Friday, January 17, 2014

Singing Hymns in the Theater at Epidaurus

I returned back from the travel course in Greece this past Saturday, only to launch into a wonderfully hectic first week of classes at the seminary. Whew! I finally have a chance now to catch my breath. I said that I was going to continue my discussion on competitive acculturation in ancient philosophy (and I will!), but the Greece trip was just too fantastic for me not to digress with some anecdotes. I'm not sure who is reading this blog (since I only have 3 subscribers) but thinking that at least some of my students might find themselves on this page, I going to make a shameless plug for any future participants: you must go on this trip!
   One highlight: when we were visiting the Greek amphitheater in Epidaurus, the tour guide (thanks Voula!) invited members of our party to sing at one of three designated spots to check out the amazing acoustics of the orchestra circle. One sister sang "Amazing Grace," one brother sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," and an international student (Swedish Brazilian) sang another hymn "How Great Thou Art" in her own native tongue. All three were outstanding singers and we were truly blessed by both the sound of worship and the sight of this ancient stage. 

Note: Epidaurus has one of the most well-preserved amphitheaters. The full circle for the orchestra and stage signals that the theater is a Greek-styled amphitheater (vs. a half-circle which signals a Roman theater). Since this was a winter trip (vs. the crowded summers), there were no other people and we had the amphitheater to ourselves. Our group consisted of 19 North Park students, faculty and alumni, our Greek hosts, and 16 other international participants from the IFFEC schools representing the countries of Sweden, Norway, the Czech republic, Slovakia, Germany, and China. More about Greece in future posts!


  1. Hi Max! I am glad I found this! Good insights! I will subscribe now!
    (Note: Actually the song the brother sang was "Great is Thy Faithfulness". --it still rings in my ears, as it came on the heels of Wednesday mishaps!)

  2. (...and the other hymn was "How Great Thou Art")

  3. Whoops! Thanks for the corrective! I'll edit my post. May be it was wishful thinking because I like "The Old Rugged Cross" so much and Courtney is a fantastic singer. :)

    1. Courtney is indeed a fantastic singer! Those old hymns can touch deep in our hearts!