The unity of heaven and earth in worship

In Lifted by Angels I mention the Cherubikon, or "Cherubic Hymn," which is sung during the Orthodox liturgy as the priests and deacons process with the Eucharistic gifts. I found this version here particularly beautiful and thought I would share it: The frescoes in the video are from two 13th- and 14th-century Serbian monasteries. My friend Borko sent me the link. The hymn itself is very ancient and reflects realities captured in passages like Revelation 4 and Hebrews 12.22, the latter … [Read more...]

Worship in beauty and truth

video

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...]

Following Jesus in the Psalms

Christ Preaching at Capernaum

Jesus tells us to pick up our cross and follow him, and he makes a striking provision for us in the Psalms to do so. The Psalter—in its own way as much as the Gospels—sums up Christ’s life and work while also making that life and work something with which we can identify in a powerful way. … [Read more...]

Worshipping with the Psalms

Praise the Lord from Heaven

There’s a passage in Augustine’s Confessions that describes a holiday he took to Cassiciacum after quitting his job in Milan. On his break he wrote letters, suffered a horrendous toothache, and read the Psalms. “How loudly I cried out to you, my God, as I read the psalms of David,” he writes, “songs full of faith, outburst of devotion with no room in them for the breath of pride!” … [Read more...]

The Psalms in Christian life

Icon of the Psalmist, King David

The American patriot leader Joseph Warren was killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. Coming upon his bloodied and fallen body, a British soldier plucked a small psalter from his pocket. Warren had carried the little book into battle, a volume whose pages declare that God “maketh wars to cease unto the ends of the world: he breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear, and burneth the chariots with fire.” It is fitting that a soldier should carry such comforting lines -- those … [Read more...]


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