This erudite New Yorker contributor journeys to the Holy Land at Christmas time and to Mt. Athos in Greece for Holy Week. He observes every liturgical detail of the various celebrations, fierce rivalry among the sects, the ""tawny"" countryside, the ""ostle and chat"". A lack of devotional calm in Jerusalem contrasts with the sweet peace a monastic peninsula in Greece. The movie terrain contains frightening feudalism, yet olly monks sing ""Yes, We Have No Bananas"" and ""God Bless America"". Rand finds an oiding fear of Latin (vs. Eastern) ecclesiastical strength, an appreciation for Pope John XXIII's efforts to bring churches together again. He picks contemporary stepping ones back across centuries to recapture the feeling of Christ's life and times. The pilgrimage leaves the reader with an oppressive sense of history retarded, but seasonal interest should sell it. A smooth, dispassionate style counteracts ecclesiolatry.