“What do you want?” vs. “Who are you?” (With a nod to Straczynski’s Babylon 5)

“What do you want?” vs. “Who are you?” (With a nod to Straczynski’s Babylon 5)

It is common for us to lament the commercialization of Christmas, complaining that we have lost the “reason for the season.”  I think this is true.  Many of the parishioners where I serve are thankful that our parish is on the “Old Calendar” so that they can separate “Nativity-as-worship” (celebrated...

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Journey to Bethlehem, Part 1

Journey to Bethlehem, Part 1

About seven hundred years ago, St. Andrei Rublev or one of his disciples painted perhaps the most memorable and beautiful icon of the Nativity of Christ. The 14th century icon is warped and cracked, but is in remarkable shape despite its age and history.  It tells us, in earthen pigments bound to...

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December 6: Saint Nicholas Traditions

December 6: Saint Nicholas Traditions

During the Advent period, a great saint of the Church is celebrated – Saint Nicholas. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, and he is commemorated on 6th December (19th December, Old Calendar). He is also the patron saint of Greece, and the patron saint for students, merchants, pawnbrokers,...

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Nativity Fast: Pettuli – Greek

Nativity Fast: Pettuli – Greek

From the region of Taranto, Greece, these golden fried pieces of dough are traditionally eaten during the fasting-Christmas period. The folklore is they were given by the infant Christ to the poor – this tale acts as a “prequel” to Christ’s adult miracle of the five loaves. It represents Christ...

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