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on April 18, 2002
Fr. Alexander knows his triodion (i.e. the liturgical book of Great Lent and Easter in the orthodox church). I fully agree with my co-reviewers that his book is indispensable for people who want to deal with the orthodox practice of great lent. Fr. Alexander as a passionate liturgical theologist takes us by the hand and helps us exploring the beauty and richness of this most wonderful of all liturgical books of the eastern church. lent - the way the tridion tells about it - is less a "what to do when and how" it is a spiritual journey from the acknowlegment of how far from God we live our lives to the mystery of the risen Lord who reaches out to us.
When singing the triodion I often have the impression that this book an the journey it takes us to are a microcosmos of the christian religion. Fr. Alexander's unique gift is the way he manages to show us it's beauty and the hope that lies within it.
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on June 2, 1999
Father Alexander Schmemann, of blessed memory, the great Orthodox liturgical theologian, presents in this volume a series of brief yet spiritually incisive essays guiding the Orthodox believer through the season of Great Lent -- the period of prayer, fasting and alms-giving thaht precedes Pascha, the Orthodox Easter. Father Alexander explains the spiritual significance of the Lenten calendar, practices and special Lenten services, such as the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, in a fresh and thoughtful manner. This book is required reading for all Orthodox Christians on their Lenten journey.
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on March 21, 2003
This is the book you want to give your Protestant and Catholic friends. It will detail for them just what Lenten Liturgical Worship is? (page 86, 87) and Looking for the Spiritual behind the formal (page 88) What Lent is & how it works? (Page 88) Along with What Christian Fasting is and is not, How to fast and the different kinds of fasting? (Pages 97, 98, 99)
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on March 7, 2003
Fr. Alexander's exposition of the mindset of Lent is indispensable. He demonstrates clearly how Lent is more than following rules and giving up "the good stuff" until we can indulge oursleves at Pascha. Lent is, rather, a time to rediscover who we are and why we are here. I recommend any serious Christian reread this book every year when Lent approaches.
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on June 8, 2001
The appendix concerning the relationship between the Eucharist and Penance is the best part of the book. Fr. Alexander clearly explains the need for frequent Communion and the "modern" connections with Confession.
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