Gravity and prayers for those who travel by space

In Eastern Orthodox services, we regularly say prayers for those who travel “by land, by sea and by air.” I have often wondered if that prayer will ever be amended to include those who travel through space. I mean, if the prayer is as ancient as I think it is, then it has already been amended once before, to include those who travel by air, so it could easily be amended again, right?

In any case, I thought of that prayer while watching Gravity the other day — and not just because it’s a fairly realistic movie, set somewhat vaguely in the world of present-day space travel. (The Hubble telescope and the International Space Station are both in operation today, but the space shuttle program was mothballed two years ago — after Gravity had already gone into production — while the Chinese space station won’t be built for another few years at least.)

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Review: Enemy at the Gates (dir. Jean-Jacques Annaud, 2001)

enemyatthegatesThese days, war movies waste no time plunging the viewer into the miserable, savage, bloody midst of combat, and Enemy at the Gates is no exception. The grime splashed on the lens, the stark and chaotic cinematography, the way the sounds of battle are toned down so we can take in the sorrowful music and pause to wonder why people do these things to each other — all the tricks that seemed so innovative in Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator are by now a familiar part of our film grammar, and they are all present and accounted for in Enemy at the Gates.

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