A Family Activity for Great Lent


Lenten Activities

Are you looking for a way to grow closer to Jesus Christ during this Lenten season?  Are you looking for a Lenten experience that goes beyond the tool of fasting for you and your children?

Check out the link above for a creative way to more fully incorporate Lent into your family life!

2 ♥

Reblogged from saintgeorgelorain


This week’s lesson on Divine Liturgy:  The Little Entrance

Travel to far away frozen Alaska, and to it’s beautiful Aleutian Islands. Look back two hundred years ago. Here you will meet a boy. Cungacknaq is his name. He is an Aleut.
Witness the Aleuts struggling for survival in the harsh Arctic Circle. See the hand of God in Cungacknaq’s life, and the mighty plan, the Lord has to call Saint Peter the Aleut, as the First and Neo Martyr of Orthodoxy on the American Continent.
The book is fully illustrated, glossy soft cover and is 63 pages, in brilliant color. It is printed in A4 size which makes it slightly larger than 8.5 x 11.
For a limited time each book will be autographed by the authors, Avra Economakos Hopkins and Al Hopkins.

Υou can find more information here.

(Available both in English and in Greek)

Coloring page

Coloring page

Eastern Orthodox Christmas Story

An animated version of the story of Christmas as found in the well known Icon of the Nativity, drawn by Bonnie Gilles, and accompanied with the Byzantine chant rendition of The Kontakion of the Nativity (composed by St. Romanos the Melode in the 6th century), sung by Fr. Apostolos Hill.

Saint Andrew the Apostle - First Patriarch of Constantinople

Saint Andrew the Apostle - First Patriarch of Constantinople


My first attempt at a video podcast for our Church School - it can only get better (and more exciting) from here!

Vocabulary - The Nave


The “Nave” is the central part of an Orthodox Church - this is where the faithful stand during services. “Nave” comes from a medeival latin word for “ship” - although there a few reasons are ascribed for this, the Orthodox refer to as a “ship” as a reference to the Ark that shepherded mankind to salvation in the days of Noah.


This section of the Church varies from parish to parish in the following ways:

- Pews —> Some American Churches have pews while Churches in predominately Orthodox countries usually do not.

- Frescoes —> A “Fresco” is a type of painting done directly upon plaster.  Many Orthodox Churches are decorated with a theme of frescoes (icons painted on walls)

Chandelier —> A large, hanging light structure

- Icon Stand (Analogian  - “Anna-LOW-gee-an”) —> A church may have one, or many, icon stands where the faithful can approach and venerate icons

- Candle Stands —> Churches do not always have candle stands in the Nave; sometimes they are in the Vestibule (entryway).The Faithful light candles and say prayers for the living and departed loved ones

- Bishop’s Throne —> Since the Bishop is the true leader of every Church community, he has a special seat reserved just for him!

Father Aleksa will ask students to try and FIND these objects in Church next Sunday!

The seven Sacraments of the Orthodox Church (click to enlarge the photo)

The seven Sacraments of the Orthodox Church (click to enlarge the photo)


The meaning of objects held by Saints in Icons

Orthodox Iconography can be an extremely concise way of communicating the Faith. Therefore, what the Saints hold in their hands in portrait icons help in identifying them and in telling us about their lives.

— Cross: It indicates the Saint is a Holy Martyr. The reason martyrs are shown holding a cross is two-fold: firstly, martyr comes for the Greek for witness, and so these witnesses hold the preeminent symbol of Christianity: the Cross. Secondly, the Cross symbolizes the most perfect sacrifice of life for others, Christ’s own crucifixion. Therefore, any Saints who were murdered for confessing the Faith are shown with crosses, regardless of how they died.

— Scroll: It indicates holy Wisdom, and so is often shown in the hands of the Old Testament prophets, but is also commonly seen in the hands of the Apostles. Both were given wisdom from God – the prophets through visions, the Apostles through meeting and knowing Jesus Christ. Later Saints may also be shown holding scrolls if they were also known for prophecy, percipience, and imparting divine knowledge to others.

— Gospel Book: Sainted Bishops in Icons hold their main tool: the Gospel Book, from which they proclaim the Good News to the faithful during the Liturgy. Many of the Church Fathers were also Bishops, and some of their “writings” which we read today were not writings at all, but sermons preached after the reading of the Gospel, later copied down by the congregation for other churches to benefit from. Their inspired teachings were grounded in the Gospel, and so they hold these books in Icons as the instruments through which God granted them sainthood. And they hold them with great reverence indeed, indicated by the way some Icons show the Bishops covering their bare hand with their vestments or stole.

— Crosier: Another role of the Bishop is that of a pastor, or shepherd, of Christ’s flock. This is symbolized by the Crosier, which in Orthodoxy doesn’t look the same as the “shepherd’s crook” held by bishops in the West. It is of a simpler design, usually in the shape of the Greek letter Tau, which symbolizes life, resurrection, or the Cross.

— Weapons: Often there are weapons in icons, such as lances, shields and swords. In the first few centuries of the Church, two types of martyr gained particular devotion among Christians: virgin-martyrs and soldier-martyrs.These martyr-soldiers (and they usually hold crosses too, in remembrance of their sacrifice) have through their confession of faith become “soldiers for Christ”.

— Church Building: Some Saints are depicted holding a Church Building in their hands, just like Ss Peter and Paul. This reflects the hymnography of the Church, where the two Apostles are praised as “pillars of the Church.” Not only were they pillars of the Church, but church-builders too, establishing Christian communities (churches) around the Mediterranean and Holy Lands. Later, other Saints are remembered for their “church-building” and so are depicted holding small churches or monasteries, often in profile, shown offering the church to Christ. It is quite common for Sainted kings and queens to be shown holding churches in this way, as they are honoured for their role as protector and benefactor of the Church within their lands.

(Icons from here and here)