A Great New Year’s Eve Love Story

Those of you who have met Russians know that they have well developed traditions for celebrating the New Year. One established tradition, almost universal among all Russians, is the watching of a classic Soviet film from 1976, Ирония судьбы or The Irony of Fate. It features a holiday drunken mishap in which an engaged man ends up in someone else’s apartment and in one night, falls completely in love with another woman. The cinematography and amazing soundtrack lend artistry to the tale of love, and the constant comic romance will keep you in stitches all the way up to the moment of midnight. In fact, watching this rather long feature (close to 3 hours) is what helps your crowd make it to the ripe hour of midnight to see the ball drop.

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Our Favorite Christmas Picture Book

It never ceases to amaze us every Christmas season how many good picture books are out there. But there is one I wish to draw attention to as it gives due praise to our often overlooked first responder, the cop on the beat. Cop’s Night Before Christmas has delightful illustrations and continues the Santa Claus legend with a jolly St. Nick adapted to police officers, complete with, not a sleigh but a Christmas helicopter! Best of all, it was actually written by a police officer, Michael D. Harrison. So Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

A Man of Few Words But Many Deeds

Remembering today the passing of a great pillar and subdeacon of our local parish. He was a man like my own father who can not abide long to hear conversation when action is required. As the celebrant at his funeral remembered, he employed half the parish, especially men like yours truly who needed a few side hustles as we worked primarily for the church. He was not your average contractor, beginning all his projects with prayer and devoutly dedicating all of his labor to God. His love for serving in the holy altar spilled out fully into his worldly labor. He never artificially separated them into sacred and secular.

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Search for the Missing Jewel of Worship

I recently heard a news story about the supposed revolutionary nature of the American Pilgrim’s form of worship. In Plymouth Colony, exactly 400 years ago (reason to celebrate this as news), they sang their worship to God with acapella, metered Psalms and besides these Psalms, all their other hymns came straight from Scripture. While I grant that their metered and rhyming Psalter was a bit of a novelty (and a good one as rhyme improves memory), to say that their worship was revolutionary because it came straight from Scripture belies an ignorance of the more ancient path of the Church’s worship.

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Live Theatre Once Again!

Ah, dear friends who are local to Boston, starting next Friday, December 10 in Groton, MA, four Friars (a family record!) will be performing live on stage and we would love to see you in the audience. A message lies below from the Messenger who hauntingly blesses Ebenezer Scrooge with a life-giving path of repentance. Please read it and accept our invitation to come. And a Merry Christmas to ye!

I wanted to let you know that New Life Fine Arts is again producing “Musical Theater That You Can Believe In”.

Coming this December 10 -19, 2021 we will be bringing the original adaptation of the Charles Dickens famous Christmas Classic, “Ebenezer Scrooge: A Christmas Carol” back to the stage in Groton, MA for 8 performances.

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Believe is a Transitive Verb

Sunday, November 28, 2021
First Day of the Nativity Fast
Commencement of Advent in the Orthodox Church

Our family loves the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Whenever we return from our annual parish tradition of hosting the Eucharist, we always turn on the telly to see the bright and cheerful floats of popular children’s shows and books drifting larger than life down the streets of Manhattan.

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A Table in the Presence of My Enemies

It is rare that I watch a film and have to run immediately to blog about it. But a newly released movie has completely enraptured me.

The very modestly named movie Pig carries with it a weight of relational content and mystery that few modern movies measure up to. Nicholas Cage plays a forest recluse whose love for the humblest of animals, a truffle-hunting pig, compels him to hunt down the thieves that take him. He comes out of his reclusion to reveal a world he left behind in the city of Portland, Oregon, a world of friends and family who have lost their first loves in search of fleeting worldly gain, earthly lusts, and extreme disconnection from humanity. But this recluse’s single-minded love and devotion for a simple creature gradually brings them all back around to what is real, holy, and worthy of love.

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Beyond Mere Appearance

Sunday November 7, 2021; 20th Sunday after Pentecost

Galatians 1:11-19
Luke 16:19-31

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Glory to Jesus Christ. Glory forever. A classic Danish film portrays the theme of this morning’s gospel in the person of a French maid. Babette’s Feast features a penniless woman cast out by circumstances in her home country to foreign land in the north. Like poor Lazarus, she arrives at the home of two unmarried sisters cold, alone, and in need of help. But if a person were to conclude that Babette’s outward circumstances defined her inward disposition, they would be wrong. For while she was poor in possessions, her artistic soul made her rich beyond the reach of mere circumstance. As the apostle says, “…being poor, yet making many rich“, she managed in the end to exhaust her entire bank account towards a feast for her friends.

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A Story About Friends

Best Friends is a new book about a beautiful girl named Shannon who is also the author. Shannon lives in a small house with two sisters and a brother and two parents. Her older sister Wendy moved to Los Angeles to become a model.

Shannon has two best friends Jen and Adrienne. In Shannon’s school there was a girl named Jenny who is very mean to Shannon. Jen and Jenny were best friends first, but then Adrienne moved to another school and Shannon was left alone.  Next year, Jen and Shannon became best friends. Shannon thought Jenny and her could be friends too, but Jenny was still mean to Shannon.

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