Book Review | Be Thou My Vision: A Liturgy For Daily Worship

Be Thou My Vision is a liturgical guide written by Jonathan Gibson designed for personal devotion and family worship at home. Written during the COVID-19 lockdowns, this book was birthed out of the author’s reflection of his personal devotional life when he found himself increasingly dissatisfied with its content and structure. I know many of us can truly relate to this and has likely experienced seasons that feel more dry and mundane in our personal quiet time with the Lord.

Before we dive into the content of the book, I need to mention that this particular edition of Be Thou My Vision is only available at Westminster Bookstore. In partnership with Crossway, WTS Bookstore produced this exclusive edition in cowhide leather cover. It comes in a sturdy, beautifully designed slipcase box that showcases Celtic patterns and ornaments—a brilliant reference to the Irish background of the beloved hymn. The brown cowhide leather cover can be likened to the looks and texture of buffalo leather. It is perimeter-stitched with four raised spine hubs. The paper is cream, highly opaque, and feels smooth and premium. It blends perfectly with the texts which are large enough and very readable. It also has three satin ribbon markers in green, red, and yellow. The overall design and construction of the book are outstanding.

Content

This daily worship devotional consists of 31 days of set liturgy that can be repeated each month. The order of the liturgy is fixed and repeated each day, while the content of the elements changes each day, except for the Lord’s Prayer. The order and content of the elements are as follows:

  • Call to Worship – scripture readings alternating Old Testament and New Testament daily
  • Adoration – prayers from church history
  • Reading of the Law – scripture readings
  • Confession of Sin – prayers from church history
  • Assurance of Pardon – scripture readings
  • Creed – Apostles’ Creed / Nicene Creed / Athanasian Creed
  • Praise – Gloria Patri
  • Catechism – Heidelberg Catechism and Westminster Shorter Catechism (one question daily)
  • Prayer for illumination – prayers from church history
  • Scripture Reading – M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan (one chapter daily)
  • Prayer of Intercession – prayers from church history
  • Further Petition – personal, church, world
  • Lord’s Prayer

If you are familiar with liturgical books like the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, this is something similar. It follows a structured flow and order as if you are in a church service. On the other hand, if you are new to liturgical books, you might find this a bit formal or “too churchy” for a devotional guide.

The varied content is very enriching. I love that the order and elements of the liturgies are prayer and scripture-saturated. There is no greater antidote to our spiritual dryness than to immerse ourselves in prayer and scripture. It is also incorporated with historic creeds and confessions that will stir up your heart and mind with doctrine and theology. I also like that the Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Shorter Catechism, and the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan are grouped as appendixes and not printed along with the elements of liturgies. This way, you can easily read through them any time or use them separately for other purposes.

Final thoughts

Be Thou My Vision is a very helpful guide and can be really beneficial in reviving and revamping your personal quiet time or family worship. Gibson has adapted the Book of Common Prayer in a way that’s engaging and uncomplicated. But make no mistake—this is not a substitute to the Holy Scriptures. In using this book, I recommend that you own it, personalize it for yourself or your family. This book is a treasure trove that will make your worship and devotion alive and enriched. Highly recommended!


Disclosure: A review copy of the Be Thou My Vision (ISBN 9781433582578) was provided for review by Westminster Bookstore, from whom you may purchase a copy.

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