The Christianity of the Ascension: Our Potential in Christ

Sunday after Ascension, May 24, 2015 Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. From middle school all the way through high school, if you could chart a single theme in the comments that teachers would make to my parents, whether in parent-teacher conferences, report cards, or notes sent…

Making Some Noise: Anticipating Holy Saturday and the Harrowing of Hell

So, who’s ready for Holy Week? When I first learned of the practice of making noise during the “Arise, O God” of Holy Saturday (which is in imitation of the uproar of hell as Christ enters into it and destroys the power of death), I thought, “This is awesome!” And then I thought, “How would you ever introduce such a practice into a parish?”…

No, Pascha does not have to be after Passover (and other Orthodox urban legends)

Right around this time of year, various articles and images begin circulating, giving explanations as to why the Orthodox Pascha (Easter) celebration is usually a week or more after the Western Easter. Most will mention something about the Julian calendar and how its spring equinox is different from the one on the Gregorian calendar. The traditional formula for the date of Pascha (the Paschalion)…

“Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb”: John Donne on the Annunciation

Students of Renaissance English poetry all get to know John Donne, that 16th/17th century priest and poet who vacillated painfully between whether to remain with the Church of England or to be a Catholic. He also vacillated between a life of devotion and the passions which afflict us all since the Fall. And his poetry reflects all this struggle. To my mind, perhaps his…

Ego Patricius peccator rusticissimus

My name is Patrick. I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. This photo was taken in the summer of 2001 during a nearly month-long pilgrimage I took to Great Britain and Ireland. It was a dreary day in Downpatrick (and the photo was taken with real film! remember that stuff?), the place where St. Patrick returned to…