Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dormition of the Theotokos

Sorry for my tardiness...a newborn and a brief vacation have made blogging rarely accessible.

In brief, the Feast of the Dormition commemorates the death and assumption into heaven of the Theotokos.

Readings: Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28

For the Little Ones: Look at an icon of the dormition with your children and discuss the figures depicted and tell them the story that the church teaches regarding her death and assumption. It is the custom in some parishes to bring flowers to be blessed at this feast. Take your children to a florist and let them pick some fresh cut flowers. Bring them home and help your kids to make bouquets to take to the church and be blessed. Make at least two...one to leave at church and another to bring home to your icon corner (where you should have an icon depicting the virgin with her child). Have your children give any extra blessed bouquets to your neighbors and tell them that it is in honor of this feast.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Transfiguration of our Lord

On August 6th, we celebrate when Christ revealed his divinity to the disciples Peter, James and John. This feast is called the Transfiguration. This event has manifold significance in Orthodox theology being seen as a foreshadowing of Christ's second coming and also as representing the transformed state in which Christians will some day appear.

Readings: II Peter 1:10-19; Matthew 17:1-9.

For the Little Ones: Fruits are traditionally blessed on this day, particularly grapes and other soft fruits. Why grapes? They show physical transformation and represent a religious transformation (i.e. wine). So, take plenty of grapes with you and your children to liturgy to be blessed. Prior to attending the liturgy, read a toddlers/children's version of the story of the transfiguration to your children and color a picture together, talking about it in light of the story you read together. Upon returning from the liturgy, light some candles and place them on the table to symbolize the light of Christ and enjoy the blessed fruits with your family while having a discussion of the significance of the fruit in light of the feast of the Transfiguration.