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Introduction to Katherine Parr's Personal Prayerbook

Introduction to Katherine Parr's Personal Prayerbook

(p.489) Introduction to Katherine Parr's Personal Prayerbook
Katherine Parr
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Katherine Parr's “Personal Prayerbook,” a compilation which opens access to the spirituality of one strongly motivated, highly placed, and deeply studied woman in religious and political contestation and transition during the mid to late 1540s. Generically, this compilation conforms to the widely popular type of prayerbook for lay devotion known as the book of hours or the primer. It begins in a conventional fashion with a summary narrative focused on the passion and crucifixion of Jesus and the demonstration that He is the Savior of humankind. Parr's opening sequence is headed by three English prayers from Thomas More's “Tower meditations.” Immediately following prayers by More, Parr transcribes, virtually verbatim, two prayers by Nicholas Shaxton. Parr's next set of entries consists of prayers by prominent men and women of the Bible, each introduced by an identifying Rubric. This is followed by a sequence of prayers taken alternately from traditionalist and Reformed primers.

Keywords:   Katherine Parr, prayer, compilation, spirituality, Jesus, crucifixion, Bible, worship

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