lans are currently underway to produce a saint ben’s Book of Hours, a project that will draw on the considerable gifts of people within our community. In the medieval church, a “Book of Hours” was a daily prayer book designed for use by those who lived their faith outside of the walls of the monastery, though these books still included the seven-fold prayer cycle of that monastic tradition. Given that they predated the invention of the printing press, these books were not an inexpensive proposition, and were generally illustrated with hand drawn illuminations.
Our version will be a creative re-imagination of this tradition, including not only prayers but also poetry, reflective prose, lyrics, and possibly even short fiction. The illuminations will include drawings, but also photographs and just about any other medium that can be successfully translated to the printed page.
We imagine a book built around both the seven seasons of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time) and the seven “hours” or times of prayer observed in the monastic tradition, for a total of 49 separate contributions. While the book will be a good devotional resource for marking out the Christian year, it will also stand on its own as a thing of beauty and as a celebration of the gifts of our community.
Our target release date is October 2009, and while that sounds like a very long way off, with a project of this scale the deadlines will come faster than any of us like to think. To this end, we are putting out a call for any who might be interested in contributing to the project to connect with one of the members of the steering committee no later than September 7, 2008. You don’t have to actually have something in hand, or even a clear idea as to how you might participate in this project; at this point, we’re looking to have a conversation with people interested in being involved, or even just in hearing a bit more.
You can make the connection through the contact us link on this site, and your message will be passed along to the committee.