The Liturgical Year: Joan Chittister

Click on Cover to preview this book

Please note: If you landed here because you are looking for Reverend Mason Beecroft – you aren’t going to find him here. I’ve noticed a lot of y’all are searching for him. (At least that’s what my stats show) I wish I knew where he was, but I do not. He was a mentor of mine for a while and I too cared about him as many of you. He is a brilliant theologian. For now, he is under the radar. I trust when he wants to come back, he will. In the mean time, grant him his peace and respite from all that entangles.  — God’s blessings, Deana

The Liturgical Year: the spiraling adventure of the spiritual life

Written by: Joan Chittister

Book Description

A journey of the soul through the map of Christian time.

The liturgical year, beginning on the first Sunday of Advent and carrying through the following November, is the year that sets out to attune the life of the Christian to the life of Jesus, the Christ.

This book sets out to open what may at first seem to be simply an arbitrary arrangement of ancient holy days, or liturgical seasons, to their essential relationship to one another and their ongoing meaning to us today. It is an excursion into life from the Christian perspective, from the viewpoint of those who set out not only to follow Jesus but to live as Jesus lived and to think as Jesus thought.

It proposes, year after year, to immerse us over and over again into the sense and substance of the Christian life until, eventually, we become what we say we are-followers of Jesus all the way to the heart of God. It is an adventure in human growth; it is an exercise in spiritual ripening.

My Review

How do you solve a problem like liturgy?

How do you explain to someone in the modern world the value of living a liturgical life without sounding pious?

Meet Sister Joan Chittister, OSB, Benedictine nun, international speaker, author of “The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life.” and you answer both of those questions. Joan is well educated and everything but pious. She is humble and very transparent. She is able to answer those questions because she asked them herself and lived to talk about. Joan writes from the heart.

I have to admit that once I started reading The Liturgical Year, my own inadequate knowledge of real liturgy hit me square between the eyes. That was shocking to me because Missouri Synod Lutherans ARE Liturgical.

I’m not Catholic, I’m Lutheran. I’m part of a church plant and I prefer Praise and Worship to Liturgy.  This book and the author’s gentle and pursuasive argument for the spiritual adventures found within the full liturgical year, brought me back again and again to the same question:

Am I missing something in my worship?

Being a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, there are parts of her book that I do not understand or agree with. However, I’m giving this book 5 stars. Why? It made me hungry for more. This book resonates within my own spirit therefor, my husband and I are making the personal sacrifice of getting up earlier on Sunday and attending a High Liturgy LCMS Congregation for early service for one full Liturgical year, (we started the first weekend in Advent) so that we can learn more.  My husband, the praise and worship leader at the mission start, wants to learn more as well.  This extra worship service is on top of our regular church services across town. We will attend both churches for one full year.

Let the adventure begin.

I am a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger program. If you would like more information on this program see


10 thoughts on “The Liturgical Year: Joan Chittister

  1. I’m adding a comment here — a disclaimer really. While I loved this book, I do not love my review. It lacks the words I want to convey, to put Sister Chittister book in it’s proper perspective. The book set me on a journey – For this church year, I am studying the liturgy from new eyes, and a new perspective. As I write about those studies and the things I find, I’ll link back to here. You are welcome to follow back and see where her inspired journey is taking me if you so like. Blessings – Deana


  2. Yep — it is Pastor Mason Beecroft’s church. I’m struggling with his age a little (He’s about 10 years younger than us.) BUT — Brilliant guy.

    Have a great New Years yourself Frank —


  3. Which church did you go to? Is that Pr. Mason Beecroft at Grace in Tulsa, OK?

    They do make hypoallergenic incense… it would be foolish not to use it. We only used incense during the Easter vigil and the folks that didn’t like it were split between “it causes my allergies to act up” (I was in charge of purchasing the incense which is why I know that there is a hypoallergenic variety) and “Lutherans don’t do that, Roman Catholics do, but we don’t!”.

    After it was explained to the former group that we weren’t burning Yankee Candles and we did plan for people with allergies they seemed to accepted the incense being used once a year.

    With the latter group however, they were VERY vocal that we should not be doing anything the “looked too catholic”. It was also suggested that if we kept this up we might never attract new members if we, again, “looked too catholic”. It was for this reason that we stopped the practice (if once a year is a practice) so that our brothers and sisters would not be offended so. My thoughts on how the church is and has always been catholic and counter cultural is a long rant that I won’t subject anyone to today ;-).

    Have a great New Years eve and day yourself Deana!


  4. Well it’s official. I need to either re-write this review or post a new thought — thinking about doing both somehow.

    Right now Jeff and I are attending Mason’s early service, High Liturgy at Grace for one full year to learn more about the level he takes it. High Episcopal is what I’d call it. Ran into a glitch though, Jeff and Dillon cannot breathe because of the incense so I’m not sure what we’re going to do yet.

    I’ll give your questions some real thought and answer it after the first of the year. Have a great New Year!


  5. Where’s Rattlesnake Gulch? The name is familiar but it’s been 25 years since I’ve lived there so much of my memory is faded.
    Take your time on the questions, we’re busy ‘round here too 🙂


  6. Holy snot— seriously??? we were right across the bridge from Rattlesnake Gulch. Love that name. ;-D My mom still lives in Chittenango.

    I don’t like the wording on my review either.It’s too vague.. I’m on my way out the door in a few. I’ll answer your questions later today, kay?

    Wow — small world


  7. Deana, could you flesh out a bit more what you mean when you write “It made me hungry for more. This book resonates within my own spirit therefor” My experience was that after 15 years of atheism I was STRONGLY attracted to a liturgical setting both because it “looked” like what I expected of church as well as the fact I wanted nothing to do with a vapid service that only focus on me instead of Christ’s gifts for me that earlier drove me to agnosticism and then atheism. I didn’t always know what was what or why things were being done but at least the focus always seemed to be on Jesus somehow. I’m really interested in the WHYs of you and your husband adding an extra service to what I’m sure is an already a busy schedule.

    Oh, I couldn’t remember how many n’s were in your name so I clicked on the about me tab and was more than a bit surprised to see where you grew up. I grew up on Rt. 31 in Clay between Henry Clay Blvd and Caughdenoy Rd. Small world…


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