How Many Days is Orthodox Christmas? (UPDATED for 2016)

Well, Christmas is almost here (on the New Calendar, anyway), so we’re planning out how many days of ham we’re going to be eating, right? Or perhaps it’s several days of turkey leftovers. You’ve got to be able to cover every day of Christmas so that we’re not just singing Christmas but also eating it for the whole festal period. But we have a…

O Dark Dark Dark

Today being the winter solstice, the shortest day here in the northern hemisphere, I thought I would point to this bit from T. S. Eliot that I always think of on this day: O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, The generous patrons of…

What Do I Want for Christmas This Year?

It’s a question we get asked a lot, and it’s a question that gets harder to answer as I get older. I have an Amazon wishlist, of course. But, really, I do know what would make me feel like it was a really good Christmas. I know exactly what I want. I’m afraid it’s a long list. Here’s what I want: I want for…

Jesus Is Not Part of the Christmas Story

Sunday before the Nativity, December 18, 2016 Hebrews 11:9-10, 32-40; Matthew 1:1-15 V. Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, one God. Amen. We are now one week away from celebrating a great mystery of the Christian faith—the birth of the God-man Jesus Christ into this world. Yet as we approach…

I Can’t Always Fix the Broken, But I Can Do This

From today’s epistle reading: For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (I Timothy 4:4-5) In our zealousness to be righteous or pure, we can be tempted to forget this basic truth, a truth that everything God created is fundamentally good. It…