Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: The Sacred Meal

The Sacred Meal
by Nora Gallagher

This is the third book I've reviewed that comes from the Ancient Practices Series, and like the others, it did not disappoint.  This thought provoking book presents Communion as a spiritual practice (or discipline) and outlines how it fits into our spiritual life in deeper ways than we generally give it credit for.  Because of the variance of how the Eucharist is handled and viewed in different denominations, she is diplomatic in her handling of issues such as who should be allowed to participate in Communion and if the bread and wine truly do become the actual body and blood of Christ.

I was very encouraged and challenged by The Sacred Meal.  As a Presbyterian, there were some details I didn't fully agree with Gallagher (an Episcopalian) on, but appreciated her treatment of the subject.  In the Presbyterian church, Communion is still a very important part of our liturgy and I enjoyed reading an entire book dedicated to this celebration that I have always felt deeply connected to.  Her treatment of how community is affected by the Eucharist is lovely and convicting.

This wonderfully engaging little book will be placed on my "keep" shelf, right alongside the other books from this series.  I find that any good book on spiritual discipline is worth picking up and re-reading every few years.  This one, I'm certain, will be no exception to that rule.  Several years full of life and experience changes a person's view and treatment of disciplines and how they play into our lives.  I recommend this book to any Christian of any denomination, Catholic or Protestant.  Even if you don't agree with every little theological detail in the book, it is a gentle, loving and applicable book.

To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I need to mention that BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for me to review. 

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