The Journals of Alexandar Schmemann (1973-1983)

A number of years have passed since Fr Alexander Schmemann’s untimely death on December 13, 1983 at the age of sixty-three. Fr Schmemann was known for his many-faceted and eloquent gifts as preacher, professor and priest. His insight into contemporary culture, church life and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on generations of Christians. These…

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A number of years have passed since Fr Alexander Schmemann’s untimely death on December 13, 1983 at the age of sixty-three. Fr Schmemann was known for his many-faceted and eloquent gifts as preacher, professor and priest. His insight into contemporary culture, church life and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on generations of Christians. These journals offer insight into the quiet, intimate side of his life. They witness the magnitude of his heart, his absolute humanity. Translated and edited by his wife, the abridged journals reveal his recollections and experiences and record his formative creative thought on all manner of subjects. Fr Schmemann writes, ‘The meaning of this journal is not so much a desire to record events, but a kind of visit into myself.’ They record, often with brutal honesty, his impatience and frustration with himself and events, but above all, his liberation and freedom ‘in Christ and His Church.’ We see a life replete with the effort to call people to live ‘higher and more openly,’ to become restored human beings. His love of God, deep faith and reverent love of family serve as an endless wellspring shaping his person. Reading these journals we are inspired, enlivened and renewed.

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Alexandar Schmemann

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