Age: 3 + years
Liturgical Time: Pentecost
Doctrinal Content: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are revealed to us. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are made possible because of the Resurrection. The Holy Spirit is full of power. The Holy Spirit's Gifts to us are Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, and Fear of the Lord.
Direct Aim: To celebrate the feast of Pentecost so the child may fall more deeply in love with God.
Indirect Aim: To enable the child to participate more fully in the liturgical life of the Church; to expose the child to the liturgical colors and liturgical calendar; to provide an aid to prayer; Education to wonder; Foster a realization of the source of all things needed; Mystery of the Trinity
Materials for the Lesson Plan:
Seven green candles
Basket to hold the candles/candleholders
Red cards with gifts printed on one side and the meaning of the gift on the other side (Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety and Fear of the Lord)
Song lyrics: This little light of mine
Gather and settle the children, then introduce and invite them to watch and listen to the Pentecost Celebration. Explain that we are approaching the season of Pentecost, which is the Feast of the Holy Spirit. Explain God's promise to send the Holy Spirit to the apostles and how the apostles went to the upper room and waited for these amazing gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are for us too.
Invite a child to help put the green cloth on the prayer table
Place the candles on the table with a card that has a gift written on the front and the meaning of the gift on the back. Place the cards in front of each candle.
Name the gift of the Spirit after you light that candle. Then read the meaning.
Tell the children they can ask for one of these gifts:
- Wisdom: The gift of understanding the things of God. So to tell others about God
- Understanding: The gift of knowing why things are the way they are
- Knowledge: The gift of being able to learn more about God and who God is
- Counsel: The gift that helps us know what to do and how to do it
- Fortitude: The gift of strength from the Lord
- Piety: The gift that helps us love God and all that he made
- Fear of the Lord: The gift of knowing how awesome God is
Repeat all the gifts and the definitions, then take a moment to pray and see which gift you'd like to ask for from the Holy Spirit. When each child walks up to request a gift, you light their candle.
After everyone has a candle, sing "Holy Spirit Come."
Everyone then brings their candle and places them on the altar. You can label each child's candle with the gift they choose to take home at the end of the session.
Introduce the prayer of the Holy Spirit, it is part of the Trisagion prayers of the Church: "Heavenly King Comforter the Spirit of Truth who art present in all places and fillest all things come and abide in us and cleanse us of all impurities and save our souls O Gracious One."
For the older children:
Consider their baptism and their personal Pentecost
Review the account of the Pentecost in Holy Scripture
Make a prayer card with their gift written on the card
Silent prayer around the prayer table
Notice: This lesson plan utilizes training and the general philosophy/method of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. Materials found in this document, however, have been created specifically to incorporate the theology and dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church. The author of this lesson offers special recognition to Mrs. JoAnne Padget, CGS Instructor, who provided instruction and guidance in the CGS method. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program requires intensive study and strongly recommends that teachers using their program enroll in and complete coursework through an authorized CGS instructor. More information about CGS is available at http://www.cgsusa.org.