Theophany

THEOPHANY

Objectives:

  1. Students should be able to say the word “theophany” and know that the feast of Theophany celebrates the baptism of Jesus.
  2. Students should be able to identify the figures and elements of the icon.
  3. Students should be able to say God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and older students should understand how each figured in the baptism of Jesus.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Ask the children if they know what “Theophany” is?  Have each repeat the word.  Who was John the Baptist?  Remind them of the story of Elizabeth and the birth of John and how Mary the Theotokos visited Elizabeth before Jesus was born.  Reread the stories in your children’s Bibles. Holding the icon, tell the story of the baptism of Jesus, identifying the characters.  Show them the Spirit descending like a dove and tell them the God, the Father, spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”  With older children, point out the three persons of the Trinity and how they are all represented at this feast.

 

3. True or False:

                                    True                                         False

Jesus was baptized by John.                           Jesus was baptized by Mary.

Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.         The Holy Spirit descended as a snake

The Holy Spirit descended as a dove.             God said, “This sure is a wet man.”

John was Jesus’s cousin.                                 Jesus was baptized with sand.

 

  1. Sing the Troparion of the feast; rehearse it a few times since the children should know the troparion for their own house blessing:

 

When Thou, O Lord, was baptized in the Jordan,

The worship of the Trinity was made manifest,

For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee,

And called Thee His beloved Son,

And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word.

O Christ, our God Who has revealed Thyself,

And has enlightened the world, Glory to Thee.

 

  1. Discuss the child’s up-coming house blessing.  On Theophany, the priest blesses the water and each family brings some home in a jar.  Father will come to each home to bless the home with holy water.  What can the child do to prepare? Show the children how to set up the white cloth, candle, icon, and bowl for Holy water.

 

6.   Decorate jars to use for Theophany: Each child should have a small glass jar, a tiny icon print to color, and some ribbon or glitter glue to decorate his jar.  Bring the jar to church on Theophany for Holy water and use the water for the house blessing.

 

7.   Close with prayer.