2018 Festival Information

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.

Presvytera Margaret Orfanakos serves as the Archdiocese Festival Chairperson.

National Festival

The 35th National Oratorical Fesitval will be hosted by the Metropolis of Chicago and the Parish of St. John the Baptist Des Plaines, IL on June 8-10, 2018.

The 34th National Oratorical Festival was hosted by the Metropolis of Boston and the Parish of Annunciation Woburn, MA on June 9-11, 2017, with the speeches taking place at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA. Click here and check out page 11 of the June 2017 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 ofFAITH 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

Beginning with the 2015 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 to Hellenic College. This scholarship has been amended to provide awards ranging from $2,500 up to $30,000 per year. Please download the terms and conditions to view the award structure.

Information for SJCOF Chairpersons

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.


2018 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Topics

The 2018 Oratorical Festival Topics are now available!

Preparing for a Local Oratorical Festival

Forms to help prepare parishes for their local Oratorical Festival.

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Forms and Registration

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

St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Manual 2017

Read the full 2017 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Manual.

2016 National Oratorical Festival Winners

The 2016 National St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival was hosted by the Metropolis of Atlanta...

Pasadena Hosts 32nd National Oratorical Festival

Pasadena, CA Hosts 32nd National Oratorical Festival.

2016 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Senior Division Winning Speech

How do you respond to people who question your belief in God and participation in the life of the...

2016 St. John Chrysostom Oratorical Festival Junior Division Winning Speech

In the Old Testament we read that there is “a time to keep silence and a time to speak”...