Sunday School Mission

From our Archdiocese:

“The purpose of Orthodox Christian Education (catechesis)

is to help build up the Church, the Body of Christ,

by nurturing every person

in the life of personal communion

with the Holy Trinity (theosis),

and thus, through this ministry,

to bear joyful witness

to God’s loving and redeeming work in the world.”

“My job is to equip the saints.”

“I labor in the creation of relics.”

We pray that our students will learn from us that Orthodoxy is not a list of sacraments or a system of rules, but a way of life, and that the meaning and purpose of our days is to live in personal communion with the Holy Trinity. We are not preparing them to begin this life later, but we are equipping them to live it now, as they are already our fellow travelers on this journey.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

From St. John Chrysostom

When we teach our children to be good, to be gentle, to be forgiving--all these are attributes of God--to be generous, to love their neighbor, to regard this present age as nothing, we instill virtue in their souls, and reveal the image of God within them. This, then, is our task: to educate both ourselves and our children in godliness." (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 21 on Ephesians)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New Oratorical Resource

Information on the 2011 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is available at

Monday, September 7, 2009

Communicating with Parents Via E-Mail

Let’s take advantage of our email abilities! I’ll send out school-wide announcements, and you can email updates to your parents, telling them what your class has been learning and reminding them of upcoming events. Perhaps just this small step could get some of the more relaxed parents excited about the value of Sunday School, inspiring them to more consistent attendance patterns.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Teacher's Prayer Before Lessons

Lord Jesus Christ, to Thee I cry:

hear me Thine unworthy servant!

Enlighten my mind;

grant that I may truly and clearly describe

Thy way into the Kingdom of Glory

which Thou in Thy mercy has granted us!

Grant that those who read and listen to my words

may be filled with Thy love,

enlightened by Thy knowledge

and made strong by Thy power.

Warm our hearts with Thy Spirit

and we shall joyfully and fervently go

the way which Thou hast shown us.

St. Innocent of Alaska,

Apostle to America

Thanksgiving Prayers

Our students receive communion and then head out for Sunday School, often without stopping to offer a Thanksgiving Prayer . We probably wouldn’t let our kids “eat and run” at Grandma’s house, and we certainly shouldn’t be encouraging this in the House of our Lord. Please open your class with a prayer that includes Thanksgiving for Holy Communion. Please be sure that there is an icon available for prayer times, perhaps presented in an attractive prayer corner.

You may already have a prayer that you like, or you may wish to write something simple (especially for the younger students -- perhaps, "Christ our God, I thank You for the good things You have given me, and especially for Holy Communion. In the name of the Father,...") or you may choose to adapt one of the following prayers:

From St. Basil the Great:
O Master, Christ our God, King of the ages, and maker of all things: I thank thee for all the good things which thou hast bestowed upon me, and for this partaking of thine immaculate and life-giving Mysteries. Wherefore I pray thee, who art good and lovest mankind: Keep me under thy protection, and in the shadow of thy wings; and grant unto me with a pure conscience and even unto my last breath, to partake of thy holy Mysteries, unto remission of sins and unto life everlasting. For thou art the Bread of Life, the Fountain of holiness, the Giver of good things, and unto thee we ascribe Glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

From St. Simeon Metaphrastes:
May thy holy Body, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, be unto me for life eternal, and thy precious Blood unto remission of my sins. May this Eucharist be unto me for joy, health, and gladness; and at thy dread Second Coming make me, a sinner, worthy to stand at the right hand of thy glory: through the intercessions of thine all-immaculate Mother and of all thy Saints. Amen.

I thank thee, O Lord my God, that thou hast not rejected me, a sinner, but hast accounted me worthy to become a communicant of thy Holy Mysteries. I thank thee that thou hast accounted me, the unworthy, worthy to partake of thine immaculate and heavenly gifts. But, O Master who lovest mankind, who didst both die for us and rise again, and didst bestow upon us these thy terrible and life-giving Mysteries for the benefitting and sanctification of our souls and bodies: grant that they may be for me also unto the healing of soul and body, unto the averting of everything contrary thereto; unto the enlightenment of the eyes of my heart; unto the peace of my spiritual powers; unto faith invincible; unto love unfeigned; unto fulfilling of wisdom; unto the keeping of thy commandments; unto growth in thy divine grace, and the attainment of thy kingdom: that by them preserved in thy holiness, I may ever remember thy grace, and henceforth live not unto myself, but unto thee, our Master and Benefactor. And thus, when this life is ended, in the hope of eternal life, I may attain unto everlasting rest, where the voice of those who keep festival is unceasing, and the delight of those who behold the ineffable beauty of thy countenance is boundless; for thou art the true desire and unutterable joy of all those who love thee, O Christ our God, and all creation hymneth thee forever. Amen.