Worship in beauty and truth

There is nothing to me more beautiful than the Orthodox liturgy. Here is an example from the Cathedral of St. Panteleimon the Great Martyr in Abkhazia, which sits on the eastern side of the Black Sea. The service is compressed down to 10 minutes here to give viewers a taste of things.I can't understand a whit of it, but I'm told the chanting is in both Abkhaz and Russian. Simultaneously arresting and soothing, it has the ability to transport -- and you don't need Rosetta Stone to get … [Read more...]

Enriched by ritual

I run into people from time to time who are very skeptical of religious ritual, things like liturgy or hourly prayers, practices like fasting or crossing yourself. If we discuss it, they usually tell me that they think it's deadening, that their spirituality is vital and free and that ritual would stifle things.I think I understand the resistance. Some come from families that just seemed to cycle through the motions at church. Some of those families were very serious and consistent, others … [Read more...]