1. Students should understand the icon and its characters.
  2. Students should know that “Pentecost” means “fiftieth” and is celebrated on the fiftieth day after Pascha.
  3. Students should understand why Pentecost is called the birthday of the Church.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Review the icon; what do they already understand? The disciples are gathered in the upper room (What last happened there? the Last Supper), in some icons each has a flame above his head (Why?), the book of the Gospels sits in the center, by which the Holy Spirit has revealed the spiritual presence of Christ to the world, the little crowned figure seated in the middle is the world! There is an empty place at the top of the horseshoe formed by the apostles; who will fill this place at the Second Coming? The icon shows only 12 apostles; how many believers were actually there?


  1. Scripture Reference: Acts 2:1-18, 36-41.


  1. Songs of the Feast: Sing It!

O Heavenly King: O heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of light, Come and abide with us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save, O good One, our souls.


  1. Discussion questions:

What happened at Pentecost? Who descended? Who is the Holy Spirit? In which other feast did we meet the Holy Spirit? (as a dove at Theophany) In what sacrament do we receive the Holy Spirit? (Chrismation - Greek “chrisma” meaning anointing)  How does the Spirit, God Himself, dwell in us? How can we tell He does – did we see tongues of fire? This is a great mystery, as are all the sacraments.  Why is He called “Comforter”?

Why do we decorate the Church in green? (as a sign of the life the Holy Spirit brings us) In what way is Pentecost the birthday of the church? (the first Christians were baptized by the apostles) What changed the frightened disciples into the power-filled apostles? How did the apostles use their new power in the Holy Spirit?

Why were there so many Jews in Jerusalem from all over the world at that time (50 days after Passover) anyway? (They are also celebrating Pentecost, the giving of the Law 50 days after Passover on Mt. Sinai; it is also the “Feast of Weeks” and the thanksgiving for the harvest) So the Old Covenant Pentecost, the Law, is supplanted by the New Covenant Pentecost, the Spirit.

How do we end the Pentecost celebration? (with kneeling vespers, we again kneel in a spirit of penitence, which we will keep until the next Paschal season.


  1. Play a learning game: Alphabet Search. Bring in your Scrabble tiles or make

small squares of paper with letters on them – 2 full sets and several extra of each vowel. Place the squares in the center of the room. Ask a question from the lesson that can be answered with one word. The first player to lay out squares to spell the correct word is the winner of that round.


  1. Make “Pentecost Placemats”: Give each child a piece of construction paper with a face shape. Have them color the face and draw in hair, eyes, etc. Glue a paper flame above the head. Cover with clear contact paper so it will wipe clean.


  1. Close with prayer.  Sing or recite “O Heavenly King”.