On this Easter morning, a memory and a story of finding God not in the four walls of a church but by reclaiming awe in the woods of rural Minnesota. Listen to this audio short by Craig Minowa of the orchestral indie rock collective Cloud Cult and his reverence for the ritual of Easter morning.
This year, Easter falls a week before the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. As we draw nearer to both, a writer revisits her family’s story of the night Dr. King was killed, forty-eight years ago.
Life is a long haul, and wisdom is knowing when to surge forth, and when to pause. Reflections on the value of spending time in spaces of uncertainty and pain before charging courageously ahead.
As Christians enter Holy Week, a reflection on the drama of the Easter story through poetry, music, and history. Theatrical, disturbing, cathartic, and deeply necessary, the Christian encounter with the crucifixion is a reckoning with the violence of our era. And yet in resurrection there is hope and embrace.
Points of beauty and perspective to mark the holy week, including a stirring rendition of Blake's "Jerusalem," a favorite essay on the woman at the heart of Easter Sunday, musings on yoga spirituality for atheists, the opposite of shame, the need for gentleness, the insights of dependence, and the adventure of being born baffled.
This week held many surprises, including a lovely take on the story of Mary Magdalene, our first live event in our new studios, a scene from the Boston Public Library, and chopping wood with, yes, a Finnish axe.
What in our lives can be unraveled? A poem and a reflection on the raising of Lazarus and the miracle after the miracle of the Easter story.
Religious traditions take many forms in the U.S. For a Nigerian immigrant's daughter, it's creamy frejon that's the Easter week delicacy.
During these days sacred to both Christians and Jews, a reflection on making space for recreating staid narratives and the new ones we all write together.
The eleventh and final song to round out our Easter Sunday soundtrack for this year's Pascha won't leave your head. It's a chant by The Monastic Choir of the Valaam Monastery called "The Great Doxology." To those Orthodox Christians, Happy Pascha!
Number ten in our Orthodox Easter Sunday soundtrack is "Seven Magnificat Antiphons/O Weishit" — composed by Arvo Pärt. This track comes to you from the On Being playlist for "Restoring the Senses: Gardening and Orthodox Easter" with Vigen Guroian. It's exquisite.
The ninth song in our Orthodox Easter Sunday soundtrack comes from the Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia, "The Healing Bird." This track comes to you from the On Being playlist for "Restoring the Senses: Gardening and Orthodox Easter" with Vigen Guroian. Happy Pascha!
Continuing our string of sacred choral music songs of Armenia, a prayer to the patriarch titled “Hayrapetakan Maghan.” This track comes to you from the On Being playlist for “Restoring the Senses: Gardening and Orthodox Easter” with Vigen Guroian. Happy Pascha!
The seventh song in our Orthodox Easter Sunday soundtrack, a chant of crucifixion, is part of the sacred choral music tradition of Armenia: "Our Es Myer Im" meaning"Where are you, my mother." This track comes to you from the On Being playlist for "Restoring the Senses: Gardening and Orthodox Easter" with Vigen Guroian. Happy Pascha!
Number five in our Orthodox Easter Sunday soundtrack is ”Otche Nash (Our Father)” by the Russian composer of liturgical music Nikolai Kedrov, Sr.
For the first song in our Orthodox Easter Sunday soundtrack, "Alleluia, Behold the Bridegroom" by the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir.
An Orthodox theologian sees crosses in the bloom of a bloodroot.
A thoughtful guest essay on Easter not just being about Jesus' resurrection but Mary Magdalene too. Take three minutes to listen and read.
The end of Easter in Prague, Czech Republic. (photo: Leonardo Sagnotti/Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0)
In the Czech Republic, a tradition of spanking or whipping women is carried out on Easter Monday. On Easter Monday morning, it is customary for girls and women to stay at home while the boys and men, usually dressed in nicer clothing and sometimes even in kroj — traditional costume — go door to door of female relatives and/or friends, bringing greetings, singing Easter carols, demanding the right to spank the women with a special handmade whip called a pomlázka and/or splash them with cold water or perfume for good luck and fertility, and demanding “treats” (eggs, chocolate, liquor, or a peck on the cheek) as their reward.
A sign hangs on the wall of a Taizé community in Burgundy, France. (photo: forteller/Flickr, cc by-nc-sa 2.0)
It is Easter week. This week, we remember the events from Thursday’s meal to Friday’s torture to Saturday’s silence and Sunday’s mystery.
Years ago, 13 years ago in fact, I fell apart. I was 22 and I had already been sick for a year. It had started with a bad flu that had never gone away. After 12 months, I was bewildered and dizzy and achy, confused with a fatigue and an illness that would take a further five years to diagnose and a total of nine years to recover from.