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Empty Tomb

Title: The Empty Tomb

Subject: Paschal Mystery

Age: 3 to 10 years

Liturgical Time: Right after Pascha

Prerequisite: The Liturgy of Light

Doctrinal Content: The fulfillment of what was prophesized and what Christ had told his disciples: He would rise on the third day. He conquered death; He is truly the Son of God; He gives life. He relies on the women and His disciples to spread the message that He has risen.

Direct Aim: This lesson aims to lift up Christ's Resurrection through the story of the empty tomb.

Indirect Aim: This lesson also aims for the student not to fear death and not to be afraid like the Angel said; to instill a sense of joy and hope; to offer a model of faith through the women who came to anoint His body; offer a sense of wonder of the incarnation. Other aims include: to go deeper into the Paschal mystery; to participate more fully in the celebration of Easter; to prepare for future studies of the passion, death and resurrection narratives; and to wonder again at the mystery of the Incarnation.

Sources: Mark 16:1-7; Matthew 28:1-7; John 20:2-8; Luke 24:1-12

Materials for the Lesson:
Bible (Gospel of Mark)
2 Candles, matches, snuffer
Model of Tomb with steps going down into cave
3 Women figures –Mary Magdalene, Mary of James, and Salma (Theotokos)
Figure for Angel
Map of Israel
City of Jerusalem Lesson
Map of Jerusalem

The Lesson Plan:
Gather and settle the children. Begin the lesson by pointing out Jerusalem on the map. Set up the materials as depicted in the bible passage, and light the candle. Read Mark 16:1-7 solemnly and slowly. Open the tomb.

Read the bible passage once more, this time moving the figures slowly according to the story. At the point of the passage when "Christ is Risen," light the second candle as you read those words.

Ask the following discussion questions:

  • What did we hear?
  • What happened first?
  • How did the women feel?
  • What did the angel say?
  • This is such Good News!
  • Where else did we hear these words, "fear not"?

Once the discussion has ended, sing Christ is Risen, Alleluia, then close with a prayer.

Work with Materials
Art Response

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