St. Xenia the matchmaker

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Today is the saint's day of St. Xenia of Petersburg, who has started to become one of my favorite saints. I love the idea of the 18th century "homeless" lady who used to go around this major city dressed in the military jacket of her late husband, insisting on being called by his name. Is it any wonder that people thought she was just crazy? But … [Read more...]

St. Seraphim’s conversation

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This is the feast day of St. Seraphim of Sarov, and my mind goes to the amazing narrative written down by Nikolay A. Motovilov, a disciple of St. Seraphim's. He had this encounter with the saint in the winter of 1831. It is one of the great gifts of these more recent saints that discussions like this can be preserved. I include it below for anyone … [Read more...]

Two carols to sing after Christmas

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Of the Christmas carols that I grew up with, there are two that really make more sense to sing after Christmas -- heck, one of them really can wait until September. Here's a little bit about them:  The Coventry Carol (Lully, Lullay) Ties in with: The Slaying of the Holy Innocents -- December 29 (December 26 in the West) The song: Sung by John … [Read more...]

Last minute gifts — the Orthodox edition

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It's three days to Christmas and I'm doing again. I'm second-guessing myself: Did I forget anybody? Don't I need just one more thing for this person? It's the annual game of Last Minute Gift Tag. And I'm trying to sew up these last ends from the comfort of my office chair, because the thought of going to a big box store kills all my holiday … [Read more...]

A pre-Feast hymn and a carol

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Have you noticed the subtle difference? On television, on the radio, on commercials, the great trumpets of Xmas and "the Season" are starting to grow fainter. In a checkout line, I realized that the Christmas music was being alternated with the everyday stuff, and some of the decorations have already begun to be changed out. So the "holiday … [Read more...]

A message of Pinterest

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Just a quick update. I have been posting more images on the Facebook page, and it occurred to me that there is probably an actual need to make up a Pinterest board for the blog. If you're not interested in social media, I understand. I think I've got a funny relationship with it myself -- Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter ... all those odd ducks. … [Read more...]