Presentation of the Theotokos




  1. Student should identify the Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple as one of the twelve major feasts of the church.
  2. Student should be able to identify the major characters in the icon.
  3. Student should be able to simply tell the story of the feast.


      Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


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

All of you remember that Mary was the daughter of Joachim and Anna. 

            Remember how they had prayed and prayed for a child?  They promised God that, if He would give them a child, they would dedicate the life of their baby to Him.  And God blessed them with a very special baby girl.  They named her Mary.

                        On Mary’s first birthday, Joachim called all the priests of the Temple to his home and there they all thanked God for this little girl.  But then, when she was three, Joachim and Anna brought little Mary to the door of the Temple itself.  Mary was such a little girl!  How could she climb the 15 steps by herself? But, as she was placed on the first step, she confidently climbed the stairs to the very top. Other girls met Mary at the door, carrying candles.  And the High Priest, Zachariah, met the family.  He took Mary and led her into the Holy of Holies, where even the priest could only enter once a year.  This was because Mary was God’s special child, chosen from before she was even born to be the mother of His Son.  Mary lived in the Temple until she was twelve years old, learning the life of holiness and the teachings of God.


We also have the lovely little book “The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple” by Sister Elayne, if you’d like to read that to the children.


  1. Feed the Elephant/True or False:

True                                         False

            Mary went to the Temple at 3 years old.        Mary’s parents were Moses & Ruth.

            Joachim & Anna were Mary’s parents.           Mary went to the Temple at 12 years


            Mary lived in the Temple until she was          Caiphas the high priest took Mary

                        12 years old.                                                    Into the Temple.

            Zachariah was the high priest.                        Mary lived in the Temple until she

                                                                                                Was 50 years old.

            Mary entered the Holy of Holies.                   Joachim and Anna left Mary at the

                                                                                                Temple because they hated her.


  1. Introduce the children to the people in the icon: Mary, Joachim, Anna, and Zachariah.


  1. Craft Idea: Living Mural

Before class with small children, or during class with elementary school age children, draw the icon with life-size characters on a huge sheet of mural paper (school supply or office supply stores sell these).  Have the children color the characters.   Then cut out the faces and hold up the mural.  The children can take turns standing behind the mural with their faces in the places of the saints.   

            Leave the mural on the classroom wall for all to enjoy.


  1. Close with prayer.