The Liturgical Year has been on my to-read list since last year, so I was excited to receive a copy of it from BookSneeze. I must admit, I didn't really know what the liturgical year was before reading this book. I only knew, from the synopsis I'd read about the book, that it had something to do with religion and sounded interesting to me.
For those of you in the same boat as me, don't be put off by the book simply because you don't know what the liturgical year is. Author Joan Chittister spends the first eight chapters of the book explaining what the liturgical year is, how it differs from our calendrical year, and what the liturgical year means for Christians.
Basically, the liturgical year is comprised of important events in Jesus' life, such as his birth (Christmas) and resurrection (Easter). The year starts at Advent and goes until the following November. (Chittister writes the book from a Catholic perspective so she also includes feast days for the saints as liturgical year events, something that I, as a Lutheran/Methodist/non-denominational Christian am not familiar with or have ever celebrated. She also writes about times of fasting, something that I, as one who gets migraines if she doesn't eat regularly, will never participate in.)
Each of the events throughout the liturgical year is supposed to grow us spiritually by getting us to think about Jesus' life in the past and translate it all to the present. As Chittister takes us through each event, she reminds us of why we honor the event (in case you've forgotten or never really knew) and how honoring it should impact our lives as Christians.
There are study guide questions at the back of the book, making The Liturgical Year a good Bible study/growth group pick. Although, I think the questions are more about personal reflection than group discussion. Even if you don't read the book with a group, the questions are still good for you to ask yourself after each chapter is finished.
This book would also make a great companion as you go through the liturgical year. Whenever an event comes up, like when Lent begins in March, just flip to Lent's section of the book to remind yourself why we have this particular time and how recognizing it can help transform you into a better Christian.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”