Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Book in Review: The How-To Book of Sacramentals

The How-To Book of Sacramentals By: Ann Ball
Non-fiction, religion 329 pages 2005
book count: 8
NYR page count: 619

First, most of you are probably asking "What is a sacramental?" Well according to the definition on the back of the book it is "Sacred signs (objects or actions) possessing a likeness to the sacraments that impart grace according to the disposition of the recipient and the intercession of the Church." Which of course told you nothing unless you already had an idea what it is. Basically a sacramental is something that is used in a devotional way. This would be things like holy water, crosses, icons and other religious artwork, rosaries and other prayer beads, ashes on Ash Wendsay, palms from Palm Sunday and many other things. This book covers a large number of sacramentals both common ones and some ones that have gone out of use or are newer. It also deals with ones that are common in the Eastern churches as well as ones from the West. It was divided up into connected types of sacramentals and includes histories of the sacramental, groups it is most connected with and in some cases were to get more information. The books is divided into 21 sections and covers everything from things you would find/do in church to plants that gained/changed religious meaning from the earlyest days of Christianity to modern times. Over all it was an interesting read full of information.

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