Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pulpit Review: Church Fathers for the Three-Year



Holmes, Stephen Mark, Editor. The Fathers on the Sunday Gospels. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2012. 308 Pages. Paper. $24.95. www.litpress.org (P)


I love reading the Church Fathers. We at QBR have focused on them through various introductions to their theology and works and modern collections of their works as commentary on Scripture. Today we highlight a book that will help you in the Pulpit.

Now, the fathers of the church speak from across the ages each week: The Fathers on the Sunday Gospels provides rich reflections on every Sunday gospel reading in the three-year Lectionary from Augustine, Bede, Ambrose, Gregory the Great, Aelred, John Scotus Erigena, Origen, Cyril of Alexandria, and many more. This unique volume will prove to be an invaluable companion for preachers and for personal reflection on the Sunday gospels. It is also an ideal gift for ordination and anniversaries of priesthood.

Stephen Mark Holmes is a priest of the Diocese of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church and a doctoral candidate in the Edinburgh University School of Divinity. He previously studied at the University of St. Andrews; Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; and the Maryvale Institute, Birmingham; and has taught in Birmingham and Edinburgh. For eighteen years he was a Benedictine monk at Pluscarden Abbey in northern Scotland, where he was novice master, and he is now assistant priest at Old St. Paul's Church, Edinburgh. He is the author of a number of books and articles on the fathers of the church and church history.
(Publisher's website)

Why should you get and read this book? Holmes takes the great wealth of patristric preaching on historic pericopes and rearranges them for how and when they show up in the post-Vatican II three-year lectionary. 

This is a volume used by users of the Roman Lectionary, RCL, the Common Worship Lectionary of the Church of England, but especially for our purposes, the three-year lectionary of Lutheran Service Book. We are on our own, however, for patristic quotes for the Festival of the Reformation.

Brief biographies are found in the back. Usable, practical, historic, and Biblical, faithful Lutheran preachers will find more benefit than bane in The Fathers on the Sunday Gospels.



The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.