This is a book of prayer resources for parish groups. It is not a book for prayer groups, but a book for every parish group. Prayer is the heart of the work of any group engaged in parish ministry or parish renewal.
Two short introductory chapters spell out the importance of prayer in the life of the group. They address the apprehensions that people have and offer a step-by-step guide to preparing and leading prayer at the groups meeting. The bulk of the book is made up of over 100 resource texts on a wide variety of themes, including the liturgical seasons, feasts and the seasons of nature. These resources mean that the person preparing the prayer need look no further for ideas for readings, reflections or prayers. Having chosen from these texts, he or she can then consult the guidelines, to turn the text for prayer into an experience of prayer for the group.
Groups that have paid attention to prayer testify to the difference it makes. Those who are already well along the road will find this book to be a rich source of ideas and possibilities. It is our hope that use of the book will help all who draw on it to become more creative with prayer.
Donal Harrington is the author of a number of books, including The Welcoming Parish, Christianity at its Best and, most recently, Weekday Prayers. His work as a pastoral consultant with parishes and dioceses has focused mainly on support for pastoral councils and on pastoral planning. He previously lectured in moral theology (Mater Dei Institute) and pastoral theology (All Hallows College). He is married with two children.
Julie Kavanagh is the Pastoral Resource person for the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. She holds a Masters in Liturgical Studies from St John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, and is a member of the Council for Liturgy (Irish Bishops’ Conference). She has worked in the area of parish ministry for over twenty years, and is currently on the panel of lecturers for the National Centre for Liturgy, Maynooth, as well as being visiting lecturer at St Margaret Beaufort’s Institute, Cambridge.