Epistles, Feasts, Sacraments Parents' Guide: Overview/Schedule

EPISTLES, FEASTS, AND SACRAMENTS 

PARENTS’ GUIDE

 

            Each year we send home a parents’ guide to help you continue your children’s Christian education at home and to reinforce what is being taught in Church School.  This gives each family with small children some ideas for exciting activities for you and your children to enjoy together; it is not meant to be comprehensive or exclusive. Use your creativity! If you know the topic of the week, you can also think up some wonderful ways to “bring it home” from Church. This can start as simply as reviewing the lesson of the week (Can the children tell you the story?) in the car on the way home from Church and continue through the week in your daily devotions and prayers. This year it will be especially important to hold things together since it is our “catch-all” year with each of the major feasts (taught right before the feast), the epistles, and the sacraments. On “feast weeks” focus on celebrating the up-coming feast, on “epistle weeks” on the stories of the author and on memorizing the verse, and on “sacrament weeks” on role-playing the order of the service and on their own baptism, chrismation, etc.

 

             It is very important even for the very young child to have daily prayers (Do you have a family icon corner? What about setting up one in his room?) and Bible (or Bible story) reading, maybe right after dinner or at bedtime. Do you say grace after each meal? Each day they can practice crossing themselves, lighting candles, burning incense, etc. And on Saturday night, in preparation for Liturgy the next day, what about a time of private confession to the Lord? You could even “pray the hours” on days when you are home: 7 AM (First Hour) thanking God for His light, 9 AM (3rd Hour) thanking Him for His Holy Spirit, 12 Noon (6th Hour) thanking Him for His crucifixion, and 3 PM (9th Hour) praying with the wise thief, “Remember me, O Lord, in thy Kingdom.” Very little time spent, but a habit begun.

 

            There will be some memory work for the year. During the Epistle lessons, any student memorizing his verse for the week and reciting it during opening exercises the next week will get a prize; ages 3-7 have the same verse, ages 9-middle school a different verse. The verses appear below so you can work on them at home or in the car, my own favorite memorization time. There is a word puzzle for each of the memory verses for the 8-10 class. There will also be two big memorization projects for the students. In September we will work on the books of the New Testament with the older children; for younger children, let them just know the names of the authors: St. Paul, St. Peter, St. James, St. John, and St. Jude. Then, in January, we will try to learn the names (and for older children, dates) of the 12 (actually 13, if you count Pascha, which is the Feast of Feasts) Major Feasts. These will be recited when ready during opening exercises and prizes given.  This would be great memory work to do in the car on the way to Liturgy! Here's a bookmark with the memory work for easy review, just print and use. 

 

            Now, on to suggestions for particular weeks. Note that in the back of the booklet are a coloring or activity page for each lesson; in fact, by the end of the year, your child can have colored an entire set of icons for the major feasts.

 

MASTER SCHEDULE 2008-2009: Type in the dates for your current year!

 

     Date

 Lesson/Activity

                Special Notes

Opening Exercises

September  7

                  14

                  21

                  28

Nativity of the Theotokos

Elevation of the Cross

Romans

Romans

 

 

 

Memory Work: New Testament Books

Introductions:Wheel

Life of Constantine

Life of Paul

Concentration Books

 October    5

                  12

                  19

                  26

I Corinthians

I Corinthians

II Corinthians

Galatians

 

 

 

 

Journeys of Paul #1

Sosthenes

Aquila and Priscilla

Journeys of Paul #2

November   2

                    9

                  16

                  23

                  30

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

Entry of the Theotokos

I and II Thessalonians

All Saints Party after Church School

Tychicus

Journeys of Paul #3

Epaphras, Luke

Hannah

Silas

December   6

                   7

                  14

                  21

                  28

Tentative

I and II Timothy

Titus/Philemon

Christmas Pageant

Nativity of our Lord

St. Nicholas Party

 

 

Parish and Nursing Home

Painting of Holy Water jars

 

Timothy

Titus, Onesimus

 

Three Kings

January     4

                  11

                  18

                  25

Theophany

Hebrews

Hebrews

James

Three Kings Party after Church School

 

John the Baptist

Council at Carthage

Melchizadek

Life of James

February     1

                   8

                  15

                  22

Meeting of the Lord

I Peter

II Peter/Jude

I,II,III John

Memory Work: 12 Major Feasts

 

Make Homeless bags

Concentration

Life of Peter

Jude

Life of John

March        1

                   8

                  15

                  22

                  29

The Revelation

Baptism

Chrismation

Annunciation

Confession

 

7 Churches

“As Many…”

Godparents

“Christotokos”

Prodigal Son

April          5

                  12

                  19

                  26  

Palm Sunday

Pascha

No Church School

Eucharist/Liturgy

Candle Decorating Workshop

 

Pascha!

Prosphora Workshop

Donkeys

Joseph of Arimathea

 

“Trisagion”

May           3

                  10

            15-17

                 17

                 24

                 31

Marriage

Orders

Camping Trip ages 6-12

No Church School

Ascension

Pentecost

 

 

Theme: Journeys of St. Paul

 

Make “Kneel-upons”

Birthday Cake for the Church

“Isaiah’s Dance”

Feastcolor Jeopardy

 

 

OCMC

Holy Spirit/Trinity

June          7

                 14

                 20

                 21

Holy Unction

Requiem/Burial

Play Rehearsal

Closing Exercises

 

Koliva Workshop

After vespers, with overnight

Play performance

Miracles of Jesus

Lazarus

 

 

August      2

               3-7

                  9

Transfiguration

Vacation Bible School?

Dormition

 

 

Moses and Elijah

 

Doubting Thomas