After Great Lent

Last Sunday Orthodox Christians around the world finally celebrated Pascha and proclaimed Christ risen from the dead. As in Western Christendom, Orthodox Easter is preceded by Holy Week—the liturgical pinnacle of the Orthodox Church. In this week of preparation and commemoration, our services, . . . . Continue Reading »

How To Celebrate Easter

Like Patrick Leigh Fermor did: with red eggs and firearms, alongside one's comrades. From Abducting a General, Fermor's account of his anti-Nazi resistance work in Crete:I got back to the hideout at last on April 16th, which was Orthodox Easter Sunday, the greatest feast of the Greek year . . . . . . . Continue Reading »

Easter is not a Question Mark

Excavating my desk recently, I found the program notes from a Tallis Scholars concert my wife and I had attended a few months ago. The Tallis Scholars are a marvelous a capella ensemble, but most of their music that night was rather too minimalist for my tastes. In any event, the author of the . . . . Continue Reading »

An Invitation to a Roman Lent

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since my son, Stephen, and I spent two months in Rome—all of Lent and Easter Week—preparing a book that would allow readers to make the city’s ancient Lenten station church pilgrimage at home. But so it goes; tempus indeed fugit. Yet the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Throne in the Grave

Last Sunday, Western Christians celebrated Easter, and in a few days Eastern churches will observe Pascha. Over the course of eight days, most of the world’s two billion Christians will have sung of Jesus’s resurrection, listened again as the glad apostles see their Lord, and heard bold talk of new life and new creation. Continue Reading »

Easter and Evangelism

Galatians 1:15-18 is not your basic witness-to-the-Resurrection text. Yet St. Paul’s mini-spiritual autobiography helps us understand just how radically the experience of the Risen Lord changed the first disciples’ religious worldview, and why an evangelical imperative was built into that experience. Continue Reading »

Love Flowers

Long before we learned to love, we learned to lose; this is an education the world offers free of charge. As children, we first mourned the roses in October, the neighbor’s night-blooming cactus when we left for school, the rotting tree wrung out by lightning. (Once, at four, I stooped down to . . . . Continue Reading »

The Difference Easter Makes

One of the striking things about the Easter and post-Easter narratives in the New Testament is that they are largely about incomprehension: which is to say that, in the canonical Gospels, the early Church admitted that it took some time for the first Christian believers to understand what had happened in the Resurrection, and how what had happened changed everything. Continue Reading »