Reposting — Holy Week: Entering into Grief

As we move deeper into Holy Week, I’m reminded again that we are on a journey into grief, through which we will come to joy. Every year, I think about the funerals I’ve attended and the loved ones I’ve grieved as we march with Christ toward His crucifixion and resurrection. I wrote about this last year, and am thinking about it again this year… Within a week of the day my son…

Harrowing of Hades: Holy Friday Retreat

As Holy Week intensifies, I am finally finishing my notes for teachers for our parish’s Holy Friday Retreat. Every year, families take Holy Friday off work or school and gather for the various services of the day (Royal Hours, The Descent from the Cross, The Lamentations Service, etc.) and in between, we spend time together as a parish, decorating Christ’s tomb and cleaning the church, and enjoying an educational retreat at 1pm. We…

Calling Writers, Podcasters, and those who sometimes think about it…

In case any of you sometimes think about getting started writing or podcasting on Orthodox topics, I thought I’d let you know about an upcoming conference that might really help you get started. I’ve attended both of the previous Ancient Faith Writers & Podcasters Conferences (we call them AFCon for fun), and this year’s conference promises to be as good or — if I could even imagine it — even better. Every…

Holy Friday Retreat Planning: Harrowing Hades

  Every year, our parish hosts a Holy Friday Retreat. The kids join us throughout all of the various services of the day (Royal Hours, The Descent from the Cross, The Lamentations Service, etc.) and in between, we spend time together as a parish, decorating Christ’s tomb and cleaning the church. The day is, for the most part, a beautiful multi-generational event. The kids work alongside adults of every age, and we…

Tending the Garden’s Special Guests

We are midway through Great Lent! If your family’s experience of Great Lent needs some reinvigorating, we have a special treat over at Tending the Garden of our Hearts! Every week, in addition to our daily meditations (printable and recorded on our AFR podcast) we offer ideas for activities and crafts designed to enrich your family’s experience of the fast. This week, our special guests, Natalie and Despina from OrthodoxPebbles.com have created…

Review: Everything Tells Us About God

If you’re looking for a Pascha gift for your children, grandchildren and godchildren, Katherine Bolger Hyde has written yet another profoundly beautiful children’s book and I heartily recommend that you consider it. Everything Tells Us About God is very special and sure to become a beloved favorite in many households. Katherine walks her reader through the world, noting that every piece of God’s wonderful creation speaks to us of its Creator. This is…