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The BLESS Group

Lesson #1 - Introduction to the Creed


Date: Sunday, September 13, 2009

PREPARATION:
1. The Objective:
a. Class introductions.
b. To learn what is the Creed and its brief history.

2. Handouts:
a. Getting to know you questionnaire
b. Our Class Prayer Sheet
c. The Icon Coloring Book
(http://www.scribd.com/doc/14024263/Icon-Coloring-Book) (pages 1-4)
d. This Week I Learned / Focus on the Feast
** Hand-outs below **

3. Vocabulary words:
a. Creed - comes from the Latin credo which means "I believe." In the
Orthodox Church the creed is usually called The Symbol of Faith which
means literally the "bringing together" and the "expression" or
"confession" of the faith.
b. Begotten - to father; to sire
c. Salvation - God saves us from our sin so we can have a relationship
with Him.
d. Cherubim - kind of angel. They are described (Ezek. 10) as having four
faces and four wings and also as beautiful young men. They are said to
be in the very presence of God. The color surrounding them is
traditionally blue.
e. Seraphim - supernatural being. The name seems to derive from the
Hebrew word "to burn." According to the Book of Isaiah, seraphim have
six wings. Like cherubim, seraphim are associated with the glory of
God, as in the liturgy. In Jewish, Christian, and Islamic literature, a
celestial being with two or three pairs of wings who guards the throne
of God. In Christian angelology, seraphim are the highest-ranking in
the hierarchy of angels. They appear in the Old Testament in a vision of
Isaiah as six-winged creatures praising God.

4. Materials needed:
a. Prayer corner supplies - Presentation Icon, candle, Bible and cloth to
place on table
b. Craft supplies to decorate binders and color icon coloring pages -
crayons, markers, glitter glue, scissors, and foam stickers
c. Handouts as stated above

5. Opening Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.

THE LESSON:
1. Focus / Review:
• Introductions - have each child/adult helping say their name and the most
exciting thing they did last summer. Make sure to keep them on track.
(mine: attending St Arseny Camp)
• Hand out school binders with the Letter to Parents/Class Schedule, Class
Prayer sheet and Icon Coloring Book. Children, especially the younger
ones, can start coloring the icon pages after the introductions
• The Creed (message below taken from "The Divine Liturgy Activity Book"
written by Elizabeth Saxild, pages 18 & 19): On the night before Jesus
died, He told His Apostles, "This is My commandment, that you love one
another as I have loved you" (John 15:12-13). Jesus loves us so much that
He suffered and died for us. We must love each other just as much.
• Later that night Jesus prayed that we "may all be one." In order for us to
"all be one" we must have the same beliefs.
• Because we must love each other and have the same beliefs, during the
Divine Liturgy the priest invites us to "love one another, that with one
mind we may confess." (This is where we exchange the kiss of peace in
our church.) Then everyone recites THE CREED:

2. The Message:
I believe in one God, Father, Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and
of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten,
Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true
God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all
things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and
was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made
Man;
And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was
buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead,
Whose Kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who
proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is
worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets;
And I believe in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the Resurrection of the dead;
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
One day Jesus said to His Apostles, "Whom do you say that I am?" Saint Peter
answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:15-16).

During the Divine Liturgy, when we recite the Creed, we are doing the same
as Saint Peter did so long ago. We are saying all of the things we know are
true about God. We know they are true because of our FAITH in God. Our faith
helps us to know God and to believe in Him.

The History of the Creed - We call the statement of our beliefs the Creed for
short, but it can also be called the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. This long
name tells us a little about the history of the Creed. Many years ago there
were people who tried to lead others away from the Orthodox Faith by saying
things about God which were not true. Many of the Bishops wanted to protect
our Faith. They came together in two meetings which we call Ecumenical
Councils. At these Councils, they decided what all Orthodox Christians should
believe, and put these beliefs together into the Creed.

The Creed receives its long name from the two cities in which the Ecumenical
Councils met: Nicea and Constantinople.

