Southern :Methodist University’s Bridwell Library will open an exhibition Feb. 2 on ancient and modern personal prayer books in the library’s special collection. The exhibition will feature 60 books from the 13th to the 20th centuries. These include medieval manuscripts of psalters, breviaries, and books of hours. As its name implies a psalter is the Book of Psalms, a breviary contains the daily prayers and Latin rituals used by the Catholic and a book of hours is the most common kind of prayer book with daily devotions (hence the title — for prayers to be read at special times of the day.) There will also be Hebrew psalters, illuminated manuscripts for Muslim prayer and a variety of modern publications for individual Christian prayer. To quote the press release: “These books were designed to enhance private spirituality in ways that extended beyond what could be achieved through congregational forms of worship. At the same time, many of them were also treasured personal possessions whose physical beauty still engages us today.”
The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will run through May 1.