Presvytera Alexandra Houck created The Children's Word bulletin so children will know they are not only welcome in church, but even more, an essential part of the Church family. She hopes the weekly bulletin will be just one more way we can make kids feel at home in church. Presvytera Alexandra is a graduate of Duke University and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Her husband, Fr. Jason Houck, is a priest at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis, MN. Presvytera Alexandra and Fr. Jason have five small children: Lydia, Paul, Silas, Philip, and Sarah. Presvytera Alexandra grew up attending Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Asheville, North Carolina with her nine siblings.
Have you ever not understood something at first, but then you did later? Maybe you heard somebody say something, but it didn’t mean anything to you…but then later, you really got it.
Today, on this wonderful feast of Palm Sunday, the Gospel reading tells us how our Lord entered Jerusalem. When the crowds heard that Jesus was coming, they waved palm branches and cheered Him on! “And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’”
Those words were written many, many years before Jesus Christ lived on
earth. In fact, Jesus’s disciples had probably heard them when they had
heard the scripture! But it didn’t mean anything to them. The Gospel
reading today tells us, “His disciples did not understand this at first; but
when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him.” Later on, they really got it!
We don’t always understand the Bible at first either! Let’s keep reading it,
again and again, so we can make connections, and we can understand
more and more of God’s message to us!
ST. KASSIANI – THE HYMN WRITER
Today is a happy day, a big feast day in our Church. But tomorrow, things are different. We start to think about all the sad things that happened to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Once, Jesus was talking to His disciples, and a woman came up and asked Him to forgive her. She even cleaned His feet with
Long ago (1,200 years ago!) a saint named Kassiani wrote a hymn about that story. And on Tuesday night, we will hear this same hymn, written so long ago.
Saint Kassiani was a very beautiful young woman, but she was smart too. When the emperor decided he wanted to get married, she was one of the “bride show.” There were some young women, and the emperor was supposed to pick one of them for his bride!
But Kassiani had other ideas. She wanted to live for Christ, not for
the emperor and all his fancy things. She started a monastery, where
she wrote many hymns. On Tuesday, we hear the hymn that she is
most famous for writing. But did you know that she also wrote a
hymn for the service on Christmas Eve? She also wrote a long set of
hymns for memorial services, when we remember somebody who has
died. So Saint Kassiani keeps giving us her wonderful gifts of beautiful hymns…especially on Holy Tuesday!
We remember St. Kassiani on Holy Tuesday, April 23rd.
Welcome to “The Children’s Word,” a weekly ministry of the Orthodox Christian Network. Each week, Presvytera Alexandra Houck writes this little newsletter for young parishioners! You will find age-appropriate articles, stories, and activities in every edition. The newsletter is provided in PDF format so that you can easily download and print it, and share it with your parish, church school, homeschool, family, and friends.
Each issue includes a message on the Sunday Gospel lesson and on one of the saints for the week. You’ll also find a coloring page and other activities. It is designed for a 8.5 x 14 page, so it can be printed and folded.
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