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
Okay. I have to brag about this. My favorite prof from Seminary, Dr. Tim Patitsas has finally succeeded in bringing what used to be blandly called “the senior trip” into a full fledged Orthodox pilgrimage. I can only believe it is due to the communications vision of new Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology President, Fr. Chris Metropulos. Kudos to my Alma Mater for granting this rich experience to her graduates. I am happy to be among the first pilgrims back in 2011 where I recorded my observations in a Pilgrimage_Memory_Book.
The following is so much more worthy of the good donors who make the pilgrimage possible. God bless you all, my dear fellow graduates of Holy Cross!
I remember so well the first time I stayed overnight in an Orthodox Christian monastery. I dreamed of every Christian camp and conference I had attended up to that point in my life, for they represented the highest and deepest of my spiritual experience. After just one day in the concentrated prayers of the monastic daily cycle, those previous experiences of prayer became as mere foretastes of reality. Continue reading
June 18, 2016
Eve of Pentecost
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul. (I Peter 2:11)
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here. (John 18:36)
This world and all its lusts make us who live here forget that our true home lies elsewhere. Pilgrimage is the God-given tool for overcoming our excessive attachment to this world. On this Eve of the Feast, having arrived at the birthplace of Orthodox Christianity in North America, our small group of pilgrims assembles in the early morning around the relics of America’s first Orthodox saint, Herman of Alaska, to pray for the salvation of our souls. I am here in Kodiak, Alaska with my brother-in-law and a priest who has almost circumnavigated the globe from a city if Siberia just north of Mongolia. We are guests at St. Herman Seminary in an unfamiliar place, but the common love for St. Herman makes us feel right at home as we meet other pilgrims from places as far flung as ours. Continue reading
Thanksgiving is a time for families to be together and thank God for everything. We play games and feast on fall food. God helps us in all our work. This year our family is very happy to be going to our grandparents house for Thanksgiving for the first time in years! Continue reading