I'll not forget then-Seminarian Kalvin Waetzig holding in his hands my little copy of Lindemann's Daily Office, smelling it, making it wiggle, and then exclaiming in delight: "It's so packy!" I cocked an eyebrow and asked what he meant by "packy." He explained: "This. When a book smells nice, is small, and flexible like this, I call it packy."
So I am sure that Pastor Waetzig is in ecstasy over the Pastoral Care Companion. It is packy to the max.
How did CPH pull it off? It's so little - until you open it! And then it is packed full. Most pastors have, I suspect, at one time or another expressed dissatisfaction with the resources provided in LW's Little Agenda. The Occasional Services book (accompanying LBW) did a far better job of giving you concrete guidance of what Word of God to share with a person in difficult or joyful moments. But the Pastoral Care Companion? It's almost beyond belief what they packed in there! Helps for dealing with those struggling with homosexuality, addictions of various sorts, a still birth, wedding anniversaries, demonic oppression, moving, retirement. Goodness! Too many to list out. This section, which is the heart of the book, runs from page 160 to 534. YES, THAT MUCH! Psalms, Scripture readings, Prayers and Hymns for just about every pastoral care situation imaginable.
Packy and I mentioned page 534? Oh, but that's not the end of the book. It has a total of 708 pages. And it's little, you ask? YES. Oh, so I can't read the print, I guess. WRONG. The print is nice sized, very legible. The paper is thin, but doesn't "bleed through" the following page in any distracting way.
What else is cool? Well, it's great to have the rites handy: Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion, Marriage, Visiting of Sick or Distressed (with anointing), Divine Service for Shutins or the sick, Commendation of the Dying, Burial liturgies. Other goodies: a prayer section for pastors to use prior to many care situations (before a Baptism, before a Confession, etc.), a Beicht-tafel in preparation for Confession (why wasn't that in the HYMNAL?), a form for examining those to be admitted to the Lord's table, and essential liturgical prayers in both German and Spanish.
And all in that tiny volume that, I checked it out, FITS IN MY PANTS POCKET or easily into my jacket pocket.
Packy to the max. CPH, yet another homerun in the LSB materials. Thank you!