Teaching week begins
Our teaching week at Atteridgeville began rather chaotically. Father Frumentius, the priest at Atteridgeville, had asked for help in preparing some people for baptism, and we had hoped to have a team of students from our Catechetical School, including Fr Athanasius, the Deputy Dean of the School. But Father Athanasius and the students were stranded in Johannesburg without transport, while Father Athos, who was also supposed to join us, had a funeral.
We had hoped to use a church building that was more central in Atteridgeville, but they wanted an exorbitant rental, and so we held it at Fr Frumentius’s home, which is an orphanage.
We began with the service of the Third Hour, explaining the daily cycle of services, which, if one followed it strictly, would mean a service every three hours, starting with Vespers at sunset, Compline after Supper, Nocturns at Midnight, Matins at 3 am, First Hour at sunrise, Third Hour at mid morning, Sixth Hour at noon, Ninth Hour at mid-afternoon, and back to Vespers again. In practice the services are often “aggregated”, with two or more of them run together, and parishes rarely have all of them. But we hope that those present will include at least some of these services as part of their prayer rule.
We then divided into age groups, with Deacon Nektarius teaching the adults and teenagers, while the younger children coloured outline ikons, and those who completed theirs explaned what they were to everyone before we had the Sixth Hour and closed.
Most of them were scenes from the Gospels, such as the Myrrhbearing Women, the healing of the Paralytic, the Samaritan Woman and other themes for the Sundays after Pascha.
We hope that things will be a bit more organised tomorrow, and that the rest of the teaching team will turn up.
Continued in next post.