Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Nativity of the Theotokos (Sept 8)

The feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos is one of the first feasts in the church year (Orthodox Church Year begins September 1st). On this feast day, we celebrate the birth of the most holy Mother of God who was born to Joachim and Anna in their old age. I like how Goarch.org words the significance of this feast:

"The icon and the feast also acknowledge a transition from barrenness to life. This was but another foreshadowing of what would be offered through Christ, the transformation from death to eternal life."

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

For the Little Ones: Let us use this feast to reinforce to our children the need to offer thanks to God. Help your children to make a little prayer book. Make a little book by stapling together folded pages of blank paper. Moms: choose two to three prayers that you say regularly with your children. Open the prayer book. On the left, write down one of these prayers. On the right, help your children to draw and color an image that will help them to remember/recognize the prayer. You can free hand draw an image or have them color in a black and white icon that you have printed and paste it into the book. Then, each day say these prayers with your children letting them use their very own prayer book. I suggest choosing a cover for their books that matches the cover of your very own prayer book. With my own daughters, I have started a routine of laying them in their beds for quiet time/naps and saying prayers with them to help calm them down. If you have a similar routine in your household, then would be a very good time to utilize the use of their prayer books. Also, remember to tag onto your prayer times a time of thankfulness. Ask your children what they are thankful for and who they would like to prayer for. It is important at an early age to involve your children in prayers and help them to participate.

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