Meeting of the Lord

THE MEETING OF THE LORD

 

Objectives:

  1. Children should be able to name the feast and the major participants in the icon and their role.
  2. Children should know what “churching” is and how that relates to the feast.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.

 

  1. Tell the story of the Meeting of the Lord, using the icon of the feast as a guide:

When Jesus was a little baby, only 40 days old, Mary, His mother, and Joseph, His father, took Him to the Temple in Jerusalem.  The Temple was the greatest and holiest church of the Jewish people.  They bought 2 young pigeons to give to the priests of the Temple as an offering in thanks for the little baby, as was the custom of the Jewish people.  Now at that time, there lived in the city of Jerusalem a very old man whose name was Simeon.  Simeon had been told by God that he would not die until he saw God’s Son.  On this day, Simeon woke up very early; God told him to go to the Temple and wait.  There was also in the Temple a very old woman named Anna who was also waiting for God’s Son.  Suddenly, Simeon saw Mary and Joseph coming into the Temple, carrying the baby Jesus and the cage with the birds.  Simeon came right up to Mary and took the baby in his arms; he know that Jesus was the long-awaited Son of God.  Simeon thanked God with a special prayer that we use in vespers to this day; “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  Anna also spoke God’s words to Mary, telling her of the pain and suffering to come.

 

The story is also in your children’s Bibles.

 

  1. True or False:

True                                         False

            Mary & Joseph took baby Jesus to                 Mary & Joseph took Jesus to Rome.

                        Jerusalem.

            Simeon was waiting for God’s Son.               Simeon was a young man.

            Anna was a holy old woman.                         Joseph bought a cow to offer.

            Jesus was 40 days old when he went to         God had told Simeon that he would

                        The Temple.                                                    be hit by a bolt of lightning.

            The Temple was in Jerusalem.             Jesus’s parents were John and Anna.

 

  1. Sing St. Simeon’s Prayer with the children; have them listen for it at vespers.

 

  1. Make stick puppets of the story of St. Simeon and St. Anna.  Have the children color the figures from the icon of the feast.  Use gold glitter glue for the haloes.  Cut out the figures.  Glue or tape a small wooden skewer or a Popsicle stick to the back of each figure.  Can you act out the story?

 

  1. Bring an infant baby doll, wrapped in a blanket.  Tell the children that each baby is brought to the church when he or she is a few weeks old.  Just as in the days of Jesus, the mothers and fathers thank God for their new child and ask Him to take care of their baby and help him to grow up as a good member of God’s family.  This is called churching.  Act out a churching, with the teacher as priest, and a little girl holding the baby, a little boy as father. 

Priest: Let us pray to the Lord. O Lord God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, purify this woman, (name), from all sin and bless thou the child, (name), who is born of her.  (Make the sign of the cross over the child.) As Thou, O Lord, wast brought on the fortieth day as an infant in to the Temple according to the Law by your mother, Mary, and wast carried in the arms of Simeon the Just, do Thou, O Master, bless this baby who is brought here.  For unto thee are due all glory, thanksgiving and worship.  Amen.

 

7.   Close with prayer.