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Black Liturgies : Prayers, poems and meditations for staying human - Cole Arthur Riley

Black Liturgies

Prayers, poems and meditations for staying human

By: Cole Arthur Riley

Paperback | 30 April 2024 | Edition Number 1

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In the summer of 2020, Cole Arthur Riley was desperate for a spirituality she could trust. Amidst ongoing national racial violence, the isolation of the pandemic, and a surge of anti-Black rhetoric in many Christian spaces, she began dreaming of a harbour for a more human, more liberating expression of faith. She went on to create Black Liturgies, a digital project that connects spiritual practice with Black emotion, memory, and the Black body.

In this book, she deepens the work of that project, bringing together new prayers, letters, poetry, meditation questions, breath practice, and the writings of Black literary ancestors to offer 43 liturgies that can be practiced individually or as a community. With a poet's touch and a sensitivity that has made her one of the most important spiritual voices at work today, Riley invites readers to reflect on their own experiences of wonder, rest, rage, and repair, while also including liturgies for holidays like Lent, Advent and Mother's Day.

For those healing from spiritual spaces that were more violent than loving; for those who have escaped the trauma of white Christian nationalism, religious homophobia, and transphobia; for anyone asking what it means to be human in a world of both beauty and terror; Black Liturgies is a work of healing and liberation, and a vision for what might be.

About the Author

Cole Arthur Riley is the creator of Black Liturgies, a space where Black words of dignity, lament, rage, and rest, are curated and integrated with a liberating spirituality. She serves as the content and spiritual formation manager for Chesterton House: A Center for Christian Studies at Cornell University. Born and for the most part raised in Pittsburgh, Cole studied Writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She once took a professor's advice very seriously to begin writing a little every day, and has followed it for nearly a decade.

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