Today’s review is on Ordering Our Days in His Peace: An Introduction to the Christian Church Year by LCMS Pastor H. R. Curtis. It’s something of a follow up from my review post here from last week. (This is probably the format I’ll use when I actually post the reviews to Amazon & GoodReads after I wrap up with the third.)
Ordering Our Days Review
There is a glorious set of three books, written by three Lutheran authors but unified through illustration by Arthur Kirchhoff with calligraphy by Edward Q. Luhmann. Coming out successively in 2006, 2009, and 2019, these can make a timeless addition to your family library.
First came Worshiping with Angels and Archangels: An Introduction to the Divine Service by Rev. Scot Kinnaman. Next, this one: Ordering Our Days in His Peace: An Introduction to the Christian Church Year by Rev. H. R. Curtis. Finally, the trilogy is completed by Behold the Lamb: An Introduction to the Signs and Symbols of the Church by Deaconess Pamela Nielsen. All of them are suitable for all ages, particularly as coffee table books, light references, and family instruction. (Self-readers can enjoy them once they are out of beginner books.)
Ordering Our Days shows us how the church uses the Church Year to tell the story of our salvation by telling the story of Jesus in, and through, time. The book introduces the three main sections of the church year: the times of Christmas, Easter, and the time of the church. Various terms and holidays are introduced and listed in the back with helpful explanations. And, the subsections are explained, detailing Advent and why we worship as we do, considering why some holidays are really multiple days long, focusing on select holidays and commemorations, and generally offering a foundation for common practices beneficial to practitioners and “newbies” alike.
This book gets into some liturgical uses of color, as well as explaining why we leave out “alleluia” during some seasons. It even teaches the common exchange, “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!” “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!” It’s an excellent introduction, laying a foundation to understand the language, practice, and reasoning behind some of it. Furthermore, it includes actual, beautiful, sweet Gospel! This is how to learn about the church year!
Ordering Our Days is simply an excellent tool to refresh one’s memory or to ponder anew the order and thought behind the Church Year. As a homeschooling mother, I will likely use this in second or third grade, once a child is well-established in learning and practicing the liturgy, and bring it out for older children for review. (My older children were assigned it post haste after getting this as a Christmas gift. :))
Good work, Concordia Publishing House, in publishing something that will continue to meet this need so well! This should become a classic for Lutheran religious instruction or any other liturgical instruction!
Go here to see a list of other books by H. R. Curtis (but let’s presume the 1912 book isn’t his). 🙂