Diane Karay. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1987,144 pp. $7.95.
This collection of prayers, intended primarily for congregational worship, is also appropriate for personal and family devotions. The prayers are of four types: calls to worship, prayers of praise, prayers of confession or affirmation, and pastoral prayers. As the book's title suggests, the prayers are organized for use in the many seasons of the liturgical year: Advent and Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and a section for all seasons.
Karay developed this collection of prayers for worship in the Presbyterian Church of Rantoul, Illinois. Scripture is taken from the Revised Standard Version and keyed to the Common Lectionary. An index of scriptural references and an index of days and seasons make it possible for the user to locate prayers that are appropriate to an organization other than that of the book itself.
The prayers themselves are well framed, comtemporary, reverent, and dignified. They convey the mood and atmosphere of Scripture and the Christian tradition. But they are not stuffy or antiquated. Both the language of the prayers and their sentiments conform to the purpose and mood that brings a Christian community before God in worship. The author has captured the essence of the Scripture she uses and has reflected it back to God as an appropriate expression of prayer, petition, or confession of the people of God.
All the Seasons of Mercy is a commendable resource for worship leaders and should be among the basic collection of books that worship committees draw upon.