Kelly Ramke Lardin is the author of the children's books Josiah and Julia Go to Church, and Let's Count From 1 to 20 (bilingual counting books in French and Spanish). She holds degrees in French from The University of the South and Tulane University and studied translation at SUNY-Binghamton. She has always enjoyed writing and loves studying languages. She converted to Orthodoxy shortly after marrying her husband, who is also a convert to Orthodoxy. Her journey to the faith was fraught with struggle, but she wouldn't trade it for anything. Together she and her husband are raising their two daughters in the Orthodox faith. This continuing journey still has its moments of struggle but is also a joy. Visit her at kellylardin.com for more information on her books and to read short stories and other writings. She also blogs about her faith, family, and life in Chicago at A Day's Journey. She is available for speaking engagements through the Orthodox Speakers Bureau.
Pentecost: this is one of my parish’s patronal feast days, so it’s a pretty big deal for us, and I love celebrating it. One of my biggest pet peeves of Pentecost, though, is the misunderstanding of “speaking in tongues” that is promulgated by some Protestant denominations. It does not mean that the apostles spoke gibberish and someone interpreted it so the people could understand them. The apostles spoke in languages that all around could understand.
Consequently, I think it is important for children to learn about Pentecost from an early age and to understand the events of the day. Clearly, this instruction should begin with the Bible. Read Acts 2, at least through verse 15 because this is the focus of the craft below, or as far as your child will let you. The craft below will allow you to explain the meaning of the first Pentecost.
As you begin the craft, you can explain that the flames fulfill the prophecy of John the Baptist that Christ would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and fire.” The fire represents the uncreated energy of God associated with the Holy Spirit. On each of the flames from the template is printed “The Holy Spirit” in a variety of modern languages. This is to represent what happened to the apostles next: they “began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance,” and the crowd gathered around them all understood them even though the crowd had gathered from many different lands and spoke different languages.
This is important because the key to the apostles’ mission and the Church’s mission is to spread the Gospel of the Lord. The apostles did not speak some unknown language that one privileged person understood and interpreted. Rather, everyone understood what they said and heard the good news firsthand because the Church is inclusive, not some exclusive club for a privileged few.
- Red, Yellow, & Orange paper (copy or cardstock)
- Can (choice of size)
- Paper cutter
- Ruler (optional if no paper cutter)
- Decoupage glue or adhesive spray (optional)
- Print and cut out flames on colored paper.
- Measure and trim base paper. Cover one side with glue. Wrap around can.
- Glue on flames
- Optionally, add protective layer with decoupage glue or spray.