PRAYING OUR DAYS
By Frank T. Griswold
Morehouse, 196 pp., $20.
FORMER PRESIDING BISHOP Frank T. Griswold, whose strong devotional practices shaped his ministry as priest and bishop, launched his most recent book, Praying Our Days, at a recent event sponsored by the Philadelphia Theological Institute.
In his book, Griswold, one-time chair of the churchâs Standing Liturgical Commission and former co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, said that for years he valued a small blue book of collected prayers that he received upon confirmation at St. Paulâs School in Concord, N.H. âMore out of curiosity than overt devotion I began to use the book,â he wrote. âIt became a companion and a great help in leading me more deeply into practice of prayer and participation in the sacramental life of the church.â
Weaving powerful teaching and commentary, with aids to self-examination and questions, Praying Our Days offers that same kind of companionship for those who seek a regimen of personal daily prayer, introspection and reflection. It includes devotions to mark the rhythm of the day (brief prayers at fixed hours), intercessory prayers, devotions to the Mother of Jesus, praying with the saints and praying with icons. (The icon on the cover is by Pennsylvania priest and icon writer Peter Pearson and eight other full color icons in the book are accompanied with Griswoldâs reflections.)
Before he signed his book for about 75 people, the former presiding bishop spoke about his boyhood faith, read an array of prayers and explained how Vatican II renewal efforts encouraged Episcopalians to revise their Book of Common Prayer. Profits from sales of the book will support the work of Episcopal Relief and Development.
âGriswold was methodical and clear, calling upon us to experience the Triune God, without sentiment or excessive enthusiasm, but in ways that truly form us to be Christ-like disciples, carrying faith into the dailiness of this broken world,â said Doylestown, Pa., bookstore owner Byron Borger, who attended the theological instituteâs event.