What I Gave Up to Become Orthodox

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the priesthood of Fr. Antony Hughes at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, the 20th anniversary of the Boston Byzantine Choir, and incidentally also the 20th year of my being an Orthodox Christian, I would like to present this memory of Fr. Antony from the very beginning of his ministry and the very beginning of my walk as an Orthodox Christian. We remembered so many of these tonight at a special banquet in his honor at St. Mary’s… Continue reading

A Church that Sings

DSCF0160Great and Holy Friday, 2013

One of the struggles I had when I first became Orthodox was discovering within the Church a tradition of congregational singing not unlike what I grew up with in the Protestant Church. What one often finds in a typical Orthodox Church either here or abroad is that the entire service is sung by a choir, either amateur or professional, that performs pieces from a place removed, either in a choir loft or off to the side. The unconscious message this sends, especially if they are singing from the loft, is that the rest of the people in the nave are off the hook, and that their work consists merely of silent prayer in their respective place. Continue reading