Virtual Sunday School Lesson #1

SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2020



This week, our Sunday School class covers two important topics. Today we celebrate the Sunday of the Holy Cross, and on Wednesday we will celebrate the Annunciation of the Theotokos! We’re covering both of these today, but if this begins to feel like too much for your family, just do the Sunday of the Holy Cross lesson today, and wait until Wednesday for the lesson on the Annunciation. This will still be here, waiting for you.

This is the video version of our audio podcast, which you’ll find on Ancient Faith Radio.

If you’d like to post photos of your family doing #VirtualSundaySchool on social media, we’d love to see them!


Activities for the whole family:

How many crosses??? Do a cross inventory at your house. Before you do, have each person in the house guess how many crosses there are. Then go together, room by room, and count them. You may wish to venerate each as you do so! Between rooms, you could sing, “Before They Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master…”

Make a cross-shaped banana bread: Bake two small loaves of banana bread. Cut one in thirds lengthwise, and put the outer two pieces on either side of the other (whole) loaf, to form a cross. Dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy eating it together! Here’s a yummy banana bread recipe that will make 2 small loaves:

Lenten Banana Bread
Mix together well: 3 mashed bananas, 1 C sugar, ½ C oil, 1 tsp. baking soda, ⅙ C orange juice, dash of salt, 2 C flour. (Optional: ½ C chopped nuts and/or ½ C semisweet chocolate chips) Pour into one 9”x5”x3” pan (or two smaller ones, if you’re making a cross). Bake 1 hour at 350°.

Print this dot-to-dot activity page cross.

Print <a title="Sunday of the Holy Cross Activity Page 2" href=90572458_2929740133784363_4944253341975707648_n.jpg”>this budded cross for children to decorate, or design your own crosses using the various materials you have on hand. Everyone can carry a cross in procession around the house! (Bonus tip: learn the hymn below to complete the procession.)

More Videos:
For Younger Kids: Kh. Gigi Shadid’s God is the Boss is the best way to learn how to cross yourself — and it’s so much fun to sing!

For Older Kids: This video from Be the Bee is geared to more mature students.

For Older Teens & Young Adults: This Live the Word Video is very thought-provoking.

Today’s Hymn:

You’ll find more activity ideas and printable resources related to the Veneration of the Holy Cross, especially geared to younger children, at Orthodox Pebbles.


Activities for the whole family:

Surprise! It’s a Boy!!! Act out the Annunciation story together as a family, using simple costumes and homemade props — or using puppets you make out of popsicle sticks or whatever you have on hand at home. Record it so that you will always remember how each of you looked and sounded on this feast of the Annunciation!

Help a needy mom and her baby/children. In honor of the Annunciation, recognizing that the Theotokos chose to bear her Son despite her circumstances, find a way to help an underprivileged or abused mom in your area. If you do not know someone personally, check with your local pregnancy or abuse center to see what would be helpful. Make cards, or a donation of diapers, formula or money. Most importantly, pray for the women and their child(ren). Your sacrifice will help to make their situation a little easier.

Print and color this triptych of the Annunciation.

Print this word game for the Annuncation.


After learning how Christ and the Theotokos took up their crosses and faithfully followed God, so that we could all be saved, what will we do? Print this response page for each family member to draw or write about how they plan to take up their own cross.

More Videos:

Younger Kids: Learn Kh. Gigi Shadid’s song about the Feasts of Mary

Older kids: Watch this Be The Bee video about the Mother of God.

Today’s Hymn:

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.