With the Nativity Fast—also known as “Advent”—beginning on November 15, the spirit of the season is presented as a time of personal and collective preparation for the celebration of the pivotal point in salvation history—the Incarnation of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Underscoring the significance of this liturgical season are numerous online educational resources for class and personal use from the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Education [DCE].
“The Nativity Season: Introduction” offers five engaging lessons that could easily be subtitled “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About the Nativity Fast.” Separate study units are available in five age groups: four to six year olds, seven to nine year olds, ten to 12 years old, 13 to 17 year olds; and age 18 and over. The units are available in PDF format for free downloading, printing and distribution.
Also available are a number of plays that are ideal for use in parish Nativity pageants and programs, including “Christ is Born! A Christmas Pageant” by Joanne Patrick and “The Friendly Beasts”, developed by members of Holy Cross Church, Medford, NJ. Three newly posted plays by Archpriest Daniel Kovalak are also available: “A Mall and the Night Visitors”, “Can You Believe It?”, and “Taught by a Star”.
Also recently released by the DCE are three new “life icons” of Saint Nicholas—just in time for his feast on December 6—Saint Juliana the Merciful, and Saint Mary of Egypt. Each “life icon” features scenes from the saints’ lives with appropriate explanations.
Visit the DCE web site for a wealth of free, downloadable educational resources for all ages and levels and every season of the Church year.