Military sacrifice and the bigger picture

Arlington cemetery 1

Working on an editorial cartoon for Memorial Day a few years ago, I came across this short video tribute by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation (EFF) to those who died in wartime, and was touched by the evocative images and footage. There's more division on this issue than we always care to admit. When the photos of … [Read more...]

St. George … minus the dragon

St George-cropped_credit Gilding Icons dot com

St. George the Trophy-bearer George the Great Martyr and Triumphant Holy-Glorious Hieromartyr George Today is his name-day, and another year for me to wonder to myself at the extreme popularity of this saint. You almost can't exaggerate how much he means to Orthodox people everywhere. Here's the quote from St. Andrew of Crete that greeted … [Read more...]

St. Kassiani: Hiding from His footsteps


You might have missed the Hymn of Kassiani near the end of the Bridegroom service tonight, but OrthodoxWiki calls  it one of the musical highlights of Holy Week That is in part because of the beauty of the poetry about the woman who anointed Christ's feet. But I think people have a lot of fondness for it because of the story behind the hymn. How … [Read more...]

Bring more evils upon them?

lightning striking at night

Do you ever do a double-take when you hear certain passages and hymns in church? From Monday to Thursday of Holy Week, we hear the special Alleluias which are slow and solemn. The verses chanted in between start out sounding like what you would expect -- "In the night season, my soul rises early unto Thee..." -- but turn towards condemnation, … [Read more...]

The liturgical today

Sunrise over earth

We heard it yesterday on Palm Sunday. We'll hear it again as Holy Week unfolds: Today. It shows up in songs, in readings. "Today, Christ entered Jerusalem ..." "Today, Christ's holy Passion draws near ..." "Today, Christ stands before Pilate ..."  I noticed it on Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday this year, because I had just read something in Fr. … [Read more...]

Dealing with our sinful condition

person alone on bench by lake-crop

Now begins the sad period, I suppose, when I will begin to start nearly every post with "I was listening to a podcast from Fr. Thomas Hopko, of blessed memory ..." But so it goes. I listened to his podcast called "Met. Anthony Bloom's Homily on the Cross" about a month ago, and then I listened to it again and again. I think I've listened to it five … [Read more...]