Praying Before Communion with Children

I recently received an email asking me to recommend a communion prayer for children. That got me thinking about a Raising Saints podcast episode on this very subject from 2012.  Then on Sunday I took my kids to church, and as I stood in line with my eight year old and my five year old, and as I struggled to help them focus on the sacrament they were about to receive, I realized…

The Nativity Fast

This text was originally posted as a Raising Saints podcast episode in 2012. It’s November, and that means that it’s time to get ready for the Nativity Lent, the Advent Fast. For Orthodox Christians living in America, this is a very important fast, because in this society, we really need it. In our American culture, we love to pre-celebrate our holidays, especially Christmas.  Many stores are already pressing you to purchase your Christmas…

Teaching Prayer to Children

One of the very first Raising Saints episodes focused on how we teach prayer to children.  This was originally posted in June of 2012. Today we’re talking about teaching prayer to children. We need to develop a vocabulary to communicate the significance of prayer in terms that they can understand and apply to their own spiritual lives, and then we’ll need to offer them opportunities to put it into action: we should…

Special Needs in the Sunday School Classroom

Every year, we invite parents to add “Notes” to their student’s Sunday School registration. Is there anything we should know about your child?  Any special needs, dietary restrictions?  Please offer any information you feel would be helpful to your child’s teacher. We hope that any parent who knows that their child could benefit from special techniques or approaches will offer that information here, or at least be reminded to approach the Sunday…

Teaching the Lord’s Prayer

In our Sunday School class, which is a combined group of 7th, 8th and 9th grade students, we’ve decided to tackle the Lord’s Prayer because this is the one prayer that all Christians have in common:  Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant, we all pray The Our Father as our Lord taught us in the holy Gospel. It’s probably the most common and perhaps the most frequent prayer our kids are praying. Naturally, at…