Every Sunday morning I post a prayer drawn (almost always) from The Book of Common Prayer and we use the weekly collect (set prayer). Many of you have written me to say how much you appreciate the wording or the ideas — and sometimes someone wants to take issue with the prayer. But, in my estimation, The Book of Common Prayer is the best prayer book available and I have used it for a number of years, along with the Oxford Guide to the BCP. I am happy, then, to commend to you David deSilva’s new book Sacramental Life: Spiritual Formation through the Book of Common Prayer.
Just in case you wonder if this is yet another book by a specialist about the sacraments, it’s not: this book is about how the BCP can transform your day into a sacramental life. David deSilva, one of my favorite NT scholars, writes this book to introduce users of the BCP to the theology that it leads us into — and this is a very good book. It covers four themes: baptism (walking in the newness of life), holy eucharist (nourishment for the new life), marriage (partnership for the new life), and burial (gate of eternal life).
There are here 45 short little readings and practices that can help you explore the sacramental life of baptism, eucharist, marriage and burial — this might be the best theological introduction to major dimensions of the BCP.