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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 »

A Community Pledged in the Spirit

Mulling my Lenten way through the Apostles’ Creed, I have come to see that in defining what we do not believe, we come to know better what we do believe. While the Creed positively summarizes what Christians believe, it equally fences out what we negatively do not believe. I have been walking the . . . . 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 »

Social Sins in Lent

The season of Lent is a time of meditation and self-denial, as Christians join with Jesus in his journey toward the cross. Most often, the penitential disciplines of Lent focus on personal sins of greed and indulgence, with an emphasis on abstaining from some private luxuries and exercising a . . . . Continue Reading »

What the Church Does Not Believe

This Lent has me digging through the Apostle’s Creed. Viewed in a certain direction, it not only says what we believe; it lets us in on what we do not believe. The first article of the Creed, my last column, says Christians believe in one God and this one God is the Father who made both heaven and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Man From Kempis

As a matter of fact, he was actually the man from Kempen, but the author of the world’s most cherished Christian devotional would not have cared whether we knew the details of his life. Instead, Thomas à Kempis made it his chief endeavor to direct all attention to Christ. The constant theme of . . . . Continue Reading »

An Imposition of Ashes

Just lately from the forest and after a short time on the savannah, humanity acquired a sense of self. We awakened one morning, so it seems, and if we did not know who we were we at least knew we were not like the animals. We knew we died and the animals did not. We possessed an interior . . . . 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 »

George Herbert in Lent

The Anglican pastor and poet George Herbert died of tuberculosis on March 1, 1633, just one month shy of his fortieth birthday. Like his famous contemporary and friend John Donne and his nineteenth-century American echo Emily Dickinson, Herbert did not publish his poems during his lifetime. From . . . . Continue Reading »

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