This year, along with our Special Agent Training, we’re also taking advantage of the awesome resources made available from St. Spyridon’s Church in Loveland, Colorado. I first saw the Pascha Passports back in 2012 on Illumination Learning. I was super excited to do these with the boys but when I went to order them, I discovered they only sold them in bulk packages.
The program was initially created for kids to do through their parish’s Sunday school or youth group programs. When I went to the site this year though, they had them for sale individually! Yay! I think these are so much fun, I even ordered one for myself. 🙂
If you want to order them, be sure to order the Pascha Passport AND the Sticker Set. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to put inside unless you come up with your own stamp system.
The first page has a spot for their photo and your church’s seal. Then, they write their name, patron saint’s name, baptism date, and nameday. On the opposite page, they sign to “declare a desire to grow spiritually during Lent and to reach its final destination.”
It goes on to explain each of the four Gospel readings during the Triodion and has and icon “stamp” to represent each of them.
It goes on to talk about “Day Trips” they should be taking such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and the Bible. The following pages have charts for each week during lent where the child can check off which trips he takes each day. My boys get really excited when it’s time to check things off and it was great because by the end of this first week, we saw that we did not do much in the way of almsgiving and needed to do better in our Bible reading as well. So, I love that it’s keeping us accountable.
What made me really appreciate these passports is how they go a little further in depth with the services than most children’s resources. It’s like most of them assume that anything more than typical Sunday services are for adults. Whereas these booklets go on to explain the importance of Great Compline on Mondays (which we usually do at home), Pre-Sanctified Liturgies, Akathist services on Friday evenings, etc.
And again, there are icons to represent each of those.
It also encourages them to visit “Special Destinations” such as Confession, the Jesus Prayer, Retreats & Reflections on God, Saturday of Souls, Lazarus & Palm Sunday and Holy Friday. Pretty amazing, huh? For such a small book, it contains a wealth of important information.
The last section is Holy Week. Again, it basically just goes through each day and what, why, how we celebrate it.
At the end of the book there is a section for Notes and Reflections and the Prayer of St. Ephraim.
I keep the passports and stamps in a folder in my purse and whenever they reach a different destination, they are quick to remind me to stamp their passports!
Children will naturally feel the grace and blessings of the lenten season, with all of the beautiful services we incorporate into our daily schedules but I also think it’s important to do simple activities with them to help keep them involved and interested in what we’re preparing for!
To order your Pascha Passport visit St. Spyridon’s online store here. And don’t worry about it being late, they arrive quickly and are super easy to just jump right into!