National St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival

We are live-streaming the Archdiocese level St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival on this page on Saturday, June 12 beginning at noon ET. The junior speakers will speak first. Senior speakers will begin at 2:15 pm. 
 
The awards ceremony will be live-streamed on Saturday, June 12 beginning at 7 pm ET.

 

About the Festival

2021 Festival Information

Information for 2021 SJCOF Chairpersons

About the Festival

Introduced in 1983, the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival provides Greek Orthodox teenagers the opportunity to write and talk about their faith. The Oratorical Festival Program begins at the parish level and is divided into three divisions:

Elementary Division (local festival only) for students in grades 4–6
Junior Division for students in grades 7–9
Senior Division for student in grades 10–12

The top speakers in the Junior and Senior Divisions advance to the district level. Two finalists in each district division represent the district at the Metropolis Oratorical Festival. The top speaker in each metropolis division is then selected to participate in the Archdiocese Finals, which is hosted by a different metropolis each year.

All eighteen finalists at the Archdiocese Finals participate in a weekend of activities, the highlight of which is the delivery of their speeches on Saturday morning. The Oratorical Festival Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to the top speakers. Currently, the top three speakers of each division receive college scholarships of $2,000, $1,500 and $1,000. This year, each Honorable Mention speaker was awarded $500.

Katherine Orfanakos Demacopoulos serves as the Archdiocese Festival Chairperson.

National Festival

Although the news of vaccinations and declining infection rates is promising and hopeful, there are still many uncertainties. As a result, to remain safe and cautious, the decision was made to hold the Archdiocese Festival as a virtual event, June 11-13, 2021.  More information to come on how the top speakers will participate. 

The 36th National Oratorical Festival was hosted by the Direct Archdiocesan District and the Parish of Archangel Michael in Port Washington, NY on June 7-9, 2019.

The 35th National Oratorical Fesitval was hosted by the Metropolis of Chicago and the Parish of St. John the Baptist Des Plaines, IL on June 8-10, 2018. Check out pages 24 and 25 of the July-August 2018 edition of the Orthodox Observer, to read about the weekend!

FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism Awards

Each finalist receives an additional scholarship award from FAITH: An Endowment for Orthodoxy and Hellenism as part of its grant to the Archdiocese. FAITH has made these awards to Oratorical Festival Finalists since 2007. We are grateful to the Founders of FAITH for their generous support of the youth of our Archdiocese and the Finalists of the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival.

The Chrysostom Scholarship for Hellenic College

In the 2020 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival, each Senior and Junior division First, Second, and Third place finalist in each category (Oratory, Poetry, and Essay) at the Parish, District, Metropolis, and National levels of competition is eligible to receive a Chrysostom Scholarship upon acceptance to Hellenic College. This scholarship provides awards ranging from $2,500 up to $30,000 per year for four years. Please download the terms and conditions to view the award structure.

Preparing for a Local Oratorical Festival

The Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville, NY, has held one of the more successful Oratorical Festival programs in our Archdiocese. A key to their success has been excellent organization and ongoing contact by the festival's chairperson with everyone involved at the local level, as well as with the District, Metropolis, and Archdiocese.

The Department is very grateful to Mrs. Vivian Casil for sharing a set of downloadable (pdf) letters and handouts used by the Resurrection parish that you might find helpful as you organize your parish Oratorical Festival.


Helpful Documents Helpful Documents

Preparing for a Local Oratorical Festival

Forms to help prepare parishes for their local Oratorical Festival. More »

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Forms and Registration

Find relevant and important forms for the St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival. More »

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Manual

Read the full St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Manual. More »

Past Oratorical Festivals