Welcome to the Orthodox Catechism Project, a resource focused on Orthodox Christian education and formation.
Throughout the history of Christianity, it has been the practice of the church and individual families to pass down the teachings and saving message of Jesus Christ to each generation. In the united states and other parts of the world, part of this task has been formalized in the form of Sunday schools or church catechism classes. These organized efforts have often come to share a common methodology and approach within individual jurisdictions and traditions.
It has been generally recognized, that the first and possibly most important instruction of the faith occurs in the home by the parents or guardians, where foundations are established and teachings provided at church are supported. If the parents do not support what is taught at church, or do not show any interest, then as the saying goes, "It goes in one ear and out of the other" of the child. If the parents not only support what is being taught, but if the parents practice the faith with their children then the children learn the faith and grow up in Christ. If a parent is going to practice the piano or violin, to get their money's worth, then they should also practice the faith with their children so as to receive, along with their children, the heavenly inheritance which is "... Incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away..." (1 peter 1:3-5). The purpose of Sunday School is then to tutor the Faith and not to teach it. For this reason, there needs to exist catechism lessons which parents can teach their children at home.