THE 2022 ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM PARISH ORATORICAL FESTIVAL
For questions, issues with the forms or to send your completed forms in, email Eleni Demirtzoglou
About the Festival
The St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival was created by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Religious Education in 1983 to provide junior and senior high school students an opportunity to research and to prepare a short speech on one of a predetermined set of topics and talk about their faith. There are parish, district, and Metropolis Festivals, culminating in the Archdiocese Festival.
Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
Senior Division for student in grades 10–12
The purpose of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is to give teenagers an opportunity to learn, write, and speak about their Orthodox Faith, Church, and Heritage. This process will enhance their understanding and appreciation of their identity as Greek Orthodox Christians, and cultivates spiritual growth and maturity. The overall Oratorical program is called an Oratorical Festival rather than a contest to minimize the competitive spirit and emphasize a joyful learning experience.
For further information and links: https://www.goarch.org/-/st-john-chrysostom-oratorical-festival
2022 Topics for Junior and Senior Divisions (Elementary simply pick a topic - favorite icon or Saint, Why you love your Parish, etc based on age/ability)
Junior Division (Grades 7–9)
1. Share what you learned about yourself after a “technology fast” of at least 21 days.
What can we learn about our relationship to God and the world by fasting?
2. In our personal prayer and liturgy, we usually make requests of God. Discuss why we
make these petitions and how God fulfills them.
3. Choose a saint whose life has been important to you or your family. Discuss what you
find most inspiring about this saint and what others can learn from how they lived their
4. Discuss how you would share your Orthodox Christian faith with a visitor to your parish.
5. Discuss your favorite Church service of the year and why it is meaningful to you
Senior Division (Grades 10–12)
1. Discuss the significance of Orthodox iconography (historically, symbolically and/or
artistically) and how icons enhance our worship.
2. From the earliest days, Christian worship has been community-based, not only solitary,
and Christians formed communities where the members learned from and took care of
one another. Why is it important to be part of a Church community, and how is this
3. The Orthodox faithful pray to the saints for physical healing and we have examples of
saints like Cosmas and Damian who were doctors. What does this teach us about the
Orthodox perspective on faith, health, and medicine?
4. Discuss ways that a young person can respond to God’s call to love God with heart, soul,
mind, and strength and one’s neighbor as oneself (see Luke 10:27).
5. In every Church service, we pray for “peace in the world,” usually many times. Yet, war
and violence persist. What is the Orthodox Christian approach to war and violence?