Shepherding Souls

A Handbook for the Pastoral Offices

Shawn O. Strout

Jul/2024, 256 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640656598

A complete resource for the theology, liturgy, and practice of the pastoral offices.

This easy-to-use resource for clergy and lay liturgical leaders examines baptism, confirmation, marriage, reconciliation of the penitent, ministration to the sick, and burial, offering background and guidance for each liturgy. Each chapter begins with brief historical and theological contexts, followed by a discussion of pastoral and liturgical issues relevant to each rite. Because cultural considerations are often central to the pastoral offices, each chapter includes an overview of cultural practices surrounding each liturgy that may be unfamiliar to clergy.

Taking into account theological and liturgical perspectives from a variety of denominations, Shepherding Souls is designed to be useful in any church. This trusted resource provides the busy church leader with everything needed to prepare for and administer pastoral offices.

Shawn O. Strout is Assistant Professor of Worship and Associate Dean of Chapel at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in liturgical studies and sacramental theology. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles for journals such as Worship, The Anglican Theological Review, Studia Liturgica, and Anglican and Episcopal History. He is the author of three books, including "Of Thine Own Have We Given Thee": A Liturgical Theology of the Offertory in Anglicanism, Shepherding Souls: A Handbook for the Pastoral Offices, and Bound Together: Baptism, Eucharist, and the Church. Strout has been ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church for over ten years. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

“This volume presents a rare combination of good history, reliable theology, pastoral wisdom, and ecumenical awareness. Strout's cultural accounts are apt, helpful, and representative. He makes use of the latest Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian liturgy books. And his pastoral observations are themselves marked by the very flexibility, ‘theological nimbleness,’ and wisdom he often recommends.”
—Gordon Lathrop, Professor of Liturgy Emeritus, United Lutheran Seminary, and Past President, Societas Liturgica

“Written in non-technical language and with an ecumenical scope, Shepherding Souls is a valuable resource for pastors, seminarians, and lay leaders. Each chapter examines a specific rite’s history, theology, and related practices, addresses common concerns, and concludes with useful questions/prompts and a bibliography.”
—Karen B. Westerfield Tucker, Professor of Worship, Boston University School of Theology

“Shawn Strout has prepared an eminently usable, pastoral, ecumenical guide to the Pastoral Offices. Written by an Episcopal liturgical scholar for those working in parishes, it is a substantial overview of each of the offices, giving insight to historical development, theological meaning, and current shape for pastoral-liturgical enrichment.”
—Michael Witczak, Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology, The Catholic University of America

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