Throughout the year, we are going to study the Creed. By the end of the
school year, we'll have it memorized and understand all its parts.

3. The Activity: Allow the children to decorate their binders with the foam
stickers, glitter glue and markers.

4. The Response/Homework: Students are to read through the Creed with


their parents, fill out the "Getting to know you Questionnaire" and color the
pages handed out in the Icon Coloring Book.

5. Closing prayer
More honorable than the Cherubim,
and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim.
Who without corruption you gave birth to God the Word.
Truly Theotokos, we magnify you.
"G etti ng to K no w Y ou " Que st io nn ai re
To help me plan fun lessons, please tell me a bit about yourself. If you can’t write yourself, please have
your parents fill it out. Thanks!

Student Name: ________________________________________________________________


School Name:_______________________________________ Grade: _____ Age:_________
Favourite music: ______________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Favourite movies / TV shows: ___________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
Favourite sports: ______________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I enjoy Sunday School when we: __________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I come to Sunday School because: ________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I wish my teachers would not: ____________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
I pray _____________ times a day. Things I pray for: _________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
One thing I especially want to learn this year is: ______________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

Our Class Prayers


The Creed
I believe in one God, Father, Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all
things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of
the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, Begotten, not
made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was
incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made Man;
And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose
Kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from
the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified, Who spoke by the prophets;
And I believe in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the Resurrection of the dead;
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

Opening Prayer - Our Father


Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Amen.
Closing Prayer - Mary’s Song of Praise to God (The Magnificat)
More honorable than the Cherubim,
and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim.
Who without corruption you gave birth to God the Word.
Truly Theotokos, we magnify you.
This Week I Learned
This week we learned that the Creed is the Orthodox Symbol of Faith. This
year, we are going to focus on the Creed - studying it line by line. By the end
of the school year, we'll all be able to recite it during the Divine Liturgy.

The Creed
I believe in one God, Father, Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all
things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of
the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, Begotten, not
made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was
incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made Man;
And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was
buried;
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;
And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead, Whose
Kingdom shall have no end.
And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds
from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and
glorified, Who spoke by the prophets;
And I believe in one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the Resurrection of the dead;
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.

True or False. Write T or F in the spaces below. The answers will be given
next class.
___ We believe in one God. ___ God created all things.
___ Jesus Christ will judge us at the ___ We worship God the Father more than the
end of time. Son or the Holy Spirit.
___ The Holy Spirit guides and guards ___ The work of Jesus continues in the
our church. Orthodox Church.
___ God the Father existed first, then ___ The purpose of our lives is to have a lot
of
He created the Son and the Holy money and many material
possessions.
Spirit.
Focus on the Feast
This Monday, September 14th, our holy Orthodox Church celebrates The Feast
of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

This feast commemorates several historical events. The first one is the
event of the uncovering of the holy cross through the effort of St. Helen, the
mother of the Emperor St. Constantine the Great. She led an excavation
campaign to locate the holy cross at the Hill of the Skull place (Golgotha),
where the crucifixion of our Lord and God Jesus Christ took place.

Once the precious cross was found, it was placed in the church of the
Resurrection in Jerusalem, which was completed in 335 A.D. in a glorious
celebration.

The other event that we commemorate has to do with the Persians. They
succeeded in capturing the city
of Jerusalem in 614 A.D. They
found the precious cross and
carried it away with them to their
country. We celebrate the
recovery of the precious cross
from the hands of the Persians.

After fifteen years, the Emperor


Heraclius was able to defeat the
Persians and bring it back to the
hand of the Christians and place
it in the capital city of
Constantinople in 629 A.D.
accompanied by a glorious
celebration. The precious cross
was lifted for a second time now
in the famous church of the Holy
Wisdom and the faithful were
able to come and venerate.

The precious cross is the


greatest Christian symbol, which
proclaims the victory of Christ
over the powers of death,
darkness and Satan.