a section on Catholic beliefs and practices.  As a convert, I know I would have found a book like this immensely helpful right after I was received into the Church.  This would also be great as a Confirmation gift.

I was provided with a review copy of Queen of Apostles Prayer Book by the publisher, Pauline Books in exchange for my honest review.  Visit Pauline Books & Media to learn more about this book or to purchase a copy.

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