Drum roll please… The results are in for the 2019: Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below. Separate reviews are linked on the underlined titles. Enjoy!Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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!
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
Sunday November 7, 2021; 20th Sunday after Pentecost
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.Continue reading
My friends at the Fellowship for the Performing Arts have taken their stage monologue play to the cinema! In less than two weeks, this fine theater company will premiere its first ever movie about the life of C.S. Lewis, The Most Reluctant Convert. It will be showing for one night only on Wednesday, November 3 in theaters across the country. Already here in Boston, one of the three theaters showing it has sold out!
Early reviews have promised a strong story from a great cast. For me, it has served as a consolation for not going to NYC for a while to see one of their excellent stage productions about the famous Christian apologist. Get your tickets now for a once in a lifetime event!