Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy,by Frederica Mathewes-Green (Harper San Francisco, 224 pp.; $20,hardcover). Reviewed by John Wilson.

In "Welcome to the Next Church," a widely discussed cover story in theAtlantic Monthly (August 1996), Charles Trueheart reports on a "distinctlyAmerican reformation of church life, one that transcends denominations,"though it is largely a Protestant phenomenon. In churches across the country,Trueheart writes, "Centuries of European tradition and Christian habit aredeliberately being abandoned, clearing the way for new, contemporary formsof worship."

Yet even as tens of thousands are flocking to the Next Church, a modestcountermovement is under way: what might be called the Rediscovery of Tradition.It too grows out of dissatisfaction with the status quo in mainline andevangelical Protestantism, but instead of prescribing a radical dismantlingof tradition it invites a recovery of lost riches.

In February 1993, Fr. Gregory Mathewes-Green, for 15 years an Episcopal priest,led the first service of Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Mission of Catonsville,Maryland, just outside Baltimore. His congregation consisted of his wife,Frederica, their three children, and a handful of other converts from theirEpiscopal parish who joined them in the move into the unfamiliar world ofEastern Orthodoxy. Two years later, in February 1995, Frederica Mathewes-Green(writer, columnist, npr commentator, and a frequent contributor toCHRISTIANITY TODAY) began keeping thejournal that became this book. Here, following the Orthodox liturgical calendar,she chronicled a year in the life of Holy Cross Mission and, along the way,reflected on the surprising works of grace that brought her and her husband(Gary ...

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