Saints on Sunday

I have just had the great privilege of being one of the first readers of Gail Ramshaw’s forthcoming book, Saints on Sunday The publisher invited me to write a commendation for its cover and publicity. 

Gail Ramshaw is one of my favourite theologians. Her prayers can be found in the liturgical resources of her own Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, whose Evangelical Lutheran Worship of 2006 bears many marks of Gail’s influence. Her prayers are also found in Anglican, Methodist, United Church, and others’ prayer books, as well as in publications relating to the World Lutheran Federation and of the World Council of Churches. Her voice in contemporary ecumenical liturgical theology and spirituality is vivid: her “words around the fire/font/table” are some of the best ways to be invited into the heart of Christian worship. I have never witnessed a eucharistic prayer move people as much as her “Triple Praise” (found in various places, and collected into another of her recent books, Pray, Praise, and Give Thanks), and her Treasures Old and New is a brilliant way to learn to read the Bible, and one of the best gifts to preachers that I know. Ramshaw has written for children and as an albeit “minimal” feminist, always with concern with the inclusivity of prayer in Jesus’ name, for which I am grateful. Her Under the Tree of Life, her personal account of “the religion of a feminist Christian” is a wonderfully intelligent exposition of Christian doctrine. With others like Nicola Slee and Janet Morley, Gail Ramshaw's texts have taught me to pray. 

Check out for yourself Ramshaw’s writings, including now Saints on Sunday, an exploration of how twenty four figures from the past might teach us to acclaim the Trinity, speak of Christ, assess emotion, revere the cross, foster ecumenism, and much more. Some of the themes here—trinitarian faith, intercession, thanks and praise, treasuring the Triduum—are classic Ramshaw, now turned in fresh ways. Some of figures on which she focuses—Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Martin Luther—are people Ramshaw has been befriending in her writing for years, and from whom she is evidently still learning. Others—Amy Carmichael, for instance—are new, and maybe surprising, inclusions. But concern for inclusion is one of the things for which we can be most grateful to Gail Ramshaw. Enjoy!

Saints on Sunday is out in August.