Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Teaching the Eucharist to Children

I put together this lesson on the Eucharist with a little zine for our kids at church. I tried to make the book appropriate for a broad age range. It simply explains the Eucharist, with quotes from the services, and bubbles telling the children ways they can participate in the Liturgy, with an image to color on each page.

It prints on one page. Fold the paper in half, in half again and in half again, then cut  just the center vertical fold. Then you can fold it into a zine. More precise instructions are here. I love this easy zine template and make books for my kids frequently with it. 

Grab the png above or the pdf with teaching notes is embedded below. Print at actual size (not scale to fit).

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Many years, Mary!

As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia.

"It is the story of Christ, and it is the duty and joy of every Christian to know and teach this story. When children are baptized into this narrative, they become part of it. The stories of the patriarchs, the judges, the kings, the prophets, the apostles, the saints who followed them, and of Christ Himself, become their stories." - source

"Every child knows when it is loved; every child responds to affection and tenderness. An infant may not be able to articulate any of that in a rational, conscious way, but that doesn’t mean that the child has no understanding of life’s most important intimacies. And if all infants, at some level, comprehend and react to human love, surely every child can do the same with the love of the Most Holy Trinity." - source

Friday, June 5, 2015

All Saints Sunday

I put together this lesson for our kids at church for All Saints Sunday, but it could also make a nice patron saint lesson. The printable includes:

1. the epistle reading for All Saints Sunday and some notes I used to prepare.
2. (and page 5) Two saint pages for children to fill in with the name of their saint, why they are a saint, and how to be like them. A box for drawing the saint is there with light lines to help young children get started. (the second page doesn't have the "St." so it can be used for the Theotokos, angels, or other saints with different titles.)
3. I didn't use the third page, but it is an extra printable with a space to draw all of your favorite saints, or perhaps your family's saints around Christ enthroned.
4. The next page has 12 circles of Christ enthroned meant to be cut out and pasted on a paper plate, and then, like number 3, you can draw saints around. We didn't get to this either.



Feast Day: 50 days after Pascha
Liturgical color: Green
Liturgical offering: greenery for the church
Special prayers: Kneeling Prayers

Around the web:
Festal Learning Basket from Charming the Birds from the Trees
On Ancient Faith Radio:

We found this pretty green tree frog while out cutting greenery for church.
Lou named him Fifty Nifty.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

St. Simeon and the Meeting of the Lord Scroll project

I'm way behind sharing this, but perhaps others will find it useful for next year. St. Simeon is dad's patron saint, so we wanted to have a little craft and lesson about him. We talked about St. Simeon's work on the septuagint, and how he had waited a long time to see the fulfillment of God's promise. 

Then we made scrolls! I used a piece of legal paper since it is a bit longer than usual, and lined it with three columns. Then the girls wrote the prayer of St. Simeon as copy work, and decorated the borders of the paper. We slipped wooden beads on the ends of wooden skewers (with some glue to hold them in place), and then folded and taped the ends of the paper around the skewers. Then we practiced rolling and unrolling to read. We used this image as a suggestion. 

Download my lined legal paper scroll to make your own scroll. 

Scroll rolled up and tied

Monday, May 18, 2015


from St. John Orthodox Church
Feast Day: 40 days after Pascha
Liturgical color: White
Themes: When Christ ascends into Heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father. Christ shows us that our life on earth is a preparation for the life we will have in Heaven. We see that God’s plan for us is to be with Him when we leave earth.  He promises to send the Holy Spirit to guide us and that we would never be alone.

And also: While they were looking up, two angels in white robes appeared and said to them: "Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus, Who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same was as you have seen Him go there."Christ will return to the earth in the same manner as He left it. When the risen Lord returns again in glory, God's will for mankind will be fulfilled.

Special activities: Today we say, "Christ has ascended!" "Indeed, he has ascended!"

Around the web:
Festal Learning Basket from Charming the Birds from the Trees (I love her suggestion to fly a kite or go cloud watching!)
Lesson from Orthodox ABC's
On Ancient Faith Radio: Under the Grapevine, Fr. Thomas Hopko (Speaking the Truth in Love)
About the icon of the Ascension from Icon Reader

Festal Decorations/Activity with kids
We'll be taking down our Flower Garden that we "grew during Lent and have enjoyed for Pascha. We will replace it with a cloudy sky scene with a rainbow. For Pentecost, we can add a dove!

"The Symbol of Faith - the Nicene Creed - which summarizes the important doctrines and teachings of the Church, contains these words: "And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father." The importance and meaning of this feast is that Jesus glorified our fallen and sinful humanity when He returned to the Father. In Jesus, Who is perfect God and perfect man, man is reunited with God. At His birth, Jesus took on our human nature. Through His Ascension He deified this human nature by taking His Body to heaven and giving it a place of honor at the right hand of the Father. With Christ, man's nature also ascends. Through Christ, man becomes a "partaker of divine nature" (II Peter 1:4). When Christ became man, He took up human nature and we share our human nature with Him. It is through Christ, Who is perfect God and perfect man, that we "partake of divine nature." When we say that Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father, we mean that man has been restored to communion with God because Christ gives His humanity - which He shares with us - a permanent place of honor in heaven. Christ honors us by putting us close to the Father." - Source

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Most assuredly, I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain. – John 12:24

I love that the church is so physically involved in all the important moments of our life including times of grief. When our parish suffered a difficult loss, I found it helpful to have something tangible to do, to offer for the family.

I used instructions and prayers from the GOA website, although my recipe from a friend varies a little.

The children wanted to help decorate, but I wanted to be sure it turned out nicely, so I let them play decorate some sugar and almonds on a pate, rather than on the kolliva. 

Memory eternal!