St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival
PURPOSE, STRUCTURE, and PROMOTION
The purpose of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival is to provide teenagers with an opportunity to learn, write, and speak about their Orthodox Faith, Church, and Heritage. This strengthens their understanding and appreciation of their identity as Greek Orthodox Christians, and cultivates spiritual growth and maturity. The overall Oratorical program is called an Oratorical Festival rather than a contest to minimize the competitive spirit and emphasize a joyful learning experience. Since 1983, the Oratorical Festival has provided thousands of teenagers the opportunity to discover the fullness of the Orthodox Faith!
Structure and Promotion
In the fall, each Metropolitan selects metropolis and district chairs and sets the date and location of the metropolis festival so that the districts and parishes have ample time to plan and prepare for their festivals. To ensure that the Oratorical Festival is efficiently and effectively run, the Department of Religious Education (DRE) Festival Co-Chairs contact each metropolis requesting the names of the metropolis and district chairs. Once this information is received, the DRE communicates with each Metropolis Chairperson. It is then the responsibility of the Metropolis Chairperson to contact each District Chairperson who should then contact each Parish Chairperson within the district to disseminate Oratorical Festival information and offer guidance. If a parish chairperson has not received the Oratorical Festival information, he or she should call the Department of Religious Education directly at (800) 566-1088.
The Department of Religious Education provides the list of topics, topic tips, and bibliography via the Department website at www.religioused.goarch.org by early September. The Oratorical Festival Kit (containing the Festival manual, topics, tips, bibliography, judges’ instructions, program cover with sample program and elementary division brochure) is available from the DRE upon request. Other resource materials are also available from the DRE, such as Oratorical Festival certificates, St. John Chrysostom icons, medallions, books, and Archdiocesan Festival videos.
- The Parish Festival is organized by an Oratorical Chairperson and Committee appointed by the parish priest. A parish Oratorical Festival takes place between January and March. Each parish sends its finalists to a district festival.
- The District Festivals are composed of parishes in specified areas of a metropolis. District Festivals take place between March and April and the finalists advance to the Metropolis Festival. Each district chairperson is appointed by the metropolis hierarch.
- The Metropolis Festival takes place between April and May and includes the finalists from each district. The first place Junior and Senior Division speakers of each metropolis advance to the Archdiocesan Festival. The metropolis chairperson is appointed by the metropolis hierarch.
- The Archdiocese Festival takes place in early June.
All national finalists will receive a college scholarship or a U.S. Savings Bond as follows: The top three speakers in each division receive a college scholarship in the amount of $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000, respectively, and the remaining finalists receive a $500 U.S. Savings Bond. These awards are made possible by many generous donations to the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Scholarship Foundation.
We thank you for participating in the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival and for helping make it one of the most successful programs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese!