Monday, September 10, 2007

Exaltation or Elevation of the Cross (September 14th)

On this day we celebrate St. Helen's finding of the Cross that Christ died upon. One fun fact is that the term "knock on wood" derived from ancient Christians touching relics of the cross (often worn around the neck) during times of trouble.

Readings: I Corinthians 1:18-24; John 19:6-11, 13-20, 25-28, 30-35

For the Little Ones: After talking with your children about the meaning of the feast, spend time practicing making the sign of the cross if your children don't already know how to make it properly. Explain to them why Orthodox Christians make the sign of the cross. You can check this page for help in explaining it.

Tradition holds that sweet basil was found growing where the cross was found. Make a dinner using basil (like spaghetti) and explain to your children why the plant is special. Bring in a basil plant (you can buy them anywhere real cheap) and keep it in your icon corner for the day. Or if you grow basil, cut some stems and make a basil bouquet by holding them together and tying a ribbon around. Follow dinner with a cake made into the shape of a cross or make hot cross buns for breakfast.

For an art project, buy small wooden crosses at a local arts and crafts store (like Michael's). Preferably buy ones that can be used to make necklaces. Have your children decorate their crosses with paint or paint markers. Then they can have their own little crosses to 'knock on wood' with!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My son (at about 16 months) painted crosses that we bought at Michael's as gifts for our families around Easter. This is great idea for him!