St Gregory’s Prayerbook

A perfectly innocent pleasure I have indulged in over many years is the collecting of prayer books, devotional manuals, books of devotion, &c.

It began with the discovery, as a teenager, the discovery of the Manual of Catholic Devotion (Anglican). Deeply old fashioned, and deeply exciting. It led from there to various office books, breviaries, and so the collection has grown.

With becoming a Catholic, I felt a certain amount of guilt in using these predominantly Anglican manuals of piety, and could never find quite the one I was looking for.

However, it seems that a solution may be at hand: the Ignatius Press have produced, the St Gregory’s Prayer Book: A Primer of Catholic Devotions from the English Patrimony. It is the joint work of the three Ordinariates & the Anglicanorum Coetibus Society.

It is interesting that the manual uses the phrase “The English Patrimony”, rather than the “Anglican Patrimony”, for many of the devotions contained in the book find their origins prior to the Reformation. As the preface of the book points out, such primers were a staple part of English devotional life since around the 14th century. The St. Gregory’s Prayer Book is certainly a part of this tradition.

All couched in the hieratic language of the Ordinariate Use, it is a perfect companion to the Missal, and also to the Customary. It contains devotions for throughout the liturgical year, and the day, based on the office, as well as devotions to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Saints. There are also prayers for Communion and Confession: everything one could need, in a handy pocket sized form.

In terms of size, it would slip nicely into a jacket pocket, nicely, clearly typeset, with red edging on the order of Mass pages, making them easy to find. It is attractively bound in flexible faux-leather, and is printed on sturdy, durable paper, with a marker ribbon.