Poetry, VOLUME 12

Douglas McKelvey – A Liturgy Before Beginning a Book

Douglas McKelvey Liturgy Book

This prayer from a prayerbook we recently reviewed

Every Moment Holy
Douglas McKelvey

Leather Hardback:
Rabbit Room Press, 2017
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Rabbit Room ]

Struck a chord with the work we do here at the ERB.
May we have this liturgy in our hearts and minds
before and during our reading of any book… 

A Liturgy Before
Beginning a Book

Author of Life and Author of My Life,
As I begin the reading of this book,
give me a sensitivity to listen,
not just to the story told,
but to the responses of my own heart
to what I encounter in these pages.

   What does it draw out of me?
   What joy?
   What longing?
   What fears?
   What temptation?
   What hope?
   What mirth?
   What love of beauty?
   What awe?
   What wonder?
   What doubt?
   What faith?
   What resolve?
   What unfinished grief?
   What untended wound?

Give me ears to hear, O Spirit of God,
what notes the reading of this story would strike
and what melody it would draw forth
from the tuned strings of my own soul.
Waste no moment in my brief years O Lord.
Let all things, and this book as well,
be tools in your hands,
to shape me and make me more truly your own,
more fitly a child of the hope
of the restoration of all things in Christ
whose fullness dwells within them.
So let the honest responses
of my heart to this reading
grant new insight into the story
your grace is already telling in my own life
that I might be a more willing co-laborer
in that process.

Used with permission.
From Every Moment Holy (Rabbit Room Press)
© 2017 by Douglas Kaine McKelvey


C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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