Surviving the Easter crush, 2013

There must a law, deep in the cosmic base code, that if parents dress their nine children in Easter white -- especially when the New England snow is melting -- at least one will fall into the mud."It was tough," said Simcha Fisher, describing this Easter's obstacle course, "but we survived all that and made it to Mass."This was not an ordinary Mass, of course. The Fishers -- with children ranging from 15 months to nearly 15 years -- were trying to get into the 11:15 a.m. rites on the day … [Read more...]

When is Christmas, anyway?

For those who follow Christian traditions, Christmas begins when the darkness of Christmas Eve yields to bright midnight candles and the Mass of the Angels or the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.The Christmas season then lasts 12 days, ending with Epiphany on Jan. 6.But things aren't that simple in modern America, the land of the free and the home of the malls. For millions of us, today's Christmas begins when "Feliz Navidad" beer ads start interrupting National … [Read more...]

Baptists face Christmas, present and future

This is the time of year when many pastors sit in their offices muttering, "It happened again."The Rev. Rick Lance knows all about that. He has long been one of the true believers who battle the waves of "Happy Holidays" messages that define one of their faith's holiest seasons as the civic tsunami between Halloween and the inevitable wrapping-paper wreckage on Christmas morning.The problem is that whining doesn't work. Thus, Lance has grown tired of preaching his all-to-familiar annual … [Read more...]

Quest for the common Easter

Motorists across America saw a strange sight this past Sunday morning if they stopped at a traffic signal near an Eastern Orthodox sanctuary and then, shortly thereafter, passed a Catholic parish.What they saw was worshippers singing hymns and waving palm fronds as they marched in Palm Sunday processions at these churches. Similar sights will be common during Holy Week rites this week and then on Easter Sunday.There is nothing unusual about various churches celebrating these holy days in … [Read more...]

Have yourself a megachurch Christmas

During the last five days before Christmas, at least 55,000 people were planning to attend the eight multi-media worship services at Willow Creek Community Church.The leaders of this famous megachurch outside Chicago can be precise about this number because that is how many people had, at mid-week, visited WillowCreek.org and claimed seats in the 7,200-seat auditorium. A few solo seats remained."We don't sell the tickets, of course," said spokesperson Cally Parkinson. "Most people really like … [Read more...]


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