Author Topic: Son doesn't like Church  (Read 3557 times)

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Son doesn't like Church
« Reply #45 on: June 25, 2014, 02:38:55 PM »
I would be very interested in reading a discussion about the pros and cons of Sunday School in Orthodox parishes.  Very few jurisdictions have a Sunday School program that I would actually identify as "school", most seem more like "Child Care Plus" to me.  Where I've seen a serious program, I've seen the good it can do, but they seem few and far between. 
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Offline Yurysprudentsiya

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Re: Son doesn't like Church
« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2014, 03:34:23 PM »
I would be very interested in reading a discussion about the pros and cons of Sunday School in Orthodox parishes.  Very few jurisdictions have a Sunday School program that I would actually identify as "school", most seem more like "Child Care Plus" to me.  Where I've seen a serious program, I've seen the good it can do, but they seem few and far between. 

Ours is more like a thematic discussion group divided by classes with separate teachers.   It meets once or maybe twice a month during coffee hour.  Kindergartners and such do coloring.  High schoolers have lessons, on thematic topics (one week was even focused on Christian understandings of sexuality - I think parents were encouraged to come to that one too) and a Q&A led by the priest. 

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Re: Son doesn't like Church
« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2014, 04:37:00 PM »
Ours is more like a thematic discussion group divided by classes with separate teachers.   It meets once or maybe twice a month during coffee hour.  Kindergartners and such do coloring.  High schoolers have lessons, on thematic topics (one week was even focused on Christian understandings of sexuality - I think parents were encouraged to come to that one too) and a Q&A led by the priest.

That is my experience in Greece as well. Meetings are weekly after liturgy, whether on Saturday or Sunday. Topics are not as advanced, mostly because few kids over 15 keep going, but at least for me (who kept going until 18) the chanting practice was well worth it. :)

For anyone competent enough in Greek, this is a good collection of resources from different parts of the country.
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Offline Don Brigante

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Re: Son doesn't like Church
« Reply #48 on: October 10, 2014, 07:47:43 AM »
Please teach your son to pray just a few simple prayers (with attention, not like a poem or a tongue twister), especially "O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner". Explain your son what the prayers are all about. Don't force him, but show a good example. Pray together with him. (Try to receive communion together with your son too).

Tell your son that we pray so that God can help us to become more like Him in our actions:

• For renewal and the growth of our soul.
• To give thanks to God for all he provides for us.
• To seek forgiveness for our sinfulness as humility is a prerequisite for prayer.

St Isaac the Syrian says that we should:

  • Pray with attention – so that we can have a true encounter with God
  • Pray with humility – because this sort of prayer goes straight to God’s ear
  • Pray with affection and tears – with joy and thanksgiving, but also with true repentance and purity.
  • Pray with patience and ardor – ‘to deny oneself’ is courageously to persevere in prayer.
  • Pray from the depths of the heart – even if we pray using ‘the words of another’ they should be uttered as if
     they are our own. St. Isaac says this is especially true of the Psalms.
  • Pray with faith and absolute trust in God – because He knows our life.

So pray together with your son, raising your heart and mind to God, i.e. from the depth of your heart, with attention, humility, reverence, and repentance. Pray for your son, for his friends, parents, and relatives, and everyone he wants to pray for.

You may also tell him that church is a special place of God's presence, where everything is arranged to make his prayer stronger. An Orthodox church (temple) is the best place for prayer. (Where else we can pray for two hours?) Let your son pray during the Liturgy. Pray together with him. Don't do it out loud, of course, but please do pray.

When I don't understand singing during the Liturgy, I always pray the Jesus prayer: "O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner" or "Lord, have mercy". And the 2-hour liturgy runs as fast as it if it were 1 hour or sometimes even 40 or 20 minutes. Prayer (with attention, humility, reverence, and repentance) is the key.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 07:52:43 AM by Don Brigante »
Brethren, let us also occupy yourselves with noetic prayer…, and seeking God’s mercy, cry out with a humble heart from morning till night and if possible all night long, saying constantly: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.” Saint John Chrysostom