Nicholas Denysenko serves as Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair at Valparaiso University. He previously taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles (2010-2017). Denysenko is a graduate of the University of Minnesota (B.S. in Business, 1994), St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2000), and The Catholic University of America (Ph.D., 2008). His most recent books are The People’s Faith: The Liturgy of the Faithful in Orthodoxy (Rowman and Littlefield), and The Orthodox Church in Ukraine: A Century of Separation (Northern Illinois University Press). He is a deacon of the Orthodox Church in America, ordained in 2003.

January 7: A Convergence of Feasts

Liturgy was preceded by a few carols, the choir usually sang well, and after liturgy, the choir would gather at the rectory for two hours of caroling and festive foods prepared by my grandmother and mother. We agreed that “Ukrainian” Christmas was the “religious” observance of the holiday.

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Liturgical Sharing, Catholic/Orthodox

Recently, an ordained friend who shepherds an Orthodox parish in the Upper Midwest wrote to ask me and some other friends for our opinions on concelebrating an “Akathist” (a non-Eucharistic prayer service consisting mostly of elaborate hymnography devoted to the Mother of God or a saint with elements from the Byzantine Liturgy of the Hours) with a Roman Catholic priest and parishioners from his church.

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Liturgical Reform, Human and Divine

The challenges confronting the contemporary Church are well-known. Scandals, war, poverty, poor leadership, and the growing phenomenon of addiction challenge pastors in every corner of the globe. The time for responding with creativity is at hand: implementation of liturgical reform has the capacity to form Christians who can remain faithful as they negotiate these times of troubles.

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