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Christingle

The power-cut candle’s wobbly precisionushers the church hall back into vision.We assembled them on a mess table:first you gouged out a hollow in the middle,then wound a crêpe strip around. Then four sticksof raisins—the wealth of heaven, finger-pricks—and the candle planted in its . . . . Continue Reading »

Notes on Summer Camp

The buildings at Green Cove consist of a main lodge, an infirmary, and a variety of cabins arranged in “lines” according to the ages of the girls who ­inhabit them. Most of the camp’s structures were built in the 1940s and have changed little since then. The cabins have concrete floors, . . . . Continue Reading »

Pro-Life Liturgy

An icon of the Annunciation appears on the central altar doors of every Orthodox Christian church. The “royal doors” are double doors, so the icon is a diptych, with Gabriel on the left and Mary on the right. As a young child, I found the movement of this icon mesmerizing as the doors opened and . . . . Continue Reading »

“Heaven and Everything Else”

I first read Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man less than twenty years after its publication. It was already a classic among readers who cherished the few works of Jewish thought written in artful, eloquent English for a literate audience. Heschel summoned . . . . Continue Reading »

Rights in Common

The dazzling efficiency with which corporate America exchanges its turkeys and pumpkins for snowmen and reindeer each year confirms that our society is fully post-Christian. The occasional earnest performance of “O Holy Night” is a rule-proving exception. For the most part, endless ranks of . . . . Continue Reading »

No Patrimony

The age-old distinction between schoolchildren and university students is fast losing its meaning. On many campuses, the infantilization of university students has become institutionalized. College administrators treat students as if they were biologically mature children rather than young men and . . . . Continue Reading »

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