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  • Guide to a Catholic church: for non-Catholic visitors; in which the meaning of various objects of devotion is simply explained, and a short exposition given of the main points of Catholic belief, with the prayers of the chief services in Latin and English, by W.L. Fox, new ed. revised by R.A. O’Gorman (London : R. & T. Washbourne ; New York : Benziger Bros, 1904). With Imprimatur. Available at Open Library and Internet Archive (Digitizing sponsor: MSN, Book contributor: Regis College Library, University of Toronto).

Guide to a Catholic church is an exposition of the traditions inherent in a church that resembles, for example, Margaret Visser’s excellent and inspiring The Geometry of Love. Like Visser’s masterpiece, Guide to a Catholic church involves glimpses of doctrine, history, and the history of doctrine; and it gives a fascinating array of information, including Biblical and Patristic precedents, that we never realize constitutes the foundation of such ordinary objects as the holy water font, the wooden confessional box, or Mass cards.

Unlike Visser, on the other hand, Fox adopts a visual rather an ambulatory approach. Rather than explaining the structures where the visitor walks as Visser did, Fox explains the things that the visitor sees when he enters a church, the first of which is, of course, the tabernable and altar. Also, Fox also explains actions done inside church, not just the objects inside it, hence his explication of Holy Mass and the Benediction and of their constituent prayers.

Guide to a Catholic church is a suitable introduction for persons who either would like to join, or would like to at least understand, the liturgies of the Church.

God bless ye.

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