At the start of each school day students gather to pray the Third Hour and read from the Synaxarion prior to beginning their studies. This simple prayer rule and time of convocation for the whole school creates a liturgical rhythm in the life of the school. Teaching moments in the lives of the Saints and liturgical calendar to take place in a natural cycle.
Each year we will strive to imprint in our students’ hearts certain prayers, providing an arsenal to each young person that will last a lifetime. Early in their education, students will learn by heart Psalm 50. Throughout the year, we will take time to memorize and ingrain festal hymns and troparia such at the one below for the feast of Christ’s Transfiguration on Mount Tabor.
Thou wast transfigured on the mount, O Christ God
Revealing Thyself to Thine Apostles as far as they could bear it.
Let Thine everlasting light shine upon us sinners!
Through the prayers of the Theotokos,
O Giver of Light, glory to Thee.
Each Wednesday we gather as a school for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Here in the middle of the week we take a moment to pause, and by our actions to instruct our children by stepping away from our books, papers, and exams. We take a mid-week hiatus to worship and serve.
Our children participate through:
- Singing in the choir
- Reading the Epistle lesson
- Serving at the altar
- Baking prosphora (the bread that becomes the Eucharist)
- Caring for the church
Following the Divine Liturgy, the school shares a meal and then participates in service projects in the garden, school, and broader community.
As liturgical beings, this routine is of intrinsic importance to us and to our school, hence why we attend the Divine Liturgy weekly, in routine, and not only on the major feasts of the Church. The Liturgical life of the Orthodox Church is at our core: our calendar is situated such that Nativity, Holy Week, and Pascha can be savored; and of course, we are developing the habit on Wednesdays of leaving ambitions aside and coming to worship.