Friday, November 11, 2011

Christ is Coming; Say Your Prayers

Readers have surely noticed that this is the week when the lectionary takes its annual turn toward the Apocalypse. Zephaniah tells us that, when God comes, "it will be a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, of wasteness and desolation, of darkness and gloom." St Paul mutters ominously about thieves in the night.

In other words, it is pre-Advent, the weeks during which the Church refreshes itself with some old-time fire and brimstone, a bracing reminder that the Day of the Lord isn't all about ponies and rainbows.

And -- watch this segue, friends, because it's going to be crass -- what better time to deepen your prayer life by buying Fr. A.'s new book?

The book in question is called Odd Hours. It's a Latin-English breviary -- or, technically, a diurnal -- with forms of Matins and Vespers for the different seasons of the church year. Compline, Suffrages and some of the Small Catechism prayers make an appearance as well. There's a complete Psalter, using (get this!) the Coverdale translation in its original spelling. Because, really, what do Protestants need more than a book of Latin prayers, translated into obsolete, archaic, and nearly unreadable English?

We'll say a lot more about Odd Hours in the next few weeks. We don't really expect to take the world by storm with this thing, but we do think there may be a few people who enjoy it. We think of the book as a work of "outsider art," which is the term dealers use these days for the "machines" and "castles" that crazy old men make in their basements out of tin cans.

Like a crazy man in the basement, Father A. didn't actually make any of the tin cans. He's been collecting them from other sources -- SBH, Vulgate, and lots of Internet Archive books -- and stacking them up in funny ways.

And like that same crazy man in the basement, Father A. has been working on this thing for many years, with a monomaniacal frenzy that has left his baby undiapered, his wife in despair, and his blog un-updated. It eventually drove him to exile in a windswept Carpathian stronghold. Having destroyed his family and his friendships, the monstrous project now in its final stages. Soon enough, you should be able to purchase a copy on Amazon (or, if that jacks up the price unreasonably, from the print-on-demand service It will sell roughly for cost, but we aren't sure what that will be. We had hoped to have it available as a Christmas gift for the lunatic in your ecclesiastical attic, but it seems unlikely that we'll make the deadlines. Turns out Mother A. expects us to work between now and Christmas.

Until then, however, you can read -- and download, and pray -- Matins and Vespers for Advent, absolutely free, just by clicking here. We hope you will.


Pastor Joelle said...

Yea but will it be on Kindle??

Father Anonymous said...

Eventually, it probably will. May take a while, and I'm not sure what will be involved. Because of the two-column layout, though, it may not display so well on the regular devices.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! web

Daniel Spigelmyer said...

Very nice. This is a resource needed by those who have a love for liturgy. The ELW is fine for general corporate worship and prayer, but for those wanting to follow in church liturgical tradition and to "live it up," it's nice to have a resource that meets that need. Kudos to you for working so diligently on this! I look forward to hearing more about the publication and I'll be sure to get myself a copy.