SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2020
THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD
Christ is risen! This week, we celebrate the Ascension of Our Lord! We’ll consider the details of this beautiful feast, and the joyful trust with which the Lord’s disciples await His return (just like us!)
This is the video version of our audio podcast, which you’ll find on Ancient Faith Radio.
Activities for the Whole Family:
Have a family adventure to help you imagine the disciples’ experience when our Lord ascended into heaven! Go on a family picnic, somewhere high (a hilltop would be ideal). While you’re eating, talk about the Ascension and imagine that you are the disciples, reunited with your Lord after the difficult time of His death and the joy of His resurrection. How would it feel to have Him in your midst again? If He invited you to the top of the hill like this, would you go with Him? What if He began to talk: would you listen? If He began to tell you He would be leaving, how would you feel about that? When He suddenly began to float up from the ground and keep rising into the sky, right in front of you, what would you think? (You might demonstrate this with a face “of Christ” drawn on a helium balloon attached to a really long string – so that you could eventually retrieve it – or with a small plastic toy “Christ” taped to a kite that flies high.) And what was it like when there were suddenly two men standing among you, telling you that Jesus will come back again someday? What would you think? What do you suppose the disciples talked about as they went back to Jerusalem? Discuss this, and the fact that we are still waiting for Christ to come again, as you pack up and head back down.
Play a game of “Ascension” tag! The person who is “it” can only tag people whose feet are touching the ground. To keep from being tagged, other players can climb onto something, or hold their feet off the ground in a creative way. To make the game more challenging, however, only one person can be “ascended” off the ground at a time, and they can only stay off the ground until they’ve counted to 10. In the meantime, all of the other players will be taggable, so the person who is “it” needs to decide if he or she wants to try to tag one of them or keep waiting for the “ascended” one to come back down. The “ascended” person can come down before they get to 10, and as soon as they do, anyone else can “ascend”.
Cook up a little snack to remind you of the Ascension. Cover a blue jello “sky” with whipped topping “clouds”. Or maybe you’d prefer to hide cookie “Jesus” (gingerbread men, Nilla wafers, or another cookie) inside whipped topping “clouds”? Or bake a yummy pavlova, which is light and airy like clouds. Yum!
Make a craft that shows Jesus as He disappears into the clouds!
For Younger Kids: Sing along with Khouria Gigi Shadid! This singalong includes a song about St. Photini (the Samaritan woman at the well, from last week!) and one about the Holy Cross:
This animated video may help younger children understand the Ascension:
For Older Kids, Teens and Parents: This episode of Live the Word shows us how Christ prepared His disciples for His leaving.
The Hymn of the Feast: Orthodox hymnology teaches our theology. See this in action as Fr. Apostolos Hill chants the Troparion and Exapostelarion for the Feast of the Ascension, with subtitles so that you can understand all of the words.
Many of our children will miss participating in their Vacation Church Camps this summer, so Tending the Garden of Our Hearts is offering a virtual camp for families and parishes!
As always, you’ll find the audio-only version of this week’s Tending the Garden of Our Hearts weekly podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. Each episode begins with a lesson or meditation, and concludes with questions and discussion ideas to help your family grow in the faith together. You may want to look through the archives for more episodes during this quiet time at home.
In addition, we have archived all of our Virtual Sunday School lessons so that you can access them any time.