One of the most beautiful things about being Catholic is the universality. Catholicism wraps its loving arms around so many rituals, practices, and traditions through inculturation. It embraces each and every person and presents to us an incredible array of ways in which to pray, celebrate, and remember who God is, what God has done for us, and who God calls us to be.

Each of us knows where we sit comfortably at the table in this incredible feast of Catholicism. Yet sometimes we are invited to a less comfortable place in the tradition. I recently spent one long, somewhat stressful, yet still enjoyable morning in part of our faith tradition that is both totally amazing and totally outside my comfort zone: Marian devotion.

I respect and admire those who have a deep dedication and devotion to the Blessed Mother, but it has simply never been a primary way I express my own faith. But out of my respect and curiosity, I cantored at a large, ritual-filled Mass for the Legion of Mary a few weeks ago.

Ritual is definitely more my “thing”—which came in handy that day! Everything that was planned that didn’t include the actual Order of Mass seemed to go wrong, and I was able to step in to make sure that the ship got righted before it totally sank.

The local Legions had a pre-Mass ritual planned that included a series of Marian prayers and devotions. One of the highlights was a Rosary that was said in five different languages. While my participation in the Rosary was awkward and dissonant at times, it was a thing of beauty and awe to be able to just dip my toes into the flow of this prayer with them. It reminded me of what it means to be Catholic.

This week’s CatholicsRead titles attest to both the universality and uniqueness of Catholic life and practice—the rituals and prayers, the sacramental priesthood, the sacraments, and our understanding of the Bible. Take the opportunity to dive into less-familiar Catholic waters. Or consider buying one of these titles as a gift for someone as we celebrate the Easter season.

Catholic Rituals and Prayers

Spend time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with The Ave Guide to Eucharistic Adoration from Ave Maria Press as you honor the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This guide offers a rich array of prayers, devotions, meditations, and Church teachings to read during your quiet time with the Lord, whether you have fifteen minutes or an entire holy hour.

We have two resources to guide you as you pray the Rosary, The Ave Guide to the Scriptural Rosary from Ave Maria Press and Praying the Rosary Together: A Guide for Home and Classroom from GIA Publications, Inc.

The Ave Guide to the Scriptural Rosary is an attractively designed resource that will help you pray the devotion more deeply by including Short scripture passages to read in each decade. This hardcover keepsake includes all of the directions, prayers, and Bible verses you need to understand and pray a Scriptural Rosary for each of the four mysteries—Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious.

Praying the Rosary by Carolyn Pirtle is a practical in-depth book about the devotion of the Rosary that will appeal to readers across a broad spectrum. The heart of the book is the twenty individual mysteries of the rosary, which include Scripture passages, reflections, and discussion questions.

The Living with Christ Special Bundle from Living with Christ is a beautiful collection of psalm prayers, traditional and modern prayers, and other reflections to remind us that God is always by our side.

Priesthood and Sacraments

Read Priesthood in a Time of Crisis from Ave Maria Press to balance out the perspectives that we often read of priests in the news. A new study by Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti—a licensed psychologist and research professor who has studied the American priesthood for thirty years—found that an overwhelming majority of American Catholic priests say that they are happy, like their work, and have vibrant spiritual lives.

‘Tis the season—for First Communion and Confirmation. Here are two ideal gifts for the young people in your life.

The First Communion Bible from Catholic Book Publishing is a special gift edition of the New Catholic Bible that commemorates a girl’s First Communion.

The Confirmation-Boxed Gift Set set contains a St. Joseph Confirmation Book, beautifully bound in gold-stamped, burgundy bonded leather with a zipper closure and golden dove pull, a matching gold-stamped leather bookmark, candle, and golden dove keepsake pin to commemorate this very important Rite of Initiation. Or give your new graduate or Confirmandi a copy of the St. Joseph New Catholic Bible Student Edition from Catholic Book Publishing. This personal size edition is a fresh, faithful, and reader-friendly Bible translation in a convenient size, especially for students.





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Therese Brown is the Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. She holds a master of arts degree in youth and liturgy from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She previously served as senior marketing specialist at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing Office. She is the author of Graced Moments: Prayer Services for the Lives of Teens (World Library Publications). She resides in the Baltimore area.

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