Witnessed the yearly piano recital of my two oldest today in the public hall of the Waltham Public Library. Hearing their lovely melodies and inspired playing reminded me of one of my boss’ best articles on the subject of music, inspiration, and worship. Enjoy!
Katertyna Tereshchenko, Pianist by Ralf Roletschek; online at wikipedia.org
This past summer, my 10 year-old son made a significant breakthrough in his piano playing. All last year, I watched him practice as though practicing was just one more task on his “to do” list before breakfast. He marched through 20 minutes of practicing just as he marched through “make my bed,” “feed the dog,” and “pack my snack.” Where was the joy, the appreciation of beauty, the sense of accomplishment? Masterpieces from Bach to Bizet were reduced to equal footing with readied backpacks and signed permission slips. The tasks were accomplished. And music was nowhere to be heard. Continue reading →
For those of you in my faithful readership who have yet to experience an Orthodox Christian Holy Week, now is your chance. At an Orthodox parish near you, begins a week of services unlike any you have experienced anywhere else on the planet. If you are local to Boston, you are cordially invited to attend all of the services our parish offers. If you can only do one, come to either Saturday morning Liturgy or late Saturday night, early Sunday morning for the Feast of Feasts, GREAT AND HOLY PASCHA.
Worse case scenario, if you are unable to appear hypostatically (in person), you can at least listen to a youtube channel created that has much of the key music or the ever-mellifluous Ancient Faith Radio. WARNING: Once you have gone to one service, you won’t be able to stop, so clear your schedule for God because He deserves your praise more than baseball games, concerts, or that addicting TV series. Let the divine drama begin!
I have a friend and fellow graduate of a one-time missionary school held in an Orthodox Monastery in California. This friend reminded me of an old movie list that he has recently decided to resurrect for the salvation of his own soul and those of his immediate circle in memory of the former Abbot who authored the list, Fr. Herman Podmoshensky. I offer the list here in memory of the same Abbot, whose love and selfless devotion birthed in so many of us the need to feed our own souls along with our spirits.
May this list of old time favorites help spark your memory of a time when Hollywood was less besotted with entertainment that merely titillated but never transformed, a time when Tinseltown had a moral backbone and a heart of gold.
Saint Paisius Missionary School Must See Movie List
Homily for Christmas, 2016 Isaiah 9:2-7 Titus 2:11-14 Luke 2:1-14(15-20) Psalm 96 For my homily this evening I will refer to the photos printed in the order of service on the front and back covers, and on page 11. The photos were cover photos for the New York Times in the fall of 2015. These photos […]
“I’m a Christian, so I don’t go to parties,” said a person to me recently. There was a time in my life I would have accepted such a judgment about parties without qualification. The theology behind the idea of canceling Christmas is partly to blame for this tepid approach to life. Indeed the Lord does give his peace to us not as the world gives with the implication that all worldly parties without Him will always fall short of the mark. But where does this trepidation towards partying in general and towards specific Christian feasts/parties mean for the life in Christ? How do we answer Scrooge’s argument to his jubilant nephew in our musical adaptation of Dicken’s classic Carol:
“The 25th of December from what I remember is no special day, just a date.”Continue reading →
Monday, November 15/28, 2016
First Day of the Nativity Fast
Commencement of Advent in the Orthodox Church
It has been a New Year’s resolution of my oldest daughter since she saw her first show three years ago: To act and sing in a production of New Life Fine Arts out of Concord, MA. What she saw in Ebezener Scrooge: A Christmas Carol sparked her imagination while deepening her understanding of this literary character’s repentance. Now that three of us have been blessed to be chosen as cast members in this year’s production, it has allowed us an even more intimate acquaintance with NLFA’s uniquely spiritual approach to musical theatre. Continue reading →
In the Episcopal Church’s Catechism, the stated mission of the Church “is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ (The Book of Common Prayer, p 855). In Eucharistic Prayer A – the form of the Eucharistic prayers used most often at Trinity – we give thanks to God that God “sent Jesus Christ… to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of all” (BCP, p 362).
Our Christian faith is about “restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ;” we Christians, following the example of Jesus, are called to be agents of reconciliation. Our country, sharply divided over the recent election and in transition to a new administration, is counting on us Christians to live into our identity and to be agents of reconciliation. Continue reading →