Meeting of the Lord



  1. Students should understand the icon of the feast and its major characters.
  2. Students should know the date of the feast, February 2.
  3. Students should understand the connection between this feast and “churching”.
  4. Students should be able to recite or sing St. Simeon’s prayer.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  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 readings:

Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40

Epistle: Hebrews 7:17

Old Testament: Exodus 13, Isaiah 6:1-12


  1. Songs of the Feast:

Troparion: Rejoice, O Virgin Theotokos, full of grace; for from thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ our God, lighting those in darkness.  Rejoice and be glad, O righteous elder, carrying in thine arms the Deliverer of our souls, Who granteth us resurrection.

Kontakion: Thou, O Christ God, who by thy birth didst sanctify the Virgin’s womb, and, as is meet, didst bless Simeon’s arms, and didst also come to save us; preserve thy fold in wars, and confirm them whom thou didst love; for thou alone art the Lover of mankind.

St. Simeon’s prayer (the “Nunc Dimittis”): 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 lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people, Israel. (Sing it together!) Where does the title “Nunc Dimittis” come from? (the first 2 words in the song in Latin)


  1. Discussion questions:

How old was Jesus when brought to the Temple?  Why was he brought? (the law of Moses – see Exodus) Who met them?  Why were they there? Compare and contrast with a churching? When do we sing St. Simeon’s prayer? What is the symbolism of the passing of the child from Mary to Simeon? (maybe the encounter between Jesus and his people),

The offering of the first-born son to God is a remembrance of what Old Testament event? (Passover), Why would Jesus, the author of the Law, have to obey the Law? Why did Mary and Joseph bring 2 doves instead of a lamb? (on the surface, maybe they were too poor to afford a lamb, but symbolically Jesus is the Lamb of God; they didn’t need another lamb! If you want, review the story of Isaac; so Jesus is brought to the Temple and received by the priest right in front of the altar, a prophetic vision of his future death on the cross.)

In what way is Simeon the “last watchman” of Israel? (See Psalm 129:5-7 – Israel is now ready to share its light with all the nations), Moses was not allowed to see God face to face and Isaiah needed a coal brought by a seraphim from the altar for purification, but Simeon holds God in his arms (As the Aposticha says, “Christ once appeared to the divine Isaiah as a burning coal held by tongs. Now he is given to the elder by the hands of the Mother of God”): Why is the rule of the Old Testament now void with the birth of Christ? (God himself has come as a man and has purified us through his own power to remove all sin.)  

What were the prophecies of Simeon and Anna about the Messiah?  How were they fulfilled?


  1. Make a felt banner or small icons. See Overview for directions.


7.   Close with prayer.