I can blame it on fasting or the dizzying number of hours spent in church
this week, but it's really just due to Basic Oops. Three of 'em--
In my last message I referred to the Wednesday evening service by the wrong
title: I should have called it the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts. (My
hubby, who took his second master's degree in Liturgical Studies, caught me
on this one.)
Second, sharp-eyed readers who love the Prayer of St. Ephraim know well that
it should be "deliver me from faint-heartednesss," not "faith-heartedness."
Sheesh. The prayer goes:
<<O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my
brother: for Thou are blessed unto ages of ages.>>
Finally, a lot of you wrote to explain that my simplistic statement that
Orthodox Pascha is often later than Western Easter because we insist that it
come after Passover was...inadequate. Most people prefaced their response
with a statement like, "Now, this gets really, really complicated..." and
went on to explain how the date of Pascha is calculated, explanations that I
could comprehend and retain for several seconds at a time.
Take it from me. Pascha is later than Western Easter (this year, not till May
It's really, really complicated.
Check out the mp3's on the music page at our church website,
www.holycrossonline.org. Webmaster Ben Anderson recorded Emily Oren singing
the short kontakion "O My Soul Arise" during the Canon of St. Andrew the
other night, and it's heartbreakingly beautiful. From the main page, go to
Music Ministries, then Sounds from Great Lent. (Here's a shortcut:
http://220.127.116.11/MusicMinistries.html) Emily is a college student and a
writer too; she's often in Books & Culture, and had an essay in the
HarperCollins anthology, "Best Christian Writing 2000," when she was barely
Also from Music Ministries you can click on Sounds from the Liturgy, and if
you choose "Praise the Lord" (the "koinonikon" sung while the priest receives
communion) that's my son Stephen chanting the verses. Yay Steve!
Philo Watch: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle" is a
wonderful quote from the 1st century Jewish mystic-theologian, Philo, who
lived in Alexandria of Egypt. Warren Farha, proprietor of Eighth Day Books
(www.eighthdaybooks.com) put the quote on a bookmark, and since then it's
popped up everywhere--I keep it taped to my computer monitor. This week the
news-digest magazine "The Week" runs it in their Quotes column; they say they
found it on Salon.com.
Philo gets around. My New Testament professor at Virginia Episc Seminary in
Alexandria, VA, Reginald Fuller, named his little black dog Philo; after all,
they lived in Alexandria, and it sounded so much like "Fido."