Church New Year
September first marks the beginning of a new Liturgical Year. This date has been the traditional new year of the Church for millennia, and was also observed in the Byzantine and Russian empires.
To welcome the beginning of the liturgical cycle, there are many traditions (small “t”!) you can observe. If you’re a homeschooler, this comes at the perfect time to tie the Liturgical Year into the school year!
- "The Calendar of the Orthodox Church" from the Greek Archdiocese of America
- "A New Year, a New Harvest" from the Greek Archdiocese of America
- "The Church Year" by Fr. Thomas Hopko from the OCA
- Church New Year from the OCA
- A New Season of Grace from Nourishing Grace
- Prayer for the Beginning of the New Year from Orthodoxy for Kids
- "Why Orthodox Christians Celebrate the New Year on the First of September" from the Catalogue of St. Elisabeth Convent
- Have each member of the family select an icon and place those icons on the doorstep outside your home. Pray for the intercession of those saints during the coming year!
- Create spiritual goals together as a family.
- Add feast days to your family calendar. If you use a calendar that already includes church feasts, be sure you mark family name days and your family feast day (slava)!
- This is also an ideal time to do some physical tidying up of your spiritual life! Start the new year by dusting your icons, checking how much incense and charcoal you have, and how many candles or how much lamp oil you have. This is also an excellent time to cense your home if you haven’t done so lately! Caring for your icon corner is a great opportunity to show our love for the church and saints to children in a tangible way.
- Printable Festal Pennant Banner from Draw Near Designs
- Print out feast day cards or a church calendar wheel so you have them to hand as each feast day approaches. Discuss the cycle of the liturgical year with your kids to set them up for the rhythm of what is coming.
- Make a festal timeline or a festal "life cycle" chart. Start with the structure (names and dates) and add an icon to each entry as we move through the liturgical year.
Books & Products
- Heaven Meets Earth: Celebrating Pascha and the Twelve Great Feasts from Ancient Faith Store
- Meditations on the Twelve Great Feasts from Ancient Faith Store
- Orthodox Block Puzzle, Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church from Ancient Faith Store