Conversations with parents.
The next Chapter
In our day in the life of Orthodox families, the holidays of Christmas and Easter, of course, are celebrated, does not pass without attention to family life and Great Post. But after a joyful Easter day Church family life normally as it freezes. But in the spring and summer months in the Church calendar, a lot of special days that can be of great importance in the religious-moral education of children.
Earlier in Russia held fast to the custom of “Radonitsa”: custom to visit the graves of relatives and friends on Tuesday in the second week after Easter Sunday. This custom has been preserved in many places abroad, where they live more or less large group of Orthodox immigrants. For the convenience of working Radonitsa is often moved on the Sunday of Thomas, i.e. the first Sunday after Easter. Orthodox people visit the graves of deceased relatives and friends, there are memorial services, placed on the graves of red Easter eggs — as if with Christ passed into eternal life loved ones. In America, for example, Orthodox cemeteries are commonly outside the city, and this Easter remembrance of loved ones is often accompanied by a kind of picnic with refreshments, cleaning the graves, decorate it by planting flowers. On this day, the memory of the deceased, praying about it contact joyful Easter hymns, with stormy spring awakening of nature. Radonitsa — it is a celebration of the memory of our loved ones, and children feel happy, in the atmosphere of the victory of life over death. Well children since childhood to feel firmly rooted in the lives of their ancestors.
On the fortieth day after Easter the Church celebrates the Ascension of Jesus Christ. In the life of disciples of Jesus of those forty days were very special. Despite their love and devotion to the Lord, in His resurrection, they remained relatively halfhearted, hesitant. And during these forty days of fellowship with the risen Christ was born a new, strong faith, manifested their new life. And in our own lives now to the Gospel reading, we hear in Church on Sundays after Easter, teach us what true faith is and how it lives in us.
About the Ascension of Jesus Christ is demonstrated by two of the Apostle”Evangelist ” mark and Luke. More details about this event can be found in the gospel of Luke and the first Chapter of the Acts of the apostles, also written by Luke. Here is how Luke tells of this.
On the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus Christ took the disciples out of the city and he lifted up His hands and blessed them. And when he blessed them, he parted from them and carried up into heaven. “ He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud took Him from their sight. And when they looked at the sky, during His ascent, suddenly stood by them two men in white apparel, and said, ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven ” (LK. 24:50–51, acts. 1:9–11). The apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
And ten days after ascension day the Holy spirit descended upon the apostles, the day was founded on earth, the Church, the day that we celebrate, calling him Pentecost or Trinity.
In the Acts of the apostles told that when all the apostles and the blessed mother on the day of the Jewish feast of Pentecost came together in the house, they suddenly heard a noise, as if blowing a very strong wind. This noise filled the whole house, and on their heads appeared like tongues of fire, one flame over the head of each of them. The apostles suddenly felt that can speak different languages because through the flames descended upon them a special strength of the Holy spirit. The Apostle Peter began to tell the congregation before the house the crowd about Jesus Christ, His crucifixion, death and resurrection. His words so moved the audience that about three thousand people decided to follow Christ and be baptized. And being baptized, they were amicably together, listened to the apostles, prayed a lot, often communed, helped each other, shared everything they had, and lived in joy and simplicity of heart. Thus was founded on the land of the Church of Christ.
On this feast day we stand in the Church for the Liturgy of flowers in his hands, and temples decorated with green branches in memory of the fact that the Holy Spirit empowers all living things to flourish. Well and at home on this day to decorate the room with flowers and herbs.
In the following weeks there are no large, great feasts, but at this time we celebrate the memory of several great saints: John the Baptist (July 7), the apostles Peter and Paul (July 12), St. Sergius of Radonezh (July 18), Holy Princess Olga (July 24), the Holy Prince Vladimir (July 28), St. Seraphim of Sarov (August 1), the prophet Elijah (2 August). And introduces us to this period Petrovsky post that starts a week after Pentecost and continuing until the day of memory of the apostles Peter and Paul.
August 19, comes the feast of the Transfiguration. Shortly before His suffering Jesus Christ went with his disciples Peter, James and John on mount Tabor and began to pray there. The disciples fell asleep. They were awakened by a great light: they saw the Savior, shining like the sun, and with Him the old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah. Peter said: “my God, we’re good here, let us build three tents — for You, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” as he spoke, a cloud hid everything and the voice was heard: “This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him.” then the disciples saw Jesus alone. On this day in churches sanctify the fruits — apples, pears, grapes, and in ancient times was covered and ears of rye and wheat and garden vegetables. Christians want all their work was blessed by the grace of God. In ancient times this feast was called the Second Savior. The first Savior was called the feast in honor of the Holy cross on 14 August, and then sanctified the honey. And the Third Saved, the day after the assumption, would bless the water in the wells. These practices enable us to link the spiritual meaning of the holiday — the sanctification and transformation of our whole life of Christ by grace — with household traditions, understandable and interesting to children.
End the summer holidays memory of the Dormition of the Mother of God on August 28. The death of the Mother of God is called the Assumption, i.e. “falling asleep”, because the mother of God, according to Church teaching, not left at the mercy of death, and was resurrected and ascended into heaven as her Son.
Apart from all these religious holidays that we, the parents, to some extent may reflect family in everyday life, I want to mention another very significant possibility of religious-moral education of children in the summer, it is summer vacation. In our homeland so many ancient monuments, temples and monasteries, which are now protected as monuments of art. Trips and excursions to such places can be a real pilgrimage, as happened in the old days. To this you must be well prepared, read historical books, to learn about the events associated with these places. But if this trip does not work, what rich opportunities for spiritual life open, if you spend a week–another in the village, in close communion with nature, “hear” her silence, sit around a campfire under the open night sky, to see the dawn and the sunrise, to feel the life that so easily forget urban residents. This is not the time for lessons, for enlightening conversations or sermons to children, but how often during these summer hours surrounded by nature, our souls–a new open vision of God. Try not to deprive our children of this opportunity.