Book Review:
A Holy Island Prayer book

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Book Review: A Holy Island Prayer book

by Shirley Claughton

The Lindisfarne Gospels were written and illuminated in about the year 724, comprising an astonishing 258 pages of calf skin, but it was once thought that this treasure was lost forever.

The monks were taking it to Ireland for safe keeping in 875 when it was washed overboard in a storm but amazingly found, intact, washed up at a very low tide. The originals are now a prized exhibit in the British Library.

Written on Lindisfarne, each midday prayer in this delightful book includes a reflection based on a geographical feature of the island. One is a story of Ray Simpson’s friend who decided to ride on horseback across the sands to propose marriage; the proposal went to plan but on returning the tide had turned. ‘Don’t worry, the horses can swim’ they were told but returning through the rising waters, their elation was mixed with terror’.

This prayer book follows the rhythms and seasons of the natural and Christian year as it is observed on Holy Island. More contemplative than the very earthy spirituality of Iona, each day of the week has a special theme:

  • Sunday - resurrection and renewal
  • Monday - creation
  • Tuesday - incarnation and peace
  • Wednesday - the Holy Spirit in mission and healing
  • Thursday - community and unity
  • Friday - with broken people at the Cross and
  • Saturday - leisure (morning) and the Saints (night).

Holy Island Prayer Book is a wonderful alternative and versatile daily prayer book as it is both creative and personal and can be equally useful as an individual or a group resource.

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