Publishers Weekly (Monday , December 22, 2003):
Who better than a nice Jewish girl to tell Catholics how to celebrate their faith at home? Jews have always been known for a sensibly domestic-centered observance of their religion, and Gould, a Jewish-born convert to Catholicism, speaks from a unique dual perspective. Having lived in a Jewish home, she knows about lighting Sabbath candles, but also remembers when Catholics kept holy water and statues in their houses. In her own home, which she affectionately describes as "the Hermitage" and "Julian of Norwich goes suburban," she has revived traditions that fell by the wayside after changes wrought by Vatican II, and also established a multitude of new ones. Readers seeking to reinforce Catholic identity on the home front will find plenty of ideas, among them a how-to for celebrating Christmas when it actually arrives, instead of weeks before, and making Halloween holy by embracing it as the eve of All Saints Day. Gould's writing is light and airy, even irreverent at times, but her ideas are well-grounded and refreshing. She wisely reinforces her suggestions with excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and uses the church's sacraments and elaborate calendar of feast days and liturgical seasons as the skeleton of her book, trotting out bits of history and legend for added interest. Gould's engaging enthusiasm will doubtless have readers asking, "Who knew Catholicism could be so much fun?" (Feb. 17) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal (Thursday , January 01, 2004):
Sociologist and Catholic convert Gould (Deliberate Acts of Kindness, etc.) has written a varied and lively guide to the management of a spiritual year in a Catholic household, stuffed with folk traditions, sage advice, and a surprisingly unprudish sense of humor. Here she is on Easter: "Okay, so we stole most of our Easter stuff from pagans and druids who celebrated the vernal equinox with no shortage of riotous ritual. Before there was an Easter bunny, there was the sacred hare (osterhase). This overgrown rabbit was originally a pagan fertility symbol, for reasons that should be obvious. Easter lilies were pre-Christian symbols of fertility, specifically male genitalia. Would anyone really mind if we started calling our holy day `Resurrection Sunday'?" Gould's disarming candor does not prevent her book from being a very useful handbook for the liturgical year, essential prayers, and even the rosary. Highly recommended. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
""The Catholic Home is clear, practical, and inviting; it will make every Catholic's job easier visualizing how to bring the faith home." --Frederica Matthewes-Green, NPR commentator and author of "Facing East and "At the Corner of East and Now
A practical, inspiring guide to Catholic observances and celebrations for the home.
For centuries, the Catholic Church has offered an abundance of splendid traditions that extend religious and spiritual practice into daily life. Now, Meredith Gould reintroduces these customs and rituals to modern Roman Catholics.
Using the liturgical calendar, "The Catholic Home provides familiar and new ways to celebrate each season and its special days. Gould reviews major holy days, select saints' days, familiar prayers, and suggests meaningful ways to prepare as a family for such sacraments as Baptism, Confirmation, First Eucharist, and Matrimony.
This book includes a concise history of each ritual and clarifies the meaning behind it by highlighting celebrations of Catholic holidays from different parts of the globe. Your family will learn to make Advent wreaths, Jesse trees, St. Lucy's crowns, King's cakes, All Souls altars, traditional foods, and participate in family devotions.
Throughout "The Catholic Home, Gould's down-to-earth practicality and sense of humor give the activities she describes modern relevance no matter how ancient their origins. Excerpts from the official "Catechism of the Catholic Church are included to illuminate Church doctrine on matters of faith and ritual. This indispensable guide will appeal to Catholics young and old and inspire beloved family traditions to be handed down from one generation to the next.