Opening Activity (15-30 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.
Go through and read the Sedro(Order) prayer in the Shubqono Service Booklet. The following questions are suggested to facilitate discussion in the individual classes or through a general lecture. The discussion questions can be answered in an interactive manner by incorporating large posters/post-it notes where the students can write down their answers.
- What are the titles used to describe Christ in these prayers?
- Christ is described as love and peace
- How does Christ’s love transform us today?
- Look for the statements in the prayer: “By your love…”
- Look for the statements in the prayer: “By your peace…”
- Look for the statements in the prayer: “In tranquility…”
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.”
- The Shubqono Service revolves around the theme of love. God is love, and we came to know and experience His love through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ showed His love on the Cross by giving up His life to save us
- He teaches us through His Death that we must think of and love others as He loves us. By loving others, we are loving Christ Who dwells in all of us (1 John 4:14-16).
- If we show love towards our fellow brothers and sisters, God forgives us of our sins (Lord’s Prayer)
- The Great Lent begins and ends with the themes of love and peace. We hear these themes in the Shubqono prayers and give each other the Kiss of Peace at the start of lent. At the conclusion of Lent, on Easter, we again hear the themes of love and peace (Gospel of Easter service: St. John 13:34-35, 14:27-28, 15:11-15,17-19) and once again give the Kiss of Peace as a symbol of the love and peace that we experience through the Risen Lord.
Conclusion/Reflection (5-10 min)
The purpose of the conclusion is to encourage and facilitate self-reflection leading to The Sacrament of Holy Confession. Let the students take a few minutes to privately reflect on their lives
Questions to consider:
- How are my relationships with my family and friends?
- Is there anyone I should forgive?
- Are there any grudges that I’m holding onto?
- Have I hurt anyone?
- Have I been too critical of myself?
This concludes the lesson plan. Allow time for Q&A with the students about the lesson material or about confession. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students can proceed towards Holy Confession.