© Will Clayton, 2010 via Creative Commons
I know it might seem a bit early to post about a date in September, but you know it will be here before you know it! Whenever school starts, I’m reminded that it is a new liturgical year. And we kick of this new year with the feast, Nativity of the Theotokos on September 8. If you’re like me, you might not have grown up knowing all about the Feast Days (there’s 12 of them, in case you’re wondering. 😉 ). Hey, don’t worry. I’ll give you a quick run down of this special day, so you can teach your children. Joachim and Anna were very, very old and could not have a baby. They were faithful people and loved God very much. They prayed a lot to God that they would one day have a baby. Their prayers were answered and they were blessed with the Holy Theotokos.
When I taught 6th grade in Church School we would have a birthday celebration for the Theotokos. We would bring in cupcakes and had a big party hat sitting on the desk with an icon of the Theotokos on it as a visual. It was our hope that as the children grew older that they would begin to associate the beginning of the school year with this important feast day. If I did this with younger kids, I’d probably have party hats for all of them and decorate the room. I wanted to do something to make that day stand out to help them remember the Most Holy Theotokos’ birthday. You can also do this at home with your kiddos, even if you don’t teach.
A quick Google search will turn up a bunch of party hat templates, if you want to make them on your own.
More information about the Nativity of the Theotokos
Sheet Music for the Apolytikion
Want to hear the tune of the Apolytikion? Visit one of my favorite sites, www.NewByz.org. Scroll a bit and you’ll find all the feast days with a midi file so you can hear it.