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A Working Man's Apocrypha conveys the joys and misfortunes of characters tested by trauma or loss, who regularly find unexpected opportunities for survival. Nature has gone mad in stories like "Yesterday After the Storm," wherein a tornado whirls away a man's wife and daughter, Big and Little Lilly, and all hell breaks loose when they return midway into his ensuing love affair with Little Lilly's former schoolteacher.

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Odd and ominous windfalls remain in the wake of a malevolent storm, and survivors are left to puzzle out what they mean to their lives. Flood waters cover all but the tops of the California Coast Range in "Rain. Some build makeshift arks, anticipating the world's watery end, hoping to follow "The Messenger" to some new Ararat. After her diabetic handyman's suicide in the collection's title story, "A Working Man's Apocrypha," Louise finds John Sylvio's haunting, nearly illiterate diary which documents his unrequited love for her, and she is ambushed by love and loss.

A son reconciles with his disapproving father who is fading into Alzheimer's in "To The Death. Twins Holly and Howard are surprised by the demise of their childhood intimacy in "The Sexual Revolution," after adolescent hormones kick in and they can no longer read each others' thoughts. Common to all of these tales is a sense of something longed for This is writing at its best! His work tracks beneath the glamour and the grit of his characters' lives to arrive at fresh destinations of perception.

You are gripped by the searing journey through human minds and hearts. Read more Read less. Discover Prime Book Box for Kids. Learn more. From Publishers Weekly Natural disasters, difficult adolescences and morality tales make up Luvaas's first collection of stories after two novels. Read more. Tell the Publisher! I'd like to read this book on Kindle Don't have a Kindle? Chance to win daily prizes.

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Get ready for Prime Day with the Amazon App. No purchase necessary. Get started. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Showing of 4 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Hardcover. This is my spoken introduction to the event William Luvaas has an ability to present facts about characters that in lesser hands would come across as mere quirks, but within "A Working Man's Apocrypha," provide us with telling insight into each one. All the characters, no matter how briefly they appear within contribute something essential to the story, and Bill paints them fully, using vibrant, tactile, details, filling our senses in ways that most writers do not in the relatively smaller environs of the short story.

All over AWMA, Bill makes the natural world as much of a character as the people within; in "Original Sin" it's "Fog creeping up along empty streets, ambushing buildings In "The Woman Who Was Allergic to Herself, it's "the wind was brutal this morning It decapitated waves and sent them skittering, throwing white spume in the air and leaves down in a steady rain And he truly gets how profoundly connected people can be, how one's emotions are tied inextricably to their intimates, whether lovers, friends or family, how people joust, banter, joke and tease, pushing and pulling, claiming their space.

In "The Sexual Revolution," he writes of twins, who share a preternaturally unusual bond, even for twins, Bill writes "How and Hol were like taut piano wires side by side; a vibration begun in one invariably translated to the other. Just know that the language never takes you further out, away from the heart of the story. It always-always--draws you further in. Especially in the two stories that to me make up the heart of the collection, "The Woman Who Was Allergic to Herself" and the towering and devastating title story, and frankly in all the stories , Bill is determined to grant each character their full humanity, their full dignity, even when their circumstances would make most of us turn away.

And the joy in much of AWMA is watching each character gauge and reckon their own reactions; tentatively coming closer, pulling away, questioning their own motives, and finally, in most of the cases, making the inevitable, yet invariably brave step, to recognizing something of themselves in everyone, good and bad.

Biblical Literature: Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha |

And conversely, in so many of the stories, our main characters are returned a piece of themselves in startling and stunning ways, sometimes even with a hammer upside the head , finally seeing things through new eyes, as we see them fresh and vivid in these brilliant, funny, heart-breaking stories Among my joys in picking up a short story is to easily sample a writer's creativity, depth of expression, sensitivity, and ability or not to quickly draw me into the personalities, experience, and environment of the participants. A writer who immediately captures me, as a great short story can do, in few words, grabs me by the arm and compels me to read more.

I'm promptly hooked. Bill Luvaas' Apocrypha collection did just that, leaving me amazed, sometimes laughing, sometimes stunned, and often deeply touched. The people and situations he describes, in his witty and sometimes outlandish ways how does he imagine this stuff? The title story is without a doubt the best short story I've ever read.

The unspoken longtime love of the simple, deeply caring, and dying handyman is expressed, touchingly and subtly, through his barely literate, detailed instructions for his eventual replacement. The older woman he lives to serve - with his time and his heart - equally cherishes their quiet intimacy and his constant presence on her land.

It's a deeply moving tale from beginning to end and the highlight of a book full of surprises. The biblically prescribed rhythm of days, weeks, months, and years gave order to the lives of the people. The Bible became familiar to old and young by being read aloud in the synagogue, and no part of worship was esteemed more highly than the reading of scripture. The Torah , the first five books of the Bible, is handwritten on a scroll.

Viewed as the holiest object in the synagogue, it is kept in a sacred cabinet called the ark. Special prayers and ceremonies accompany its being taken out and replaced in the ark, and during the course of the year it is read in its entirety at the sabbath services. Torah portions are also read on the religious holidays.

