Beginning Again

The Sacred and the Profane, by Mircea Eliade, was the first book assigned in Religion 101, my first course at Williams College. I remember that in the opening chapters, Eliade writes about New Year rituals, celebrated by “religious man,” in which the cosmos was recreated and time began again. “Since the New Year is a … read more

Advent Meditations: Tuesday, December 25

Christmas Day Psalm 66, 67, 116, 117  •  Isaiah 11:10–16  •  Luke 1:5–25 A stable lamp is lighted whose glow shall wake the sky; the stars shall bend their voices, and every stone shall cry. And every stone shall cry, and straw like gold shall shine; a barn shall harbour heaven, a stall become a […]

My Body, Body of Jesus

  The vivid passion story in the gospel of Mark is essential to the meaning of the gospel and is likely the first part of Mark’s story to be told orally and later to be written down. The story of Jesus’ passion is the earth from which the rest of the gospel grew. It’s a […]

Advent Meditations- Monday, December 25

<<Return to Advent Meditations page Psalm 2, 85; 110:1-5(6-7), 132; Micah 4:1-5; 5:2-4; 1 John 4:7-16; John 3:31-36 “And Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” –Luke 2:19 As Advent comes to a close with the birth of Jesus, I think about the event when Word becomes flesh through the eyes […]

Total Eclipse

  Early in the morning of Monday, August 21st, I could have been getting out of a sleeping bag in Grand Teton National park primed to witness a rare total eclipse of the sun. Instead I was fortunate enough to gather for the first Monday Eucharist and assembly at the opening of the 2017-18 academic […]

SHQ in the Holy Land: Layers

  Who needs a smart classroom in the holiness of the Cathedral chapel? Jane unwinds the soft translucent scarf from her throat, opens it wide, and folds it three times – to depict the layers of interpretation: exodus,exile, hope and restoration. Rachel weeps for her children, laments for the infants slaughtered by Herod, and we […]

We grieve, suffer, and rejoice. In sequence and all at once.

It’s not a topic of conversation at my early morning workout at Dane’s Body Shop, and there’s little mention made on the cable TV news at 8 in the evening, but I’m all focused on preparation for the Easter Triduum observance at Christ Chapel this week. Seminary students and sacristans, faculty and staff are gathering […]


Psalms 2, 85; Zechariah 2:10-13; John 3: 31-36   Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer: The Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Advent Meditation   “I think Joseph has lost his head,” she confided to me with a suppressed twinkle, when I visited Emmanuel Church in Massachusetts this summer. We hadn’t visited for […]

Why Do (at Least Some) People Need to Go to Church?

I think it’s a very hard question, and it is provoked by a moment in Diana Butler Bass’s book Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution. Bass describes a time in her childhood after moving to the country when she begins to experience dirt as something to be investigated and not avoided: […]

Seven Demons

At the feast of Mary Magdalene at Christ Chapel this Easter season I wrestled once again with how to portray and proclaim Mary of Magdala, apostle to the apostles, amid the multiple conflicting portraits of her in the early church and contemporary culture.  Witness to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, Mary is commissioned […]