Note: The material presented below is meant for suggested age groups: ages 7-11. The material below can be presented in either a general lecture style or through individual classes, depending on logistics (class size, teacher availability, facility space, etc.). For younger age groups, the material is suggested to be presented through a variety of age appropriate activities. Older age groups will get a better understanding of the Shubqono Service by exploring the various themes in the prayers, hymns, and scripture passages of the service. Please feel free to add activities or lessons as you see fit.
Opening Activity (10-20 min)
Choose an opening activity from the suggested activities page, according to the class size, space available, etc
Lesson Plan (30-40 min)
Introduction: explain the structure of the Shubqono Service:
The Shubqono Service takes place on the first Monday of Great Lent, usually after the noon prayer. The whole church community gathers together at the church to pray and participate in the service. The service starts with various prayers and hymns that introduce the themes of love and forgiveness towards one another. The service includes scriptural passages from 1 John 4:11-21, 1 Corinthians 13:4-10, and from the Gospel of St. Matthew 18:18-35 which convey the message of love and forgiveness. At the end of the service, the priest asks forgiveness from his church community that he serves. The priest prostrates three times and begs for forgiveness by reciting a prayer each time. The whole church community also prostrates and asks forgiveness from the priest. Afterwards, the congregation kisses the hand of the priest and practices the spirit of love and forgiveness towards each other by giving the kiss of peace to one another.
Teach the following stanza of the Qolo Quqoyo (Hymn) from the Shubqono Service.
Sodaranparadham cheythal vairam kaivi – tti
Ttezhodezhupathuvattam nee kshmanalkeedenam
Sodaraneppol – neeyum pizhayali
Orkkil ninakkum- mochanavashyam
Ramythayal koottalikalay dinarathram ni-ngal
Natha sthuthiyennarkknamennevam nammal-kkaay
Hale.. ezhuthi daivasuthan.
Christ taught us to forgive “seven times seventy;
If your brother offends you, forgive him his fault”
Remember that – you also have sinned
And are in need – of His forgiveness
Go, therefore, and with your brother be reconciled
That you may cry together: ‘Glory to You, Lord!”
Halleluiah w’ Halleluiah…Barekmor
Discuss the following with the students:
- Why is it important that we forgive others? What does the hymn teach us about this?
- How is this practiced in our Holy Qurbana?
- We practice this through the Kiss of Peace, prior to receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.
- This is the command given to us by Christ in Matthew 5:23-24:
- “So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and then remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Select some of the activities page to allow the students to actively participate in the lesson. At the end of each activity, try to discuss the themes of love and peace that Christ displays to us.
Conclusion / Reflection (5-10 min)
At the end of the lesson, the kids can line up and practice giving the Kiss of Peace to each other, just as we do in the Shubqono Service. Each student can recite the following prayer as you go down the line:
“Please forgive me, (name/brother/sister/friend).”
In response they can say, “As God forgives, I also forgive you.”