The Meeting of the Lord

THE MEETING OF THE LORD

 

Objectives:

  1. Students should be able to tell the story of the meeting of the Lord.
  2. Students should be able to identify Simeon and Anna, as well as Jesus, Mary and Joseph in the icon.
  3. Students should know what churching is and that this feast is its origin.
  4. St. Simeon’s prayer is our memory work this week.
  5. Students should know the date of this feast, February 2.

 

Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with St. Simeon’s Prayer: “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 peoples, a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people, Israel.

 

  1. Present the icon; see how much the students already know: St. Joseph on the extreme left (why is he so old?), Mary the Theotokos next to Joseph, the baby Jesus, St. Simeon the God-receiver, St. Anna the Prophetess, the entrance to the Holy of Holies, the most sacred section of the Temple.

 

  1. Scripture reading: Luke 2: 22-40: How many days after Jesus was born was He brought to the Temple? When is this feast celebrated? (February 2) What had God promised Simeon and Anna? Did He keep His promise?

 

  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.

 

  1. We bless candles on this feast day. Simeon and Anna were two old people who had been waiting a long time for Jesus, who would be the light of the world. We celebrate the light of Jesus with the blessing of candles. We use candles made of beeswax because God gives us His bees to make the wax.

 

  1. Play a learning game: Bible Match. Write each question on a slip of paper and its answer on another. Hand out the slips of paper. Each student must find his partner – the student with the answer to his question. They then sit down together.

Who was the elder God promised he would see the Messiah? // Simeon

Who was the elderly woman who waited in the temple? // Anna

Who was the mother of Jesus? // Mary the Theotokos

Who was Mary’s husband? // Joseph

Who was the Messiah? // Jesus

 

  1. Make Peanut People Finger Puppets: Break peanuts in half for each puppet. Draw on faces and add cloth or paper headcoverings, yarn hair and beards, etc. Practice telling the story with the finger puppets. Someone in the class allergic to peanuts? No problem. Take small strips of construction or cardstock paper. Tape into cylinders and decorate in the same way as finger puppets.

 

  1. Close with St. Simeon’s Prayer. Recite the prayer line by line with the children repeating. Or try singing it a couple of times like we do at vespers. Do it all together at the end with lighted candles.