Reviews - What do customers think about Company of Voices: Daily Prayer and the People of God?
The door to liturgical prayer Apr 26, 2006
Originally a 1988 Pueblo book, this useful title fortunately remains in print. Great truths can be discovered in this book. The first pages relate myth to being, to the world, and to time, which is the framework for daily living--thereby for prayer. COMPANY OF VOICES leads to a deeper understanding of prayer and the evolution of prayer as the act of the church in the Liturgy of the Hours and of the faithful in their daily prayers. Although a scholarly work, start here to study liturgical prayer.
Using the rich Christian tradition on our daily faith life Mar 22, 2006
Theologian George Guiver has produced an excellent, insightful, and easily read book in "Company of Voices." Its purpose is to encourage individual Christians and local congregations to engage in purposeful, disciplined daily prayer to anchor and build their faith and also as a means of strengthening our connection with the historical church. By daily prayer, Guiver does not mean a personal, individualized devotional book, but rather believes that liberal use should be made of the Psalms, ancient Christian prayers, and the ancient liturgies of the daily office; they have served the church well for two millennia, remind the Christian that he is a participant in the continuing history of a world-wide institution-the Christian Church-and also grounds the faith in external objectivity as opposed to subjective feelings.
Guiver's book features engaging narrative and its brief 23 chapters are divided into five main parts. The first part examines the ritual of daily prayer from the perspective of the created order; Guiver employs insights form the social sciences and arts to examine what daily grounding does to the individual. The second part examines the history of the daily offices for both the individual Christian, the local congregation, and the worldwide Church so that the reader may gain insights from its historical use and also gain an appreciation for the daily office as a historical tradition (of which we are heirs). The third part takes a close look at how the Church and Christian has traditionally practiced the daily office-including times of worship, texts used for worship, and local/regional/cultural idiosyncrasies employed throughout history and the world. The fourth part takes all of the previous material and seeks to apply its wisdom to the modern Western context; what a modern daily office might look; how a busy businessman or soccer mom might make time to ground themselves in daily objective historical worship; how a pastor might want to begin daily offices in his church, etc. Finally, Guiver provides a myriad of historical sources related to daily prayer and worship. These include quotes from Scripture and the ancient Church Fathers, examples of how monasteries and local churches practiced the daily office, examples of lectionary readings and Psalm rotations, songs/hymns regularly sung, etc.
While I probably won't be going to the board of elders any time soon with plans to begin a daily office, this reader greatly appreciates Guiver's efforts. He has succeeded in elevating my respect for the traditions of the ancient church, especially as they relate to daily worship and prayer. I recommend this read to a wide Christian audience, from those active in a liturgical church, to those who do find subjective private devotions refreshing. Guiver's opinions and insights are (sadly) not heard often enough in a culture that seems to thrive on the new and novel at the expense of the rich history and tradition left by our forefathers in the faith. Highly recommended.