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A reading from the Prophets, called the Haftarah, follows each Torah reading. Psalms are said or sung in every service. The first Christians were Jews, and they worshipped along with other Jews in the synagogue. The earliest Gentile converts also attended the synagogue. When Christians met outside the synagogue, they still used its liturgy, read its Bible, and preserved the main characteristics of synagogue worship.

Thus, the church was never without traditional forms of worship.

Lilith: The First Woman? (Biblical Stories Explained)

For more than years Christians had no authorized New Testament, the Old Testament being read, as had been done previously, in the worship service. By the middle of the 2nd century, however, Christian writings also were in the Sunday service. The Old Testament, the version used most generally in its Greek translation the Septuagint , was the Bible from which the Gospel was preached. Its reading preceded that of the Christian writings, and the reading was far more extensive than it is in modern Christian churches.

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As the liturgies grew longer and more elaborate, the biblical readings were reduced, and the New Testament gradually displaced the Old Testament. No Old Testament lesson remained in the Greek or Russian liturgy or in the Roman mass, though it has been reintroduced in the 20th century in most liturgies. All liturgies have at least two readings from the New Testament: one from a letter or other non-Gospel New Testament writing, and one from a Gospel, in that order.

The Eastern liturgies all honour the Gospel with a procession called the Little Entrance. This action is accompanied by hymns and prayers that interpret the Gospel as the coming of Christ to redeem the world. The Eastern liturgies, especially after the great theological controversies of the first four centuries, have favoured composed texts of prayers, hymns, and choral anthems that summarize the thought of many biblical passages, thus becoming short sermons or confessions of faith. The Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox churches contains many such composed texts, such as prayers that proclaim Orthodox theology e.

Psalms are sung extensively at the daily hours of prayer in the East as in the West. At the beginning of the Sunday service, entire psalms or more than one psalm are sometimes sung. More often, however, a psalm verse or two are combined with other material into a composite text of a hymn or anthem. A mosaic of selected psalm verses may be used either as a text for music or a spoken prayer. In addition to such biblically based psalms and other hymns, there are the famous Cherubic Hymn of the Greek and Russian liturgies and the original texts of hymns that have become well known in the Western churches— e.

Liturgical worship in both Judaism and Christianity is an action that moves within the framework of biblical ideas and explains itself in biblical language. Preoccupied with really different views from opposite windows, Jews and Christians have often overlooked the common heritage that they share.

This has likewise been true of the differences between Eastern and Western Christians. At Rome, the liturgy was sung and said in Greek until the 4th century and was probably more like the liturgy of Syria at that time than that of Rome after the 16th century. The Latin rite developed many distinctive features, but what happened in Rome happened also to some extent in the East.

The biblical readings at mass were reduced to two: the first reading, formally called the Epistle, was usually from an apostolic letter but sometimes from the Acts of the Apostles or even the Old Testament, and the second was a Gospel passage selected as appropriate for that particular day in the Church Year. The West, like the East, retained the Jewish week and developed a yearly cycle of Easter—Pentecost and Christmas—Epiphany celebrations with appropriate biblical selections.

The development of the Church Year became so elaborate in the West, however, that the Roman calendar provided for every day in the year. In the West as in the East, monastic and other religious communities observed the daily hours of prayer, in which there was little Bible reading as such but a great deal of corporate praying as well as the reading or singing of psalms. The mass is an abbreviation of a much longer liturgy. Many items are mere vestiges of more elaborate actions or texts.

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  7. The same has occurred in other parts of the mass. Psalms were once interspersed among the readings of scripture.


    The traditional gradual was a formalized text sung between the Epistle and Gospel, but in the reformed mass it becomes a responsorial psalm between the first and second readings. The short texts at the Offertory offering of the bread and wine and Communion are fragments in biblical language, but they are also masterpieces of the Latin genius for brevity , clarity, and order—as are the inimitable Latin collects prayers , each basing its definite petition on an equally definite biblical revelation.

    For centuries the mass was heard only in Latin and repeated the same readings on the same days every year, with the result that only a limited number of unconnected passages were heard in church.

    The second Vatican Council —65 approved the plan of having a three-year cycle of biblical readings, providing an Old Testament lesson for every mass, a more nearly continuous reading from one of the Gospels each year, and a reading from one of the letters or other New Testament books over a period of weeks. Among Anglicans, what was said of the Bible in the Roman Catholic liturgy would generally apply. It would also apply to most Lutherans in the 20th century, but not to all Lutherans. On the other hand, there have been and are Protestants who claim or tacitly assume that nothing but the Bible should be used in worship.

    The use of the Bible in Protestant liturgy lies between these extremes. In the 16th century, the New Testament was appealed to as a guide for reforming the worship as well as the doctrine of the time. Because the worship reflected in the New Testament is synagogue worship, Protestant worship of the less liturgical kind became, in many respects, a return to synagogue worship. Protestants separated the two services instructional and Eucharistic that had been joined together in the historic liturgy of Christendom.

    The Protestant Sunday service is the Liturgy of the Learners, a new revision of the synagogue liturgy.