Pravmir – August 2017
The Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Education [DCE] recently announced the release of the fourth and final set of questions and answers developed to accompany the late Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko’s series, The Orthodox Faith. The newly completed study materials amplify Father Thomas’ volume on Worship, according to Matushka Valerie Zahirsky, DCE Chair.
“As summer vacations end and fall approaches, many families will again be attending their home parishes regularly,” Matushka Valerie said. “The second volume—Worship—is especially useful for study with the beginning of the ecclesiastical year on September 1. It offers a close look at the Church’s liturgical services, especially the Divine Liturgy—the service parishioners experience most often.
“Each of the numbered 131 questions is keyed to the page of the Worship volume, while a separate document containing numbered answers also contains several points for reflection,” Matushka Valerie explained. “For all four volumes, the questions help readers review and reinforce their understanding of the material Father Thomas presents.”
Many parishes have been using the questions and answers for group study, Matushka Valerie added.
“They read through a chapter of the the book together, then find the answers to the questions as a review, checking the answer document for accuracy, and discuss the points for reflection offered,” she noted. “Other groups begin reading with the questions in hand and find the answers as they go through the text. Readers using the books on their own can use the study materials in any way they find most beneficial. Teachers of older Church school students have used the materials to create ‘Jeopardy’ quizzes and other team activities.”
Among the questions answered in the latest release are
- Why do Orthodox couples not say the words “till death do us part” as part of the marriage service?
- Who wrote the hymn “Only Begotten Son”?
- What is the significance of the hot water added to the chalice for Holy Communion?
- What is the eighth day?
- Is there a difference between repentance and remorse?
- Is the use of incense based on anything in the Bible?
“The four revised volumes of The Orthodox Faith, with the accompanying study materials, provide an excellent means of learning and understanding all aspects of the teachings of the Orthodox Church,” Matushka Valerie emphasized.
Visit the DCE web site for a wealth of additional educational resources and study units for all ages on a wide variety of topics.