Following Christ: Sermons for the Christian Year by Robert Beaken

Sacristy Press 2020 | 132 pp Paperback | 9781789590821 | 12.99 RRP

Reviewed by Betty Jarrett, Guardian Emerita of the Holy House

A book of sermons can sound daunting, maybe full of difficult theological ideas. Father Beaken will quickly change your mind. These short sermons which were mainly delivered to his congregation, mostly follow the Festivals of the Christian Year. The final sermons address various one off occasions including a wedding, a requiem and the dedication of a war memorial.

Father Beaken’s style is relaxed, occasionally informal and with humorous asides. He is a natural storyteller. His sermons often open with an illustration which immediately draws in the reader. The illustration is then used as a basis for reflection on the event or festival being marked. 

The sermons sometimes follow the pattern of an Ignatian meditation. Others contain simple teaching on such things as to why certain things happen in Church. Those on Confession and Reservation of the Blessed Sacrament could be useful both to those new to the Faith and also as an aid to folk needing a refresher course. Those not well-versed in gardening will encounter a wonderful description of grafting!

This small book is full of gems. It is something, as the author says in his introduction, into which to dip. It could be a helpful book to take into retreat or similarly useful in times of quiet reflection at home. This book could happily be read by those well-versed in the Christian Faith and equally by those new to that Faith.

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