Griswold's book weaves teaching and commentary

May 29, 2009

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 an event sponsored by the Philadelphia Theological Institute in March.

In his book, Griswold, one-time chair of the church's 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. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. "More out of curiosity than overt devotion, I began to use the book," he wrote. "It 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."

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 accompany Griswold's reflections.)

Before he signed his book for about 75 people, Griswold 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.

"Griswold 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," said Doylestown, Pennsylvania, bookstore owner Byron Borger, who attended the theological institute's event.

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