My Illustrated Prayer Book illustrated by Chantal Stewart. (Broughton Publishing 2011 $ 14.95)

I first came across this book in its first edition, entitled Singing and Praying Together: A Communion Book for Young People soon after it was published in 2000. My parish bought about twenty copies, which they often remembered to hand out, along with the red hymn book and green prayer book, to families who came to church on Sunday morning.

This prayer book follows the Second Order of Holy Communion directly from A Prayer Book for Australia. This new edition has none of the rubrics or explanations that the first edition had; it reads much more like a story. There are few words except those said by the congregation.

The current edition of the book is square rather than rectangular, with a much simpler picture and less writing on the front, making it feel more like a children’s book than the previous edition did. The font in the new edition is also larger than previously, with no underlining or italicisation, making it appropriate for young readers. It has delightful illustrations, depicting people of all ages, from a variety of ethnicities, and with walking sticks and in wheelchairs.

Major changes in the text of the book since the first edition include the moving of the confession from the early placement to the later, the full text of the Nicene Creed rather than the shorter Apostles’ Creed, and the conclusion of the intercessions with the Lord’s Prayer rather than with, “Grant that what we have asked in faith…”.

In giving these illustrated editions of the prayer book to children of visitors, I have had the parents remark about how easy they are to follow, and how grateful they were to have them for their own use! For parishes that use the green prayer book, I recommend this as a wonderful supplement for the children and families to whom they minister.

Kate Lord is Youth and Family Minister at St Paul’s Canterbury.