January 25, 2023

Hymns of Praise

Hymns of Praise
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For publication in New Times on the eve of Easter, April 13, 1886, Anton Chekhov wrote “Easter Eve.”

His brother Mikhail remembered their childhood in Taganrog: “We were not allowed to miss a single Saturday-night vigil or Sunday liturgy, which explains why Anton exhibited such a thorough knowledge of church services in his story ‘Easter Eve’ and others.”

Despite the physical abuse with which their father enforced their church and choral attendance and participation, Chekhov loved Easter and church bells. He respected respectable priests and monks. He knew the Bible, he appreciated unselfishness. He shed trappings that did not seem to him to have a moral or practical basis, and he wouldn’t lie and pretend to believe what he didn’t believe, but he was a model of someone ever striving toward moral behavior.

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